Many parents and family members stay actively involved in a student’s educational success, which sometimes includes assistance in financing collage. We’ve collected some useful information so you can learn more about the financial aid process and available options.

A Reminder about FERPA

Financial Aid Process Steps

  1. Know the application and document deadlines for financial aid at GGC.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through 
  3. Complete the GSFAPP for state scholarships and programs like HOPE and Zell Miller.
  4. Frequently login to Grizzly Den within Banner to review any unsatisfied requirements for financial aid.
  5. Submit all required documents in timely manner. If unsure of requirement, please email
  6. Watch Grizzly Den within Banner for award notification. Accept terms and conditions. If desired, students must separately accept loan awards. 
    **Student loans require additional steps for first time borrowers. First time borrowers must complete entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at
  7. Parent Loans (PLUS), if desired, require the parent to complete a PLUS Application and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at
  8. After registering for classes, monitor Grizzly Den within Banner to ensure financial aid has been authorized.

Most importantly, visit or email Financial Aid if you have questions.

Dependent or Independent?

Answering “YES” to ANY of the following questions indicates you are an independent student. You may be asked to supply additional information on your FAFSA and to our office instead of your parent(s) information. Be prepared to provide any requested documentation.

  • Will you be 24 or older by January 1? 
  • Are you married? 
  • Do you have dependents who live with you and receive more than ½ of their support from you? 
  • Since turning 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
  • Has it been determined by a court in your state of legal residence that you are an emancipated minor or that someone other than your parent or stepparent has legal guardianship of you?
  • Are you an unaccompanied homeless youth? 
  • Are you on active duty for the U.S. armed services? 
  • Are you a U.S. armed services veteran? 

Answering “NO” to ALL of the questions indicates you are a dependent student. You will need to supply your parents(s) information on your FAFSA. 

If you have more questions about Dependency Status, please visit Student Aid.

If you have special circumstances regarding your dependency status as it relates to federal aid, please contact Financial Aid directly at

Absentee Biological or Adoptive Parents

  • If both parents are deceased, was student ever in foster care or a ward of the court since the age of 13 years?
  • Is student an emancipated minor (as determined by court)?
  • Was student in a legal guardianship (not custody)?
  • Since July 1 of the previous year, was the student deemed homeless?

All of the above situations will require additional documentation to be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. Please have all court documents easily accessible.

Tax Filing Status

Financial Aid professionals are required by the US Department of Education to resolve conflicting information prior to awarding financial aid. This includes reviewing and resolving certain US income tax issues. The incorrect filing status of individual tax payers has become an increasingly problematic issue. Below are some key points to consider when filing your taxes. For more information, consult IRS Publication 501. If determined that your filing status is incorrect, you will be required to file an amended tax return.

  • If married, you must file in a married, filing joint or married, filing separate status.
  • If separated, you may be head of household, but be prepared to provide documentation that you have been separated and lived apart for the last 6 months of the tax year.
  • Be aware of what separated does NOT mean. It does not mean that a couple is living apart due to employment and therefore does not provide you an opportunity to file as head of household.

Learn more about linking your taxes to FAFSA using the IRS's Data Retrieval Tool.

Direct PLUS Loan

A Direct PLUS Loan is a federal loan program for parents to help pay for their dependent student's college. Contact Financial Aid to assist in determining how much loan is needed or desired.

Steps to Apply

  1. If you haven't already, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through You'll also need to register for an FSA ID. Here are some tips for completing the FAFSA.
  2. Login to and select "Parent Borrowers" to complete both a Direct PLUS Loan application and a PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN).