Processing Your Aid

Checking Your Status

In order to monitor your Financial Aid status and outstanding requirements, you will need to be familiar with the Alamo Colleges District’s online portal, ACES.
Alamo Colleges Educational Services (ACES) is an online portal that allows you to perform a variety of functions related to your educational pursuits. You may access the portal HERE.

ACES will help you check and obtain the following information as pertains to financial aid:

  • Student ID – you are required to have this at the time you visit or call the Student Financial Aid offices
  • Unsatisfied Financial Aid Requirements
  • Document Status
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Status
  • Award Summary
  • Account Summary
Where exactly can I find my financial aid information on ACES?

Once logged in, all information can be found in the Financial Aid Checklist section of the 'My Page' tab.

What is my ACES e-mail?

Your ACES e-mail, which can also be accessed through ACES, will be the official mode of communication between you and the Alamo Colleges District. It is important for you to check your ACES e-mail on a regular basis; failure to do so could result in missed deadlines, unsatisfied requirements, or other important updates.

I turned in my documents but ACES still lists them as incomplete (red flags).

The status for your documents will remain unsatisfied (or a red flag) until each document is reviewed by the financial aid office and completed. Once you see all statuses updated to a check mark, this means your documents are processed and an eligibility determination can be made on whether you qualify for aid. 

Verification

Verification is a review process in which the Student Financial Aid office determines the accuracy of various data elements reported by you/your parent on the FAFSA.
The U.S. Department of Education selects approximately 30% of all aid applicants for verification. The verification process ensures that you receive all the financial aid you are entitled to receive and prevents ineligible students from receiving aid they are not entitled to receive.
Those selected are required to complete the verification process before financial aid eligibility can be determined.

If chosen for verification, documents will be requested through your student portal, ACES.

Steps to complete Verification:

  1. Access ACES
  2. Check Financial Aid Checklist section of ‘My Page’ for unsatisfied requirements
  3. Complete all PDF(s)/DocuSign documents requested
  4. Submit all requested documents to your college’s financial aid office. Remember to bring appropriate proof of identity if required to complete the Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose form.

Click HERE for a list of all Priority Dates and Deadlines.

The last day of the term for which you are enrolled in an academic year is the final date to submit verification documents.
Verification documents for the current academic year may be submitted at any point during the academic year, however, you will not receive a financial aid award until you have completed this process

How do I know if I was selected for the Verification Process?

Look for an asterisk* on the Student Aid Report (SAR) sent to the e-mail address you provided on your FAFSA. Your ACES portal will also list unsatisfied requirements (as red flags) in the Financial Aid Checklist section of the 'My Page' tab.

What if I was not selected?

If you are not selected, you could still be asked to provide other information to complete your file. Your ACES Financial Aid Checklist displays any required documents or additional information needed. 

What unsatisfied requirements will I see in ACES?

The financial aid office will post all required documents to your ACES portal. 

What is a tax return transcript?

A tax return transcript is an official document from the IRS listing all income tax information. Information on how to obtain a transcript is listed below.

How can I obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS?

You may obtain a Tax Return Transcript either by logging into the IRS website HERE, or by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.

Can I submit a 1040 or tax transcript from a third party agency (H&R Block, TurboTax)?

No. Tax Return Transcripts are again required to complete federal verification. Information on how to obtain a transcript is listed below. 

What if I did not file taxes?

Independent students and parents of dependent students who are subject to verification and who did not file taxes, regardless of the amount of income (even zero), will be required to submit a Verification of Non-Filing (VONF) letter from the IRS. To obtain a VONF, go to www.IRS.gov and complete IRS Form 4506-T. Select Box 7 and submit the letter with your verification documents when received. 

What if I am undocumented and cannot request a Verification of Nonfiling Letter (VONF) from the IRS?

Verification of Non-Filing Letter (VONF) from the IRS?
Individuals without a Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or Employer Identification Number (EIN) must provide a signed and dated statement certifying they do not have any of these. In addition, they will need to list the sources and amounts of earnings, other income, and resources used to support the household for the tax year. If applicable, a copy of the W-2, 1099, or other equivalent document for each source of employment must be provided.

How long does verification take to process?

If you submitted your completed verification documents by the Priority Date, your documents will be reviewed and eligibility determined before classes begin.
For students who are not priority applicants, the verification process can take up to six (6) weeks. Visit the Priority Date page for more information on non-priority date applicants.

How can I monitor the status of my verification?

Once documents are submitted you can monitor the status of verification by going to your ACES portal.  

What is DocuSign?

DocuSign is a process that allows students and parents to electronically fill out and sign required verification documents in their ACES account, and subsequently send them to the district financial aid office for processing. 

How do I sign a DocuSign Document?

For instructions on signing a DocuSign document, please see the tutorial here, or video tutorial here,  

May I still submit a paper copy of my verification form, or do I have to use DocuSign?

Yes, you still have the option to obtain and submit a paper copy of any requested form from your College's Financial Aid office.

How long after I submit my documents via DocuSign will my status change in my ACES portal?

After submitting your electronic documents, please allow up to 6 days for your status to be updated in ACES.

What are some common mistakes when submitted documents to the financial aid office?

Missing Banner ID on all documents, unsigned documents, missing documents, unreadable documents, incomplete documents, and unresolved issues on your FAFSA.

Financial Aid Disbursement & Refunds

Financial Aid will be credited directly to your student billing account no sooner than ten (10) days prior to the first day of class each semester, provided you have completed all eligibility requirements.
If your aid is not disbursed, please log in to your ACES portal to check any outstanding financial aid requirements or messages.

Refunds are handled by the Business Office, and generally post 3-5 days after the refund amount appears on your ACES billing account.
For more information on Refunds, please visit the Refunds webpage.
For more information on billing and payments, please visit the Business Office website.

Helpful Refund and Payment Information:

  • The Alamo Colleges District may, by Federal Regulation, use up to $200.00 of a student's current year funds to pay for a prior year's charges of tuition, fees and other educational related charges. The prior year repayment cannot include repayment of a student loan or non-educational related charges.
  • If your financial aid has not been processed or you still have a balance after tuition has been deducted from your award, check the Business Office Payment Calendar and resolve any balance by the necessary date to avoid being dropped for non-payment.
  • If you need to set up a tuition payment plan, you can do so through the Virtual Business Office.
I have an award posted, will I be dropped from my classes?

No, students who have an award posted to their ACES Award Summary will be protected until the award credits to pay tuition. 

If I do not have an award posted what should I do?

Students who applied for financial aid after the Priority Date and are still being processed will need to make payment arrangements until their financial aid application is processed and eligibility determined. 

If I receive my award after I've paid my tuition or signed up for a payment plan will I be reimbursed?

Students whose financial aid award credits after tuition has been paid in full will be reimbursed up to the amount of financial aid for which they qualify. Students who are paying through a payment plan will see their award credit toward any remaining balance first, and then will be reimbursed up to the amount of financial aid for which they qualify.