What You Need to Know

Program of Study

As a Financial Aid student, you will need to select a Program of Study.  You will be ineligible to receive federal financial aid until a program is selected.  Schedule an appointment with OCC Counseling to receive academic guidance.  Once your Program of Study is selected, you must take courses required for that Program of Study.  This ensures the maximum use of your financial aid funding and a pathway to graduation.

An email will be sent to you if your classes are not part of your Program of Study.  This will allow you to change your registration; however, if you take classes not included in your Program of Study, you will NOT receive financial aid to cover these classes.  You will have to pay for these classes from other sources. 

If you are eligible to receive a student refund, it may be reduced, because all classes and charges must be paid before a refund can be released to you. The reduced refund may affect money you need for school-related expenses, i.e., transportation, additional school supplies, etc.  In this case, part or all of your refund was used to pay for classes that will not count toward your degree or certificate.  You must maximize your financial aid dollars.

Tax Returns and Verifications of Non-filing

Changes to 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 Verification Requirements

Income Tax returns: Institutions may accept as acceptable documentation a signed copy of the 2016 or 2017 income tax returns, as applicable, that the tax filer submitted to the IRS or other tax authorities to verify FAFSA/ISIR income and tax return information.

Verification of Non-filing: Individuals are still required to obtain verification of non-filing (VNF) from the IRS or other tax authorities. However, if the individual is unable to obtain VNF from the IRS or other tax authorities, based on the institution’s determination, it may accept the following: a signed statement certifying that the individual.

  • Attempted to obtain the VNF from the IRS;
  • Has not filed and is not required to file a 2016 or 2017 income tax return, and a listing of the sources of any 2016 or 2017 Federal income earned by the individual from work and the amount of income from each source; and
  • A copy of IRS Form W-2, or an equivalent document, for each source of 2016 or 2017 employment income received by the individual.

Financial Aid Self-Service

Financial Aid Self-Service provides information on the financial aid application status and the financial aid award notification.

Students can view each step of the application process. Status indicators show which requirements have been met, recent activity, missing documents, and other requirements.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) notifications help students understand when current status affects their aid.

Online award letters allow students to review and accept awards through the self-service tool. The award letter does not show awards based on enrollment. Only full-time award amounts are shown.

All awards are based on full-time enrollment of at least 12 credits. Your awards will be disbursed based on your actual enrollment.

Example: Student with zero (0) Expected Family Contribution (EFC) –Pell Eligible –fall semester, only

  • 12+ eligible credit hours = $3,098
  • 9-12 eligible credit hours = $2,223
  • 6-8 eligible credit hours = $1,549
  • 1-5 eligible credit hours = $775

Tuition and Payment

  • Oakland Community College (OCC) tuition is based on Billable Contact Hours (total instructional time).
  • Student financial aid is paid based on credit hours. Federal regulations do not permit payment based on billable hours.

Financial Aid Disbursements

Financial aid will be disbursed based on enrollment level consistent with the start date of the courses. Courses taught in modules/less than 15 weeks will have aid disbursed according to the start date of the courses.

Students must be enrolled for at least six credits to receive a loan. Loans funds will not be disbursed until 30 days from the beginning of the semester. Loan fees are deducted from the loan amount.

Example (approximate dates):

  • Class 1 = 15 weeks, 3 credits September 9, 2019
  • Class 2 = 8 weeks, 3 credits September 9, 2019
  • Class 3 = 7 weeks, 3 credits November 15, 2019

In the example (above), the first disbursement will be based on six credits, only. Grant aid will be disbursed at the end of September 2019. Loan funds, if applicable, will not be disbursed until 30 days from the beginning of the semester.

Aid for Class 3 will be paid after November 15, increasing the amount to cover three additional credits. Refunds, if applicable, will be granted to student.

Tuition, fees, and bookstore charges are paid before any student refunds are generated.

Financial Aid Refunds

A financial aid refund is generated when the total sum of all payments (financial aid (excluding FWS), credit card payments, etc.) exceed the total sum of all charges (books, supplies, fees, certain tuition charges, etc.). The student refund belongs to the student to use for education-related expenses, i.e., transportation, food, personal miscellaneous, etc.

Students who register for classes not in their Program of Study will have a reduced refund, if eligible, because the refund will be used to pay for the classes. Therefore, student will have less money for the remaining semester. Follow the Program of Study to avoid using your refund on classes that DO NOT count toward your Program of Study.

To avoid exhausting your refund before the semester ends, you will have to budget your financial aid award money wisely. For budgeting tips and information on effective money management, visit our online Financial Literacy Modules at Financial Avenue Access code: oak123

The Refund Schedule is posted on the web at the beginning of each semester.


