It is the basic belief of all financial aid programs that the primary responsibility for meeting college costs lies with the student. If a student and his or her family cannot meet the full cost of education, the Financial Aid Office, through available financial aid programs, helps students and their parents meet the cost of their education.
These funds can come from a variety of sources such as the federal government, the state government, private sources and from the school itself. Financial aid may be awarded in the form of a grant or scholarship- money which does not have to be repaid; a loan-money which must be repaid; or employment-where a student works to earn money for school. The type of aid you receive will be based upon your “need” as determined by the federal methodology. All aid can be accepted or declined by the student; but, in some cases, if declined, it will not be replaced by other sources of funding. Over 70% of all students at RACC currently receive financial aid.
How to Apply
You must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for financial aid at Reading Area Community College. This application will be used to determine your eligibility for federal, state and institutional sources of assistance. We recommend that you apply with FAFSA on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. In addition to the Federal website, we recommend that you check RACC’s website monthly at www.racc.edu. On the scholarship page, you will see applications for private sources.
Currently enrolled and prospective students interested in applying for aid must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen.
- Be enrolled or intending to enroll on at least a half-time basis for student loan programs.
NOTE: The PELL Grant may be available to students enrolled less than half-time.
- Be enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or eligible certificate (credit or non-credit) offered by Reading Area Community College.
NOTE: Auditing classes are not paid for by financial aid.
- Be in “satisfactory academic standing” according to the College’s academic probation policy.
- Be maintaining “satisfactory academic progress” according to the College’s Title IV Student Financial Assistance Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy published in the Financial Aid Handbook.
- Not be in default on any Stafford, Perkins, HEAL or loans, and not owe a refund on any PELL, SEOG, or SSIG received at RACC or any previously attended school.
- Be a high school graduate or have received a G.E.D.
The Financial Aid Office acts as a liaison between our students who are veterans of the armed services and the Veterans Administration Office. Counseling and assistance are provided to veterans who need help in securing benefits under several different veterans educational programs. The application for education benefits (VONAPP) should be completed online at www.gibill.va.gov and the Certificate of Eligibility must be submitted to the financial aid office upon receipt. Also, Reservists should bring their Notice of Basic Eligibility (DD2384) while all other veterans should bring their Report of Separation (DD214) paperwork to the Financial Aid Office.
Types of Financial Aid
Federal Pell Grant - awards generally range from $400 to $5500 per academic year. Student may be enrolled less than half-time depending upon eligibility. Please consult the Financial Aid Office for information about deadlines.
Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP) - Student may work at designated sites on and off-campus during the academic year. Maximum amount that can be earned is $6240 per academic year. Student must be enrolled at least half-time without exceeding unmet need and have FAFSA filed by May.
Direct Stafford Loan - Requires a student loan application which can be requested from www.studentloans.gov. For current loan limits, see the Financial Aid office. Students must maintain half-time enrollment. There is no filing deadline for the student loan, but it must be processed prior to the end of the semester for which it is intended and therefore early application is recommended.
There are two types of Direct Stafford Loans:
Subsidized Loan - The interest on the loan is paid for by the federal government while you are in school. The student makes no interest or principle payments until 6 months after graduation or dropping below half-time status.
Unsubsidized Loan - Interest accrues after loan is disbursed. Student can pay or have the interest capitalized. Student pays the quarterly interest payments while in school. Principle payments are still deferred until 6 months after graduation or dropping below half-time.
Pennsylvania State Grant and Special Programs Reading Area Community College participates in all of the State Grant and Special Programs available through Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. The details of all of the programs can be obtained at www.pheaa.org.
Foundation for Reading Area Community College
The Foundation for Reading Area Community College is an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1981 to provide financial support for Reading Area Community College’s programs and educational needs. The Board of Directors of the Foundation is comprised of business and community leaders who represent the Foundation in the community and assist in the solicitation of funds. Support to the College is provided primarily for student scholarships, capital projects, library materials, classroom equipment and cultural events.
Since its incorporation in 1981, the Foundation has developed over 100 donor designated endowed scholarship funds. Over 300 awards are made annually to students in the form of scholarships or awards. For consideration of these scholarships and awards, students need to follow two easy steps. Each and every year, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid needs to be completed. Even if students don’t qualify for grants, this step is necessary to qualify for our “scholarship pool” of applicants. In addition, any scholarships requiring applications are available on www.racc.edu. Students should check this often as deadlines vary throughout the year.
Endowed Funds of the Foundation
Donors may establish an endowment in memory of a loved one or to honor a favorite faculty or family member. The Foundation staff works with donors to maximize charitable deduction benefits while establishing endowments that will fund scholarships and programs to help RACC meet its mission. Funds are disbursed according to criteria created by the donor at the time an endowment is established.
For further information, please contact us
The Foundation for Reading Area Community College
Berks Hall - Room 309
610.607.6239 / Foundation@racc.edu