Information has been released on the federal CARES Act. Please read through this Q&A for your next steps.

Box of Books

Students attending OCC will be able to pick up all the textbooks and supporting materials they need in one convenient package, at a reduced price.  Learn more about the Box of Books program.

Lazer Card Funds Transfer

You may transfer a portion of your pending financial aid refund on to your Lazer Card to use for educational expenses such as book, supplies, and meals. Visit Student Central for more information and to make your transfer.

When do I get my refund?

If at any time you are entitled to a refund of monies paid then your refund will be issued by check and mailed unless you have enrolled in direct deposit. To ensure that you receive any funds as accurately and quickly as possible please confirm your mailing address or make any relevant changes. If you would like to avoid waiting for a check to be mailed to you we recommend that you sign up for direct deposit of your refunds.  

Financial Aid awards will deposit into your student account according to the schedule below:

After the 5th week of the semester

  • 50% of Pell Grants
  • 50% of Direct Student Loans
  • 100% of SEOG
  • 100% of Parent PLUS Loans
  • 100% of NYS TAP

After the 10th week of the semester

  • 50% of Pell Grants
  • 50% of Direct Student Loans

Financial Aid funds will first be used to pay your bill with the College. If there is financial aid money left over after your bill has been paid in full, it will be returned to you in the form of a refund administered by the Student Accounts office.

Professional Judgment

There are instances where the information collected on the FAFSA is not reflective of a student or family’s current situation. In these cases, students can pursue a professional judgment review through the Financial Aid Office. There are two types of professional judgment reviews the Financial Aid office will consider: Special Circumstance and Dependency Override.

Special Circumstances can be considered when the student or family’s income has decreased considerably since the tax year required to be reported on the FAFSA.

Special Circumstances Application 

Dependency Overrides can be considered when a student does not meet any of the Department of Education’s criteria for independent status, but has an extenuating circumstance that prevents them from being able to obtain parent information for the FAFSA. Applications are available to pursue a professional judgment review for Special Circumstance and Dependency Override. All applications must be submitted with the appropriate supporting documentation described on the forms. Please contact the Financial Aid Office directly if you have any questions.

Dependency Override 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

You must be matriculated in a program and make satisfactory academic progress to receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid. If you lose matriculation (e.g., graduation, academic dismissal, withdrawal) you may not receive financial aid. Further information about matriculation and readmission is available at Student Central or in the College’s Academic Rules.

Federal and New York State Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies outline eligibility criteria and academic progress requirements for each aid program.

SAP Appeals

Students who have experienced extenuating circumstances that have hindered their academic progress may submit a SAP Appeal Form.  

SAP Appeal Form

What if I drop a class after the semester begins?

If you make adjustments to your enrollment after the start of any semester, Student Accounts may adjust your tuition charges. Take a look at OCC's Tuition Refund Policy and contact Student Central if you have any questions.

What if I drop all of my classes after the semester begins?

Federal financial aid (Title IV) is awarded under the assumption you will attend school for the entire period for which your financial aid is awarded. If you withdraw or stop attending all of your classes before completing more than 60% of the semester, you may no longer be eligible for the full amount of federal financial aid you were originally awarded.

Talk to someone in Financial Aid before withdrawing from all of your classes so you understand what adjustments will be made to your aid and if it will result in a balance owed to the College.

What if I take classes that don't count toward my degree?

Student cannot be awarded financial aid for classes that do not count toward their degree or certificate program requirements. Talk with your advisor when registering for classes to be sure you are taking relevant classes!