Applying for Aid

CCC Title IV Federal School Code: 003189

The primary responsibility for meeting college costs rests with students and their families.

Clatsop Community College recognizes that many individuals cannot assume the full financial burden of a college education. For this reason, financial aid is available to help bridge the gap between the costs of education and the available student and/or family resources. Our goal is to assist students in accessing federal and state funding sources to assist in meeting the costs of their educational goals.

Summer 2023 – June 3rd.          Term starts July 3rd.

Fall 2023 – August 25th.              Term starts September 25th.

Winter 2024 – December 8th.   Term starts January 8th.

Spring 2024 – March 1st.            Term starts April 1st.

Students who start the financial aid process by the above dates can expect a response from Clatsop Financial Aid within two weeks. Many students will need to provide additional information. By applying by the above dates CCC can have time to process your financial aid and provide a financial aid award including are types of financial aid you are eligible for.

The following are simple steps to start and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Create a Federal Student Aid ID to get access to the online system.
  • Gather the necessary documents including:
    Social Security number,
    last year’s federal income tax returns,
    W-2 forms,
    records of untaxed income,
    bank statements,
    records of investments
  • List Clatsop on the FAFSA.
  • Complete the FAFSA as close to Oct. 1 as possible as some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Important Note:

Clatsop Financial Aid does not make any offer of assistance until all required documents have been received and processed.  Delays in responding to correspondence can affect the amount of aid a student receives, regardless of the date the student applies for financial aid.

Help with the Financial Aid Process

Apply for federal and state financial aid by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at

Your first step is to complete a FAFSA every year as early as possible!

The next step will be to check your email often as all CCC correspondence will be via the email address you list on your FAFSA. You will receive further information and/or requests for documents from CCC to complete your application.

Important note:  Your financial aid award is not only based on your FAFSA information and the date you complete it but also on the date you complete all other CCC requirements.

The FAFSA process will direct financial aid applicants and their parents to retrieve certain income information that they had reported on their last year’s federal tax returns directly from the IRS. Then, they can automatically transfer that information to the FAFSA.

This is referred to as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), and it was designed to provide an easier way for students and parents to provide tax information accurately. The FAFSA form will provide information and instructions to applicants about the DRT throughout the online application process.

The 7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA is a great tutorial that talks you through the sections of the FAFSA in easy-to-understand steps.  It is a great reference to use before completing your FAFSA to assist you with understanding the questions and the financial aid process.

The US Department of Education requires institutions disbursing federal financial aid funds to verify the accuracy of the information students and their parents submit. Clatsop Community College complies with this requirement and approximately 30% of all applicants are selected for verification when their FAFSA is processed.

Please note that the Financial Aid Office will be corresponding with you via your email address that you used on your FAFSA, and emails will have “Fin Aid Mail” on the subject line.

It is very important that you check your email often to avoid delays in processing your aid.

If you are selected for verification, you will need to submit additional documents and verify information that was originally reported on your FAFSA. An email will be sent to you directing you to go to your MyCCC account and click on the “What is Needed to Complete My Award” link.

This will list the additional information required and allow you to print out needed forms. The most common documents needed for verification are a “verification worksheet” and an IRS tax return or transcript from last year.

CCC does not complete a financial aid Award Letter until all requested documents have been received. It is important that you respond promptly to any request for information as the processing of your application cannot continue until all required items have been submitted.

Once documents are reviewed, CCC will make any necessary corrections to your FAFSA on your behalf and notify you by email when your Award Letter is completed. The email will instruct you to go to your MyCCC account and click on “What Has Been Awarded to Date” to see your current Award Letter.

When completing the FAFSA, student and parents will need to use their last year’s income information. This information can be copied from your tax return and other income related documents.

NOTE: It is extremely important to check your email often.

If you were unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (or if you chose not to use the retrieval tool) when you filed your FAFSA, you can request an IRS tax return transcript online, by telephone, or by mail.  

The simple instructions for each are below.  (Note that if an amended return was filed, a Tax Return Transcript AND a Tax Account Transcript are needed.)

IMPORTANT:  The IRS will only issue one copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript, so be sure to keep a copy for your records.

Online:  Receive instant access to your PDF Tax Return Transcript or request a paper Tax Return Transcript by mail.

  • Available on the IRS web site at
  • In the “Tools” section of the homepage, select “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records”
  • Select “Get Transcript ONLINE” or “Get Transcript by Mail”   

~If selecting “Get Transcript ONLINE”, you will need to create an account and follow the steps to receive instant access to a PDF of your Tax Return Transcript.  Be sure to choose “Return Transcript”.

~If selecting “Get Transcript by MAIL”, enter your information and select “Return Transcript” as the type of transcript requested.  Transcripts arrive in 5 to 10 calendar days.

By Telephone:  Receive a paper copy of your Tax Return Transcript by contacting the IRS.

  • Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
  • Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their social security number and street address.
  • Select “Option 2” to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript and then enter the appropriate tax year.  (Amended filers will also choose the IRS Tax Account Transcript option.)
  • If successfully validated, you can expect to receive the paper Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in the telephone request within 5 to 10 calendar days from the time the IRS receives the request.

By Mail:  Receive a paper copy of your Tax Return Transcript by downloading, completing and mailing the 4506T-EZ form to the IRS (or form 4506-T for amended returns).

  • IRS form 4506T-EZ should be used instead of 4506T- because it is the simplest way to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.  (If an amended return was filed, an IRS Form 4506-T must be used).
  • Download the Paper Request 4506T-EZ form at

    Fill out the form completely. 
    Note that Line 5 provides tax filers with the option to have their IRS Tax Return Transcripts mailed directly to a third party by the IRS.  You should not use this option so that you are able to copy it for your records before submitting.

  • Mail or fax the completed IRS form to the appropriate address or fax number provided on page 2 of the form.
  • If successfully validated, you can expect to receive the transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes the request.

    NOTE:  processing form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information provided on the form.  If any information does not match IRS records, the IRS will notify you that it was not able to provide the transcript.

When filling out the tax filer’s address, use the address currently on file with the IRS.  Generally, this will be the address that was listed on the last tax return filed.  However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.

If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive their transcript 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their request.  NOTE:  processing Form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information proved on the form.  If any information does not match IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it was not able to provide the transcript.

When you apply for federal student aid, it must be determined if you are considered a dependent or independent student.

The US Department of Education has specific criteria that determines your status. The FAFSA will ask a series of questions that will help you determine your status and will guide you through the application process.

These questions have to do with:

  • Your age
  • Being in a graduate program (beyond a bachelor’s degree)
  • Your marital status
  • Children you support
  • Legal dependents
  • Orphan or ward of the court status
  • Veteran status
  • Emancipation
  • Legal guardianship
  • Being an unaccompanied youth who is unhoused or at risk of becoming it.

    Dependent Student: If it is determined that you are a dependent student, you must report parent(s) income and assets as well as your own. Living away from your parent(s) has nothing to do with this determination. It is determined only by your answers to the type of questions listed above and others such as being a Ward of the Court will require additional documentation by the Financial Aid Office to confirm. 

Federal aid programs are based on the concept that a dependent student’s parent(s) have the primary responsibility for their children’s education. If you do not meet the independent student criteria, parent information is required.

If your parent(s) refuse to fill out the FAFSA form, we encourage you to explain that your ability to receive aid is being harmed by their refusal to fill out this form. You might also assure them that providing parental information and signing the FAFSA does not make them responsible for any loans you may borrow. 

Independent Student: If it is determined you are an independent student, you are required to report only your income and assets (and your spouse’s, if applicable). 

Dependency Override information for extenuating circumstances: The federal government’s regulations on dependency overrides are strict; however, there may be extenuating circumstances when a student should be considered independent. Extenuating circumstances are situations of an abusive home environment or abandonment. These situations are considered on a case-by-case basis and must be documented.

If you have extenuating circumstances that apply to you, please complete the Request for Independent Status form or contact Financial Aid if you have further questions.

Please note that dependency overrides are NOT considered for the following reasons:

  • Parents’ refusal to contribute to student’s education.
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information.
  • Parents do not claim the student for income tax purposes.
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.

The formula used to determine eligibility for federal student aid is basically the same for all applicants.  However, if the information provided on your FAFSA has changed significantly since you applied, you may request a review of some situations.  The two forms below are used for this purpose and can be found on our Forms & Publications page.  

Review each form carefully for the type of circumstances, timelines and documentation eligible for review.

Special Circumstances form – This form is used to request a review of your financial aid eligibility as a result of changes in financial circumstances which occurred after you filed your FAFSA.  These would be situations such as a loss or reduction in benefits, a separation or divorce, death of a parent or spouse, or unusually high medical expenses not covered by insurance.  Adequate documentation to support your circumstances must be attached. 

If you are requesting an adjustment for lost wages, do not use this form.  You would be referred to the Employment Income Adjustment form below.

Employment Income Adjustment form – This form is used to request a review of your financial aid eligibility as a result of loss or reduction of employment for you, your spouse (and/or your parents) during the calendar year that follows the base year your FAFSA gathers. 

Example:  The 2020-2021 FAFSA gathers your 2019 income information.  Beginning January 2021, you may submit this form with documentation of your 2020 income information such as 2020 taxes and W-2’s if you had a significant reduction in income from what you originally reported in 2019.  

CCC financial aid does not base financial aid adjustments on projections or estimates for future income so documentation will be required.  Your situation will be reviewed and if an adjustment is warranted, it will be retroactive to the first term you attended in the academic year.

Note:  Submission of either form does not ensure a change or increase in your award.  You will be notified of the results. The review process may take several weeks.