Jun 04, 2015

Columbia State Urges Students to Check Financial Aid Unmet Requirements

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - May 27, 2015) - - - Columbia State Community College urges students planning to attend the fall 2015 semester to check the status of their financial aid paperwork.

After completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, additional documentation may be needed that could impact a student's ability to receive financial aid, including the Tennessee Promise scholarship.

"We are urging all students to log into their ChargerNet accounts to check for any additional documentation that is needed to complete all financial aid requirements," said Cherry Johnson, director of financial aid at Columbia State. "We recommend that students submit all outstanding documentation to Columbia State between June 15 and July 1."

Approximately 1,300 Tennessee Promise students have indicated that they plan to attend Columbia State in the fall. Out of this number, nearly 500 have been identified as needing to complete a verification process.

Each year, approximately 30 percent of all college students are selected by the U.S. Department of Education to go through verification. This process requires that higher education institutions confirm the accuracy of data that is reported on the FAFSA.

This nationwide process is in place to ensure that aid is being correctly awarded according to institutional, state and federal guidelines. If selected, students must complete the entire verification process before some financial aid can be awarded. Tennessee Promise applicants have an August 1 deadline to complete verification at the college.

In order to complete verification, some students need to submit a tax transcript to their college's financial aid office as federal requirements do not allow colleges to accept tax return copies.

At this time the IRS 'Get Transcript' online service has been temporarily shut down. As a result, students must request their tax transcript be sent by mail which takes 5 to 10 business days to process.

"Students and parents that have been selected for verification should go ahead and request their tax transcript from the IRS now in order to allow enough time for processing and mailing," explained Johnson.

Another good option for families is to file a FAFSA correction using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Using this tool often relieves families of the necessity of supplying a tax transcript and is often faster.

Students who have unmet requirements will receive an email to their Columbia State email account and be notified by mail. Students can also check their current status by visiting www.ColumbiaState.edu/verification for instructions on viewing any outstanding financial aid requirements in ChargerNet.

Students who need assistance logging into ChargerNet should visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/accessing-myChargerNet or call the financial aid office at 931-540-8267.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.ColumbiaState.edu.

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.