Accepting & Receiving Financial Aid

Once you’ve completed your FAFSA and submitted all the documents, you will need to be aware of your responsibilities and rights in accepting or rejecting your loans, as well as the options available to you, depending on the funding you are awarded.

Financial Aid Award Letter

You’ll receive a Financial Aid Award Letter via My Gateway after Gateway processes your FAFSA and all required forms and documents. The letter shows the amounts of financial aid for which you’re eligible, subject to change based upon actual enrollment at the time of calculation and final enrollment on the census date for a specified academic year.

Accepting or Rejecting Loans

Students need to accept or reject loan funding as desired on My Gateway. Remember, you can borrow less than your original loan offers and can request more loan funds later if you need to. You should borrow only what you need. Please contact the financial aid office if you would like to change the amounts of your loan offer. Students accepting loans at Gateway for the first time also must  complete entrance counseling and sign their Master Promissory Note on studentloans.gov. Note that to sign in you will need to use your FSA ID.

Bookstore Authorizations

If your financial aid award is greater than the cost of classes, the remaining funds available will be available within 24 hours after your financial aid award posts during the bookstore authorization dates to use at the campus bookstore or on eFollett.com for purchasing or renting college-related materials. Students are responsible for costs exceeding financial aid funding. Students who are Pell-eligible do have the right to opt out of bookstore purchases by requesting an early disbursement portion of their Pell grant to purchase books from an alternate source.

Census Date

Register for classes prior to the semester Census Date. Financial aid is based on the fundable credits students are enrolled in and attending by the Census Date, defined as 14 calendar days from the semester start. Adjustments will not be made if a student adds a class(es) after this date. Financial aid cannot be disbursed to a student who is not attending class(es) by the Census Date. The award will be recalculated for any class(es) "dropped" (D) or "withdrawn" if the student "never attended."

Disbursement & Refund Dates

After student attendance/enrollment is verified on the census date, Gateway begins disbursing Federal and/or State funds to student accounts according to the Important Dates page. Gateway will apply half of your loan funds for each eligible semester to your student account on the first and second disbursement dates listed on the Important Dates page. Funds in excess of charges will be refunded to the student based on the student’s selected refund preference with BankMobile.

Withdrawal & Return of Federal Funds

If you formally withdraw or receive all “F” grades for a semester, you may be responsible for returning federal financial aid that you have received, including Pell Grants, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, subsidized or unsubsidized Direct Student Loans or PLUS Loans for parents. 

Read more about key dates and responsibilities on our Title IV Funds return FAQ.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal Student Aid requires schools to maintain a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy to ensure that students progress through their program(s) as a condition of receiving aid. Gateway’s calculations include all credits attempted at or transferred to Gateway Technical College, regardless of financial aid accepted. Each student's SAP Status is calculated upon receipt of their FAFSA and after each semester. Students who do not meet SAP requirements are notified via their student email account.

Learn how Gateway calculates your SAP.