Frequently Asked Questions

Choose from the list of menu topics to sort through our FAQs.

Financial Aid

I plan to go to school part-time. Can I get financial aid?

Almost all aid programs are available to students who attend school at least half-time. Some institutions give preference to full-time students. VSAC administers a Part-Time Grant Program for degree-students taking fewer than 12 credits of course work per semester.

Learn more about applying for financial aid >

I'm not living with my parents, and I receive no support from them. Can I file as a self-supporting student?

If you're under 24 years of age, you must file as a dependent student unless you meet certain criteria. You can learn more about dependency status at

If you do not meet the criteria to be considered independent for the purposes of financial aid, contact your school and VSAC directly to discuss your situation.

Do I need to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes, students must apply for financial aid every year they’re in school.

Who decides how much money I’ll get?

Your school’s financial aid office will determine how much financial aid you're eligible to receive based on the information you provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You can learn more about how aid is calculated at

What is the EFC?

EFC (or Expected Family Contribution) is the dollar amount a student (or student’s family) can reasonably be expected to contribute toward college costs. Your EFC is decided based on the information you enter on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)—a form that all students need to complete to be eligible for federal and other financial aid.

Learn more about creating a financial plan >

I have to borrow money to pay my college bills. Can I save any money by shopping around for loans? Are all loans the same?

All education loans are not the same. There are two types of education loans; federal and private. Congress sets the standard interest rates and fees for federal education loans. Private loans are offered by private lenders, including banks, credit unions, or organizations such as VSAC. Individual lenders determine the interest rates and fees for their private education loans.

Learn more about education loan options >

I have defaulted on a student loan. Am I eligible for additional financial aid so that I may return to school?

You may regain eligibility for additional financial aid (including grants and loans) if you arrange a payment schedule with the holder of your defaulted loan and if you make the payments on time.

If your defaulted loans are with us, we have 3 specialized programs for defaulted borrowers, one of which you may qualify for. Please contact our Collections department for more information.