How long does it take to process my Rising Star application?
The average time is six to eight weeks after everything is turned in, including a completed FAFSA/TASFA.
I have received my letter and certificate stating that I am a Rising Star student, what do I do?
You need to register online (www.elcentrocollege.edu) to attend a New Student Orientation. You must select the Rising Star session as one of your break-out selections. You will have the opportunity to go over your Rising Star contract during this session. This New Student Orientation is mandatory for all Rising Star students.
Iím planning to go to a 4-yr. college/university in the fall.
Can I use Rising Star during the summer to pay for a couple of classes?
No. Students applying for Rising Star must be pursuing an associates degree or certificate or job skills. You can complete your core classes here and then transfer to a four year university, which will save you a significant amount in tuition. But you cannot use Rising Star funds for Summer only.
I need help filling out my FAFSA, and would like to schedule an appointment. What do I need to bring with me?
Your parentís current Tax Returns and W-2ís. If the parent did not work, they need to bring proof of income for the prior year. (i.e. Social Security Check, Disability Check, etc.). Make sure that the copy of the tax return is signed!
My parents did not file income taxes because they donít have a social. Can I still apply for financial aid?
Yes. If you are a U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident, you would need to complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you are a non-citizen, you must complete The Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) www.collegefortexans.com. If your parents did not file taxes, you will need to get a letter from your parentís employer that states the hours worked and the rate/ amount earned for a pay period and have it notarized. * If your parents earned more than $10,000 worth of income then they must file. No exceptions!!
I donít live with my parents. Do I still have to use their tax information?
If the person whom you live with is your legal guardian and you have proof that they are your legal guardian (court document, etc.), then you may use their tax information.
You may file for financial aid as an independent student if you can provide documentation that meet one of the following criteria:
My grandmother/sister/boyfriend, etc. claimed me on their taxes. Do I need to use their tax info?
No. It doesnít make a difference who claimed you on taxes. You will still need you and your parentís tax information.
My parents wonít give me their tax information. What can I do?
If you are not eligible for independent status, you must have your parentsí tax information in order to file for financial aid. One of our advisors could call and speak with your parent to explain this if you would like.
Who is considered part of my household?
Anyone in the house that your parentís providing financial assistance to that is under the age of 24. But they can include their parentís if they provide for them.
What if my family income status has changed (i.e. loss of employment, death or illness of a parent) since previous tax year?
You can file for a special circumstances application. You can retrieve it from the DCCCD website or pick up an application from the campus financial aid office.