How to Apply | ECTC

How to Apply

Eligibility Requirements

In order to determine your financial aid eligibility, you must be fully admitted to ECTC. You must also complete the FAFSA each year. You will not be awarded federal financial aid until your file is complete in the ECTC Office of Financial Aid. All estimated offers are awarded under the assumption of full time enrollment. Aid will be prorated or reduced depending on the actual number of hours you are enrolled.

Basic eligibility requirements for federal aid are as follows:

  • demonstrate financial need;
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number;
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by KCTCS;
  • show you are qualified to obtain a post-secondary education by completing one of the following: a high school diploma or GED, or completed a high school education in a home school setting approved under state law,
  • be working toward an approved degree or certificate;
  • not be in default on a federal student loan or owe a Title IV repayment.

Steps to Apply for Financial aid/ Completing the FAFSA

Remember, applying for Federal Student Aid is FREE!

**Normally the FAFSA opens each year on October 1st, but recent changes in federal regulations have delayed the 2024-2025 FAFSA opening date until December 2023.  

The delay is due to federal changes to the FAFSA. This will NOT delay your financial aid processing for FALL 2024.**


Applying for financial aid starts with a single application called the FAFSA. Students are automatically considered for all forms of federal financial assistance.

You can start by visiting and creating your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.

It is the username and password used to log into and to electronically sign your FAFSA application.


A contributor is anyone who is asked to provide information on an applicant's FAFSA, including:

  • Student
  • Student's spouse (if applicable)
  • A Biological or adoptive parent; or
  • The spouse of a remarried parent who is on the FAFSA - the stepparent
  • Full name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Email address

*Please note that if you are new to the FAFSA application process, you will need to complete an FSA ID at least 2-3 weeks in advance to allow for processing.  The 2024-2025 FAFSA application is now open!

How to create a FSA ID:

The FSA ID a username and password must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at,,, and Agreement to Serve (ATS).

Click the link to create an FSA ID to be able to log into the above sites.
  • Enter your name, date of birth, and Social Security number
  • Create a username and password, and enter your e-mail address (required). **We recommend not using a school email.
  • Enter your permanent address and mobile phone number
  • Select your communication preferences.
  • Choose your challenge questions.
Review your information and confirm everything looks correct.

After you agree to the terms and conditions, you will need to verify your mobile number and email address. 

This will help to retrieve your username and password in the future if you forget it.

When you click Verify for each of your mobile number and email, you will receive a six-digit code, which you will enter in the box.

Be sure to save the Backup Code if you lose access to your phone number or email. You will need this when you contact FAFSA (1-800-433-3243) to reset your account.

Authenticator App is also available.

You can use your FSA ID to sign a FAFSA right away. Once the Social Security Administration verifies your information in one to three days, you will be able to use your FSA ID to access the websites listed above. For help, visit

Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at

File your FAFSA as soon after October 1st as possible or as early as possible before the semester you want to begin classes.

The FAFSA will ask you to provide federal school codes for the schools you want your FAFSA information sent to. ECTC's Federal School Code is: 001991

Once ECTC receives your FAFSA information, you will receive a FAFSA Acknowledgement email (to the email address you listed on the FAFSA) stating the information you entered has been delivered to the college.

Then check your "To-Do List" on your ECTC Student Self-Service page.  Your To-Do List will contain the necessary items needed to complete your file.

If your To-Do List contains any items, those must be completed before your financial aid can be awarded.

Verification Process

Students that were selected for the verification process after submitting their FAFSA now have a new way to complete verification. The verification process will be completed online – all forms and submissions will be uploaded into your student portal. If you have an item on your to-do list called  FINANCIAL AID ISSUE, you will need to open and click on the hyperlink in the details. After clicking the hyperlink, you will be taken to your student portal to have access to your forms. Need help? Please visit your local financial aid office or call 855-746-3282 for assistance.

Receiving Aid

You can only receive financial aid from one school at a time. If you are enrolled at ECTC and another school, you may be able to set up a consortium agreement between the schools. With a consortium agreement, you can combine the hours at both schools to determine your financial aid eligibility. For example, if you are enrolled at ECTC for nine credits and WKU for three credits, you could receive financial aid from ECTC as a full-time student: 9 credits + 3 credits = 12 credits.  All credits must be required for your ECTC degree.

How Your Awards Are Determined

Financial aid programs were created with the idea that the primary responsibility for paying college costs rests with the student and his or her family. The amount of aid for which you are eligible depends on your family's financial circumstances and resources.

Factors impacting the amount and type of financial aid you are offered include:

  • Your estimated Tuition & Costs
  • Your expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Your Financial Need (Tuition & Costs minus EFC)
  • Timing of your application
  • Your willingness to accept various types of financial aid
  • The availability of funds

Tuition & Costs

Your Tuition & Costs, also known as the student budget, is based on a number of components:

  • Direct College Related charges
    • Tuition and mandatory fees
  • Estimated Indirect Expenses
    • Transportation
    • Books and Supplies
    • Miscellaneous Personal Expenses
    • Off Campus Room and Board

Your Tuition & Costs or budget, will vary depending on your Kentucky state residency status and Dependency status.  View examples of the 2023-2024 Tuition & Costs.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

When you complete financial aid application (FAFSA), the processing agency uses the information you supply to assess your family's financial situation and calculate an estimated/expected family contribution (EFC) for you.

Your EFC is an estimate of the amount that you and your parents might be expected to contribute toward the costs of your education. Your EFC is provided to you on your Student Aid Report (which you can view on the application website after your FAFSA has been processed). NOTE: The EFC is NOT the amount you owe to your college. This is the number that is used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. This number results from the financial information you provide in your FAFSA, the application for federal student aid. Your EFC is reported to you on your Student Aid Report (SAR).

Financial Need

Once your EFC has been determined, the amount of federal, state, and institutional need-based aid you are eligible to receive is calculated using the following equation:

Tuition & Costs 
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) 
Other Financial Resources (private scholarships, fee waivers, etc.) 
= Financial Need 

The result is your financial need, which provides us with your eligibility for need-based aid. While this number represents the amount of aid you are eligible to receive based on your costs and your financial resources, the amount of aid that you will actually be awarded depends on the financial aid funds available in any given year.

The awards in your financial aid package are determined by the Financial Need formula above, and will consist of the maximum amount of subsidized and unsubsidized aid for which you qualify.

NOTE: Federal and Kentucky State Student Aid regulations require that your total financial aid cannot exceed your total Tuition & Costs.

If you are receiving additional funding from other sources, such as scholarships, we are required by the Federal and Kentucky State Student Aid Regulations to consider these resources when determining your awards. If all sources of funding do not show on your award offer, you must notify our office in writing of the amount and source of the award.

Beware of Scholarship & Financial Aid Scams

Students and parents need to be aware that there are scams involving how to complete the FAFSA and applying for scholarships.  There are telemarketers, webpages and emails dedicated to scamming students who are searching for financial aid.

Don’t Pay for FAFSA Help

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a free application.  You should never pay anyone for assistance and there is never a fee.  The official site is
  • Your college financial aid office staff will help you with complete the FAFSA application for no charge.

Don’t Pay for Scholarships

  • Ignore scholarship applications that asks for application fees, search fees or processing fees.
  • There is no such thing as a guaranteed scholarship in exchange for a fee.  Legitimate scholarships are based on merit or need, not a paid fee.
  • Don’t let the scam artists discourage you from searching for scholarships and completing the FAFSA, they can help you fund your education.  Always verify you are working with a reputable source, if the source does not offer a phone number, street address or if you have questions avoid providing your personal information.

Learn more about scholarship and financial aid scams at the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information page.