Frequently Asked Questions

Am I Registered for the Right Number of Credits?

You must be registered for the appropriate number of credits each quarter in order to receive your aid.  All financial aid awards are initially based on full-time enrollment of 12 or more credits unless otherwise indicated. If you do not plan to enroll in 12 or more credits, you should notify the Financial Aid Office in writing EACH QUARTER. We recommend you let us know as soon as possible, prior to the tuition due date for the quarter. In most cases, financial aid grants will be reduced proportionately to your credit load.  Loans, work-study and some grants are not available to students taking fewer than 6 credits.

  • Full-time:                     12 + credits                             
  • ¾-time:                         9-11 credits
  • ½-time:                         6-8 credits                               
  • Less than ½-time:         1-5 credits

What is the Peninsula Card and Why is it Important?

The Peninsula Card is a debit card that is issued to all potential financial aid and scholarship recipients. Students are not required to use the card as a debit card, but they must use the card to go online to www.peninsulacard.com and choose how they want to receive their financial aid or scholarship money. Students can choose between having their money direct-deposited into an existing bank account, receiving a paper check in the mail, or having their money deposited into a checking account with Higher One. (Students who choose to open a checking account with Higher One will use their Peninsula Card as their debit card for that account.)

How Will the Financial Aid Office Communicate With Me?

The Financial Aid Office will communicate with you primarily through email. It is therefore VERY important that you keep the Student Services Office updated with your current email address. Since Peninsula Cards are mailed to the physical address on file with Student Services, it is also important to keep them updated if you move. The Peninsula Card is required in order for you to go online to choose how you want to receive your Financial Aid or Scholarship funds.

It is your responsibility to notify the Student Services Office of changes to your email or address so that we can communicate with you. Address changes can be made online at https://www.ctc.edu/~pens/wts/stuaddr/waci203.html.

My Financial Aid Refund Won't Arrive Until the First Day of the Quarter. How Do I Get My Books?

In accordance with school policy, Financial Aid refunds are not released to Higher One for disbursement until one business day before the first day of the quarter. Depending upon the refund preference you select by using your Peninsula Card, you won't have your funds until the first day of the quarter at the very earliest. Some types of refund preference can take longer before you receive the funds.

Many students opt to purchase their books earlier (before the first day of the quarter) and reimburse themselves when their Financial Aid refund arrives. Other students wait until they have their refund before they buy their books. It is very typical for financial aid recipients to purchase their books at the beginning of the quarter, after they have their refund.

If the only type of aid you are receiving is federal, state, or institutional grant or loan funds, then you are not eligible for an account at the Bookstore.

If you are receiving funds from an outside source, such as WorkSource, tribal funding, Worker Retraining, or another type of outside agency sponsorship, you may be able to charge your books using an account at the Bookstore. Please be advised that it takes our office up to 24 hours to process last-minute bookstore accounts/changes. We strongly recommend that your agency contacts our office at least 7 days prior to the first day of the quarter so we can set up your account on time.

The Tuition Deadline is Coming Up, and I Haven't Heard Back About My Financial Aid. What Should I Do to Make Sure I Don't Get Dropped From My Classes for Non-Payment?

College policy is to drop students from classes if they have not paid their tuition by the deadline. (You should not assume that the College will drop you for non-payment of tuition or that the College will drop you within the tuition refund period. It is your responsibility to contact Student Services and officially drop/withdraw from your classes if you do not plan on attending.)

If you met the Financial Aid deadline for a quarter, but your application has not been reviewed, the Financial Aid Office will hold you in your classes until we have determined your eligibility. If you later find out you are ineligible for aid, we will remove the hold, and you will be required to pay your tuition charges immediately.

If you have been awarded aid already, but the aid has not been applied towards your tuition, the Financial Aid Office will hold you in your classes until we apply your aid towards your tuition charges. It is your responsibility to make sure you are enrolled in the correct number of credits and met all other requirements to receive your aid so your tuition can be paid.

If you had some aid, but not enough to cover all of your tuition charges, it is your responsibility to pay the difference owed. Unpaid tuition charges could cause you to be blocked from receiving services from the college and/or referral to a collection agency.

If you missed the Financial Aid deadline or your aid was canceled due to ineligibility, it is your responsibility to pay your tuition prior to the tuition deadline. Many students who miss the deadline opt to enroll in the tuition payment plan so they are not dropped from their classes. If you are interested in the payment plan, please contact Business Services at (360) 417-6232. The Financial Aid Office is not able to hold you in your classes if you miss a deadline and/or are not eligible for aid.

I Missed the Financial Aid Deadline. When Will My Application Be Reviewed?

Late applications are reviewed after the quarter has started. Due to start of the quarter processing, we don't begin reviewing late applications until at least 2 weeks after the start of the quarter.

Once we begin reviewing late applications, we review them in the order they were completed. We are sorry, but we do not have a way to estimate when your application will be reviewed or how many applications are ahead of yours.

If you are eligible for aid, any remaining tuition you owe will be deducted from your aid and you will receive the remainder of your refund according to the refund preference you select using your Peninsula Card. You may check the Financial Aid Portal to see if you have been awarded. Ineligible students will be notified in writing.

Why Was I Awarded Aid for Fewer Quarters Than I Expected?

In accordance with federal and state regulations, students must complete their program of study within a maximum time frame in order to remain eligible to receive financial aid. The Time Limit Policy is explained as part of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy on the link to the left.

Some students were awarded aid for fewer quarters than they were expecting because they have reached their time limit. Others were awarded aid for fewer quarters than they were expecting because they are so close to reaching the time limit that we cannot consider them for additional aid until they provide information to our office via the time limit appeal process. Time limit appeal forms are available in the Financial Aid Office.

Why Were Some of My Classes Not Covered by Financial Aid?

Running Start, high school completion, basic skills classes (BASED), audit classes, Tech Prep courses, WorkFirst courses, non-credit courses, continuing education courses and Family Life Education courses are not eligible for financial aid funding.  Credits from these courses will not count toward your minimum credit requirement to receive financial aid funds or towards your completed credits for Satisfactory Academic Progress purposes.

I Need to Drop a Class.  How Will That Impact My Financial Aid?

Please check the Satisfactory Academic Progress Chart to review your options. If you are on Financial Aid Probation or Financial Aid Warning status, dropping a class may cause future aid to be canceled. Dropping a certain number of credits may cause future aid to be canceled, even if you are not on Probation or Warning status. You can check to see if you are on Financial Aid Probation or Warning on the Financial Aid Portal. If you have questions about the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, please contact the Financial Aid Office.