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Determining Dependent or Independent Status

The dependency status worksheet helps students determine if parental information is required on the FAFSA.  Access the worksheet by clicking on “Determining Your Dependency Status” at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Determining Financial Need

To determine financial need, students must first complete the FAFSA (see Applying for Financial Aid link).

FAFSAs are submitted to the Department of Education (DOE) and the DOE uses the student’s information to calculate an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) number. The EFC is a measure of a family’s or individual’s (depending on dependency status) financial strength.  EFCs determine how much of the family’s resources should be available to help pay educational costs and allow the school to determine how much aid can be awarded.

Notification and Verification

Students will receive an email sent to their CFCC account when a financial aid award has been finalized.   Students not eligible for federal or state grants will also receive an email informing them of their non-eligible status.

Because students sometimes make errors when completing the FAFSA, there is a process for verifying applications and making corrections.  The U.S. Department of Education Central Processing System or CFCC selects which applicants are to be verified.  Funds cannot be disbursed to a student until the verification process has been completed.

Financial aid offices can no longer accept signed copies of federal tax returns (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) from financial aid applicants and parents for FAFSA verification purposes.

Students selected for verification must submit all required documents:

  • within 120 days of the last date of enrollment to be considered eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
  • before the last day of enrollment to be considered eligible for the Federal Direct Loan Program; the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity (FSEOG) and North Carolina state grants.
  • before they are eligible to participate in the Federal Work-Study Program.

In addition, a valid Student Aid Report must have been received from the federal processor while the student was enrolled.

The Financial Aid Office at CFCC will contact students via e-mail to request additional documents required to complete the application process.  Please respond quickly to the Financial Aid Office at CFCC.



Wilmington Campus
411 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

North Campus
4500 Blue Clay Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429

Burgaw Center
100 East Industrial Drive
Burgaw, NC 28425

Hours of Operation
Monday-Thursday: 7:30am to 5:30pm
Friday: 8:00am to 12:00pm

Accessibility Services

Cape Fear Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, political affiliation or age.