Financial Aid

The administration and faculty of the Berks Career & Technology Center believes that education is a family investment. Therefore, the primary responsibility for financing a student’s education rests with the student and the student’s family. Financial aid is intended to supplement, not replace, a family’s resources. The Office of Financial Aid at the Berks Career & Technology Center strives to assist qualified students needing financial assistance in obtaining aid to meet the economic responsibilities to attend school. This assistance includes counseling students to understand the financial expenses of attending school, informing students of the types of aid available and how to apply, and assisting students with the application process.

Berks Career and Technology Center participates in various federal, state and local financial aid programs. The purpose of financial aid is to provide assistance to students of financial need who, without financial aid, would be unable to pursue an education. Listed below are the Financial Aid resources available to those who qualify:

Financial Aid Application Process

Students are required to complete their financial aid application on-line. The school cannot determine your financial aid eligibility until your financial aid application has been processed and verified if required, so, it is important to complete your application as early as possible.  Some FAFSA applications are flagged for a process called “verification”. If your application is flagged, additional information will be required by our office. You will be notified in writing of what documentation is needed and no financial aid will be processed until it is received and verified. Once you have completed and submitted your financial aid application AND the Office of Financial Aid has received all required paperwork from you, our Office will have everything required to determine your financial aid eligibility.

1. Gather required information for FAFSA application
Before you begin completing the FAFSA application, you will want to gather the information required to apply. Listed below are some of the data items you will need in order to complete this application. You will be notified in writing if your application is flagged for verification.

  • Your Social Security number and your parents’ Social Security number if you are providing parent information
  • Your driver’s license number if you have one.
  • Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U. S. Citizen
  • Information on savings, investments, and business and farm assets for yourself, your spouse if you are married, and for your parents if you are providing parent information. When calculating investments, do not include IRA accounts or the home in which you live.
  • Child Support Received or Paid

2. Go to https://studentaid.gov
Click on “Create an Account” and follow the prompts on the screen. If you already have a FASA ID go to the next step. A user can only have one account associated with their social security number. If you are dependent, a parent or guardian will also need to creat an account.

3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the school years you are applying for (2020-2021).
Go to: https://studentaid.gov webpage, Click on the “LOG IN” button. You must complete a FAFSA application to be considered for any federal assistance and if you qualify, special state grants and scholarships. This step cannot be omitted. If you need help, please contact the Financial Aid Office. When completing the tax section of this application, it is highly recommended that you import and do not change your Tax Return Information from the IRS. If you have previously completed a FAFSA and need to renew for the next year, or need to make a correction on your FAFSA, go to https://studentaid.gov click on the downward arrow next to “APPLY FOR AID” and click on “Complete the FAFSA form”. Next, click on the “LOG IN” button under “Returning User?”

4. Complete Loan Entrance Counseling (Required for Student Loans)
Go to https://studentaid.gov and click on the downward arrow next to “Complete Aid Process”, click on Complete Entrance Counseling. Sign in using the blue “Log In” button. Follow the screen prompts to complete the Entrance Counseling. For a demonstration of the Entrance Counseling, scroll down the page to the blue “LOG IN TO START” button, and click on Start Demo.

5. Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) SCHOOL CODE – 040413 (Required for Student Loans)
Sign-in to the https://studentaid.gov website and click on the downward arrow next to “Complete Aid Process”, click on “Complete Master Promissory Note”, You will LOG IN to “MPN for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans. Follow the prompts.

6. If you need help in completing the FAFSA, or would like to complete it at the school, please call 610-743-7630 to set up an appointment.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for Federal Pell Grants and Federal Student loans is based on financial need and on several other factors. Students must meet all eligibility requirements prior to being able to receive federal financial aid. The eligibility requirements for all students are outlined below and an explanation can be found by clicking on each topic.

Student Eligibility
Determine if your out-of-country diploma is equivalent to a U.S. diploma
Citizenship Requirements
Selective Service Requirements
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Default / Overpayment Requirements

Conviction or Possession of Illegal Drugs

Completing Your Financial Aid Application Online

1. Apply for a PIN number from the US Department of Education.
You will use this number to sign each of your on-line financial aid applications. NOTE: If you are required to provide parent information on your FAFSA application, then one of your parents must also apply for a PIN number of his/her own in order to be able to sign your application electronically.

*Determine if you are required to provide parent information.

2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
BCTC School Code — 040413
You must complete a FAFSA application in order to receive any federal assistance. This step cannot be omitted.
When completing the tax section of this application, it is highly recommended that you transfer in and do not change your Tax Return information from the IRS. If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool when completing your initial FAFSA application, you can return to https://studentaid.gov log in to your FAFSA record, select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. Follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS income tax information into your FAFSA. It takes up to two weeks for IRS income information to be available for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers. If you are unable to transfer in your tax return information from the IRS, you must contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 and request a copy of your Tax Return Transcript.

Go to: https://studentaid.gov webpage, Click on the “LOG IN” button. You must complete a FAFSA application to be considered for any federal assistance and if you qualify, special state grants and scholarships. This step cannot be omitted. If you need help, please contact the Financial Aid Office. When completing the tax section of this application, it is highly recommended that you import and do not change your Tax Return Information from the IRS. If you have previously completed a FAFSA and need to renew for the next year, or need to make a correction on your FAFSA, go to https://studentaid.gov click on the downward arrow next to “APPLY FOR AID” and click on “Complete the FAFSA form”. Next, click on the “LOG IN” button under “Returning User?”

3. Complete Loan Entrance Counseling.
Go to https://studentaid.gov and click on the downward arrow next to “Complete Aid Process”, click on Complete Entrance Counseling. Sign in using the blue “Log In” button. Follow the screen prompts to complete the Entrance Counseling. For a demonstration of the Entrance Counseling, scroll down the page to the blue “LOG IN TO START” button, and click on Start Demo.

4. Complete a Master Promissory Note.
SCHOOL CODE – 040413 (Required for Student Loans)
Sign-in to the https://studentaid.gov website and click on the downward arrow next to “Complete Aid Process”, click on “Complete Master Promissory Note”, You will LOG IN to “MPN for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans”. Follow the prompts.

Exit Counseling

The Federal Government requires that all Federal Stafford Loan borrowers who withdraw or graduate complete an Exit Counseling Session. This session is designed to provide borrowers with important information regarding rights and responsibilities as well as repayment information. Exit Counseling is also a graduation requirement for all programs and MUST be completed before students complete their program of enrollment.

BEFORE BEGINNING THIS PROCESS, gather the following information because you will need to enter it on the Student Information Form.

  • your permanent address & phone number (If this is new information, you must contact your servicer to update your record.) Data entered on this form is used for tracking purposes only.
  • your driver’s license number
  • the complete name, address, and phone number of your next of kin
  • the complete name, addresses, and phone numbers of 2 other references

You should receive repayment information from your loan servicer approximately 3 months after you leave school. If you do not receive this information, it is your responsibility to contact your servicer before the end of your 6-month grace period to arrange for the repayment of your loan.  

It is important that you plan for the repayment of your loan. You will have the opportunity to estimate your monthly payment as you proceed through the online exit counseling session. If you don’t know your outstanding Stafford Loan balance but know who your loan is serviced through, you can contact them directly to receive your outstanding balance. If you do not know the name of your loan servicer and/or guarantor, you may search using the National Student Loan System at:

https://studentaid.gov

At the end of the exit counseling session, you will be asked to complete a Student Information Form. You must provide all required information. When you have entered the required information and it has been accepted, you will receive a congratulations page stating that you have successfully completed your exit counseling. You can print this page for your records. At this point, you have successfully completed the session and your information is available to the Office of Financial Aid.