Federal Title IV Aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Direct Student Loans, and Federal Work-Study) does not cover the following developmental courses at Oakland Community College:

  • ENG 1055
  • CIS 1000
  • MAT 1045
  • MAT 1050

State, institutional, and private funding (TIP, MCS, Trustee Award, etc.) may cover these courses. Veteran’s benefits will cover classes approved on the VA Academic Plan of Study.


The GetSAP software transforms OCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy into a highly engaging, interactive, online video educational experience.

Students who have academic challenges and must appeal to have their financial aid reinstated are required to successfully complete the GetSAP advising session. When the session is completed, the student can complete the appeal form and submit it to the financial aid office. For more information, visit GetSAP Counseling at OCC Financial Aid Advising Center.


Financial aid funds are awarded to students for the purpose of receiving a degree or certificate. When a financial aid student finds it necessary to withdraw or stop attending, it important to meet with a financial aid manager to discuss the consequences of leaving school.

When a student withdraws or stops attending (according to instructor records) before the end of the semester or enrollment period, a calculation is applied to determine the amount of “earned” financial assistance. The Return to Title IV calculation will determine how much money the student owes to the Department of Education.

If a student did not complete more than 60% of the semester or enrollment period, the calculation will determine the amount of funds to be returned/paid by the student. If a student completes more than 60% of the semester or enrollment period, the balance is zero.

When a student withdraws/stops attending prior to the completion of the period of enrollment, it is Oakland Community College’s policy to cancel future financial aid awards and re-evaluate the student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress. Student may or may not be eligible for future financial aid.

N Marks

When a student registers for classes, it is expected that s/he will attend the classes. The N Mark is assigned when a student fails to attend class(es). All financial aid money must be returned to the Department of Education. If you received money you are not entitled to receive, you will have to repay the money.

All unpaid balances are referred to a collection agency for repayment. You will not be allowed to register for classes at OCC until the balance is paid in full or satisfactory repayment arrangements are made with the Financial Services Department. Unpaid balances may be referred to the Department of Education. You will not be able to receive aid from any higher education institution until satisfactory financial arrangements are made. In addition, if you received all N Marks for a semester, you are reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) as not being enrolled for at least half-time. If you do not enroll for at least six credits (half-time) within six months, your loan will enter repayment status.

Year-Round Pell (YRP)

A Pell Grant-eligible student may receive a full Federal Pell Grant for the summer semester even if they received a full Federal Pell Grant during the fall (12 credits) and winter (12 credits) semesters.

Pell Grant recipients may take advantage of this new regulation to earn their degree faster. Students should consult with their academic counselor to develop a manageable course load for the summer term. Students are required to take at least six eligible credits during summer 2019. For more information, visit Year-Round Pell.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

You do not have to graduate/leave school with debt. Make FWS your first choice, if eligible, after receiving your grants. Even if you have employment, you may find a FWS job with a range of three to 20 hours per week.

If you are working for a non-profit agency or for-profit organization (limited number), tell us about them. We may be able to approve them as a FWS employer, which means you can continue to work and earn your FWS award with them.

Students on Federal Work-Study must be enrolled for at least six (6) credits.Students are paid every two weeks based on the hours worked on their time sheet, which must be approved by their FWS supervisor.

Why you should take advantage of FWS

For some students, it’s a better choice in the long term. All loans have to be repaid with interest. These loans are “real” loans, similar to a car loan or mortgage. The average loan for a 2-Year Public in Michigan is $9,962. Total repayment using the Standard Repayment Plan is $12,047 with $100 monthly payment for 120 months. Ten years!

We want to encourage you to plan wisely for your future.

Student Interaction

Read your OCC email, even if you leave OCC. We will communicate with you via your OCC email. Keep your contact information (telephone numbers and address) updated with OCC.

Data Protection/Authorization to Release Information

If you want the Office of Student Financial Resources and Scholarships (SFRS) to discuss your financial aid application with spouses, parents, others, you must complete an Authorization to Release Information with the appropriate documentation required. It is your responsibility to keep the form updated. Authorization to Release Information form

For more detailed information, read: Understanding Financial Assistance and Scholarships


Auburn Hills Campus
2900 Featherstone Road
Room B-227
Auburn Hills, MI 48326-2845
Phone: 248.341.2240
Fax: 248.341.2250

Orchard Ridge Campus
27055 Orchard Lake Road
Room M-207
Farmington Hills, MI 48334-4579
Phone: 248.341.2240
Fax: 248.341.2250

Southfield Campus
22322 Rutland Drive
Room A-203
Southfield, MI 48075-4793
Phone: 248.341.2240
Fax: 248.341.2250

Highland Lakes Campus
7350 Cooley Lake Road
Woodland Hall 260
Waterford, MI 48327-4187
Phone: 248.341.2240
Fax: 248.341.2250

Royal Oak Campus
739 South Washington
Room  B-104
Royal Oak, MI 48067-3898
Phone: 248.341.2240
Fax: 248.341.2250