Student Financial Aid


We believe that no student should be restricted from attending school and receiving desired education because of limited financial resources. If you need help paying for college or career school, the office of Federal Student Aid can assist you with getting the money you need. Financial aid gives all students the opportunity to attend school regardless of their family’s financial status by making up the difference between the cost and what the family can afford.

Helpful Video – Types of Federal Student Aid


Federal student aid is financial aid from the federal government to help you pay for education at an eligible college or career school. Financial aid is meant to assist students with educational and cost-of-living expenses. Funds are awarded primarily on the basis of FINANCIAL NEED, and are coordinated to supplement parental support, student employment earnings and savings.

Cutting Edge Academy is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to offer federal financial aid to qualifying students through Title IV of the Higher Education Act for Cosmetology and Skin Care Specialty programs.

Title IV funds consists of federal GRANTS, which are not repaid, and low-interest federal student LOANS, which are repaid at affordable monthly payments starting six months after leaving school.

Helpful Link – Myths About Financial Aid

Helpful Video – Myths About Financial Aid

Helpful Video - Overview of the Financial Aid Process


Most students are ELIGIBLE to receive financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college or career school. Your age, race, or field of study will not affect your eligibility for federal student aid. While your income is taken into consideration, it does not automatically prevent you from getting federal student aid.

To receive federal student aid you will need to:

  • Be as U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Hold a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a certificate in an eligible program
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress and at least a half-time status
  • Be registered with Selective Services if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25
  • Sign a Statement of Education Purpose and a Certificate Statement on overpayment and default

Helpful Link – Financial Aid and Undocumented Students



Federal Student Aid is awarded on the basis of financial need. FINANCIAL NEED is the difference between your cost of education at Cutting Edge Academy and an amount (determined by the government) that you and your family are expected to contribute towards your education. A standard formula used for all applicants determines this amount, which is called the EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC).
The information you report on your FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) is used to calculate your contribution. The amount remaining after subtraction of the expected contribution from your cost of education is considered your financial need.




The first step toward getting federal student aid for college or career school is to complete the FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free, quick and gives you access to the largest source of financial aid for college or career school.

Helpful Video – FAFSA Overview


By completing this form, you’re submitting your required financial information for processing, so we can determine your eligibility for financial aid. You must reapply for federal student aid each year.

The FAFSA application can be found online at where online instructions will guide you through the process.


Helpful Video - How To Fill Out The FAFSA



1. Creating FSA ID

1. Creating FSA ID

Prior starting your FAFSA you will be prompted to create an FSA ID (your Username and Password) that replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN at

This step is critical as the FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature.


Helpful Video - How To Create FSA ID

2. Required Information

2. Required Information

To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Your most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
  • Both 2016-2017 FAFSA and 2017-2018 FAFSA require the same 2015 Federal Tax Return
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID to sign electronically.

If you are a DEPENDENT student , then you will also need most of the above information for your parent(s).

3. Dependency Status Determination

3. Dependency Status Determination

Information about whether a student is considered “dependent” for purposes of the FAFSA, as well as who is considered a parent on the FAFSA, can be found at or

Helpful Video – FAFSA: Determining Your Dependency Status

4. Parents Information

4. Parents Information

Students and parents of dependent students need their own FSA IDs to electronically sign and submit the FAFSA. It’s very important that you and your child each create and use your own, separate FSA IDs. Creating an FSA ID for your child, or having your child create an FSA ID for you, could cause problems with your child’s financial aid.

If you are the parent of more than one dependent student, you will use your FSA ID to sign each child’s FAFSA.

This following video helps parents navigate the FAFSA process: from logging in, to filling out, and to signing your child’s FAFSA using your FSA ID.

Helpful Video – FAFSA and FSA ID for Parents


5. Federal School Code 042604

5. Federal School Code 042604

To ensure we are able to properly process your FAFSA, make sure your FAFSA application includes the federal school code for Cutting Edge Academy:

Cutting Edge Academy Federal School Code:

This code will be used by the federal processor to ensure we receive you FAFSA results, which will determine you federal eligibility. Our Financial Aid Office will be able to help you review your results and to determine how much student aid you are eligible to receive.