FAQ’S For Financial Aid

Numerous inquiries are made by students and their parents about financial aid programs available at our school. In anticipation of some of the questions you may have, the following information is provided for you to review:

Applying for Federal Financial Aid

Loans

Scholarships

The term “scholarship” can have many meanings. At its most basic, a scholarship is money for college that you will not be expected to repay. Scholarships are worth seeking!

Outside scholarships may be available to students whose parents work for a particular company or to students who are eligible for scholarships sponsored by church or civic organizations.  You should also become familiar with any scholarships available through your company or community.

Application to Complete Web Site Address Technical Support
Master Promissary Note www.studentloans.gov 800-433-3243
FAFSA Application www.FAFSA.ed.gov 800-433-3243
Loan Entrance Counseling
Direct Stafford Loan Application
Direct PLUS Loan Pre-approval
Direct PLUS Loan Application
www.studentloans.gov 800-433-3243
Loan Exit Counseling www.studentloans.gov 800-433-3243

 

 For Questions Regarding: Office to Call E-Mail Phone
Financial Aid
Packaging/Disbursing
Financial Aid Specialist Vickie Foreman
vickie.foreman@berkscareer.com
610-743-7630
Admissions, Registration
and Enrollment Information
Continuing Education Administator Kim DeHart
kim.dehart@berkscareer.com
610-987-2708

 

 

 For Questions Regarding: Agency to Call Phone
Tax Transcripts IRS 800-829-1040
www.irs.gov
Status Information Letter or Waiver Selective Services 847-688-6888
703-605-4100
Correction of Social Security discrepancies Social Security Administration 717-299-5261
Information on all of your Title IV Funding National Student Loan Data System https://nslds.ed.gov/npas/index.htm

CARES Act Communication

As required by guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education on May 6, 2020, Berks Career and Technology Center (“BCTC”) provides this initial report describing the use of funds distributed from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to the School.

 Student Emergency Relief Funds

  1. Berks Career and Technology Center has returned the signed Certification and Agreement for the Education Emergency Relief Funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. Berks Career and Technology Center will use no less than 50% of the maximum allocation it receives under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act for Education Emergency Relief Grants to eligible students attending programs approved for Federal Financial Aid.
  2. BCTC has received $17,733 from the Department of Education to use for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  3. BCTC has been reviewing evolving federal guidance and is working to developing an infrastructure to deliver Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students. As of June 2, 2020, BCTC has distributed $0 of Emergency Financial Aid Grants under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. It is anticipated that grants will begin to be distributed to eligible students on or around July 9, 2020.
  4. BCTC estimates that 22 students, as of June 1, 2020, are eligible to participate in programs under section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act and are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants. Another 8 students have been given the opportunity to file a FAFSA to become eligible to receive emergency Financial Aid Grants.
    Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds Update:  As of July 9, 2020, BCTC has distributed $15,586.39 of the Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1)of the Cares Act, to 20 students.  It is anticipated the remaining $2150.00 will be distributed to remaining eligible students by July 23, 2020.   As of August 6, 2020, BCTC has distributed $17,736.39 of the Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the Cares Act to 22 students.
  5. The methods BCTC used to determine which students will receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they will receive under section 18004(a)(1) of the Cares Act are as follows:

Student Eligibility

To receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants, students must be:

  1. In an active category of attendance or in a traditional leave of absence as of June 2, 2020;
  2. Eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act. We will verify this by confirming the student has a valid ISIR on file.
  3. Enrolled in an eligible Title IV program.

Grant Amount – Methodology

To calculate the grant amount:

  1. Students indicating special hardship due to the COVID-19 will receive an additional $200
  2. Students with a Zero EFC on the 2019-2020 ISIR will receive an additional $200
  3. After the above is calculated, the remaining funds will be divided among the eligible students based on the student’s number of hours effected by the mandatory closing of the school and transfer to online training.
  4. The maximum a student will receive is $1129.00
  5. The minimum a student will receive is $438.00
  6. BCTC has provided the following instructions, directions, and guidance to students concerning Emergency Financial Aid Grants:

Institutional Funds