You may apply for financial aid at the same time you apply for admission to Cutting Edge Academy. The school may make a financial determination prior to you starting the program. However, no financial aid payments will be made until you have started you classes.

6. Verification Process

6. Verification Process

About 30% of all FAFSA filers are selected for verification. Verification is the process your school uses to confirm that the date reported on your FAFSA is accurate. To be selected does not mean you are being accused of doing anything wrong. Applications are selected at random.

If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded. All verification documentation will be required to be submitted within thirty (30) days from the date of notification by the Financial Aid Office. Failure to submit the required verification documents within the thirty (30) day period will result in withholding of financial aid funds and the student will be required to make payments to the academy in lieu of these funds.

The Financial Aid Office may be required to verify the following data elements on your FAFSA:

  • Adjusted Gross Income (parent and student, if the student is dependent)
  • Taxes Paid (parent and student, if the student is dependent)
  • Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers)
  • Certain Untaxed Income Items (parent and student, if the student is dependent)
  • Household Size
  • Number in College (excluding parents for a dependent student)
  • Receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP Benefit
  • Child Support Paid
  • Any other inconsistent or conflicting information

To verify these elements, we may ask for the following documents; however, this is not a complete list. Specific documents requested will be based on a family's individual case.

  • Federal Tax Transcripts for both parent and student, if the student is dependent OR preferably, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool from your FAFSA.
  • Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year the FAFSA and Verification process will be looking at tax information from two years prior (for example, the 2017-2018 aid year will be based on the 2015 tax year)
  • A Verification Worksheet
  • W-2s forms showing wages (parent and student if the student is dependent)
  • Statement of Child Support paid
  • Verification of Net Worth
  • Documentation of Food Stamps/SNAP Benefit


Once you fill out the initial FAFSA form, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Your SAR is a summary of the financial information you submitted. You should receive your SAR within 3 days to 3 weeks after you submitted your FAFSA. If you provided an email on your FAFSA application, a link will be emailed to you where you will find your electronic SAR. Otherwise, you will be mailed a paper copy. This will NOT tell you how much financial aid you’ll receive, however, if all of your information is correct, save this report for your records.

Helpful Link – What to Expect After the FAFSA Submission

Helpful Video – After the FAFSA: What Happens Next




  • Grants are often called “gift aid” because they are FREE MONEY.
  • It is a type of financial aid that does not have to be repaid unless you withdraw from school and will owe a refund.



Cutting Edge Academy offers FEDERAL PELL GRANTS.
  • Grants are often called “gift aid” because they are FREE MONEY.
  • It is a type of financial aid that does not have to be repaid unless you withdraw from school and will owe a refund.
  • Cutting Edge Academy is eligible to disburse one type of federal grants - PELL GRANTS
  • Pell Grants do not have to be repaid unless you withdraw from school prior completion and a refund will be due.
  • Eligibility is based on financial need.
  • Awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.
  • Award amounts increase slightly every award year.
  • The maximum award for the 2016-2017 (from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017) award year is $5815.00
  • The maximum award for the 2017-2018 (from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018) award year is $5920.00
  • The amount depends on the cost of attendance, expected family contribution, enrollment status (full or part-time) and whether you attend for a full academic year or less.
  • Maximum amounts vary per program.
  • You may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.
  • If your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, you may be eligible for additional Federal Pell Grant funds if, at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death, you were under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time.





  • Federal student loans are funded by the federal government to help pay for your education.
  • A federal student loan is BORROWED MONEY you must repay back with interest.



  • Federal student loans are often a part of the student’s financial aid package.
  • They allow students to defer the cost of their education by “borrowing now and paying later”.
  • Federal student loans are funded by the federal government to help pay for your education.
  • A federal student loan is BORROWED MONEY you must repay back with interest.
  • Cutting Edge Academy administers the WILLIAM D. FORD FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN Program, referred to as Direct Loans
  • Eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • You must be enrolled as at least a half-time student to be eligible for a loan Available types of Direct Loans:
    • Direct SUBSIDIZED Loan
      • Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
      • Our school determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need or the annual loan limit..
      • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan
        • while you are in school at least half-time,
        • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and
        • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).
      • The fixed interest rate for 2016-2017 award year is 3.76%.
      • LEARN MORE
    • Direct UNSUBSIDIZED Loan
      • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students.
      • There is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
      • A student can borrow this type of loan up to the annual loan limit to cover some or all of their school expenses.
      • The U.S. Department of Education does not pay interest.
      • The student is responsible for paying the interest that accrues on the loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full, during all periods.
      • The fixed interest rate for 2016-2017 award year is 3.76%.
      • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
      •  LEARN MORE
    • Direct Parent PLUS Loan
      • Parents of dependent students can borrow from the PLUS Loan program.
      • PLUS loan can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.
      • One of the eligibility requirements is that the applicant have a favorable credit history. A credit check is performed.
      • A repayment period begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan.
      • The fixed interest rate for 2016-2017 award year is 6.31%.
      •  LEARN MORE

      Helpful Link – Direct PLUS Loan Basics for Parents Booklet

    • Direct CONSOLIDATION Loan
      • For eligible student and parent borrowers.
      • Allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan.
      • The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments.
      • Loan consolidation can also give you access to additional loan repayment plans and forgiveness programs.
      • LEARN MORE


Helpful Link – Direct Loan Basics for Students



Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Before you can receive a federal student loan you will be required to complete and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
The MPM is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan and any accrued interest and fees to your lender. It explains the terms and conditions of your loan.
The process for completing and signing your MPN is really easy.
You will need your FSA ID to begin the process on the Federal Student Aid website found at

Helpful Link – Subsidized/Unsubsidized Master Promisory Note

Entrance and Exit Counseling

All students taking out Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are required to complete entrance and exit counseling. Students that are enrolling in school must complete entrance counseling before the first disbursement of loan money can be made. The goal of entrance counseling is to help you understand what it means to take out federal student loans. Students that are graduating or withdrawing from school must complete exit counseling. Exit counseling provides important information you will need as you prepare to repay your federal student loans, and also provides information on deferment, forbearance and cancellation options.
All entrance and exit counseling will be completed on the Federal Student Aid website found at or during in-house entrance and exit counseling.

Helpful Link – Complete Entrance Counseling 

Helpful Link – Complete Exit Counseling


Every financial aid recipient is required to have a meeting with the Cutting Edge Academy Financial Aid Director upon enrolling and separating from the school. At this time, the student is provided with information to guide them through the entrance and exit counseling process. It is the borrower’s obligation to complete the entrance and exit counseling. The Financial Aid Director is available by appointment to help the student borrower in this process and to answer any questions.

Understand Your Options And Responsibilities

Federal Student loans are an investment in your future. You should not be afraid to take out federal student loans, but you should be smart about it.
Before you take out a loan, it is important to understand that a loan is a legal obligation that you will be responsible for repaying with interest.
You do not have to accept all of the aid you are offered. When you receive an Award Letter from Financial Aid Office you will be asked to indicate which financial aid you want to accept.
We suggest only borrowing as much money as you need, even if you qualify for more, so there will be less to pay back after school.
Just like car loans and home mortgages, you cannot have these loans cancelled because you didn’t like the education you received, didn’t get the job you anticipated, or are having financial problems.

Helpful Link – Be A Responsible Borrower

Helpful Link – Repaying Your Loans

Helpful Link – Repayment Estimator

Helpful Link – Frequently Asked Questions 

Helpful Link – List of Loan Servicers 

Helpful Video – Repay Your Loans

Helpful Video – Repayment: What to Expect

Helpful Video – Repayment: What to Expect