1 Financial Aid 101 Orange High School February 3, 2015 Please sign in!
2 The Order of Things Most adults first identify a goal (buy a car, take a vacation, pay for college, etc). Their second thought is usually, How much does it cost? (When it comes to paying for college, their third is often, Are you kidding? ) BUT, College admissions and financial aid work differently. After deciding to go to college, the student must find a college that fits one that has a major the student likes, one that meets other requirements (location, size, activities, etc), AND one which will accept the student. ( All this is usually done in the fall.) Then, in the winter comes the time to apply for fin aid, even if the student has not yet heard the college s admission decision.
3 TWO Types of Aid Need Based Aid Based on family s need, on fed and state deadlines, and on college s ability to provide Available to those with financial need regardless of gpa, special talents, etc. Can be free money, (grants or scholarships) or other selfhelp (loans or part-time jobs) Merit Aid Based on special talents, such as academics/gpa, athletics, fine arts, leadership, citizenship, or specific achievement Usually, available to the best applicant regardless of need Always free, but some may include expectations and opportunities (internships, research, or travel)
4 So, where does all this money come from, anyway? The parents and student are the primary stake-holders and are expected to provide as much as possible. Today, very few get the free ride common just a few years ago. The federal gov t provides more than $169,732,000,000 per yr. The state of NC helps NC students at NC colleges. Each college provides aid to its students. (Colleges, like families, vary in the amount of help they can give.) Private sources (companies, foundations, individuals, etc) provide over 1,500,000 scholarships from small to large. OK, great! So, how do I get my share?
5 The Magic Formula of Fin Aid COA The Cost of Attendance Minus - EFC Need Expected Family Contribution Equals Your Fin Aid Need
6 The Cost of Attendance Includes: Tuition and Fees Room and Board Books and Supplies Personal Expenses Transportation Total Costs will vary from college to college and at each college, depending on where you live (on, or off campus, at home) 1/2 the total is paid each semester (in July for fall, Dec for spring) Only T/F and R/B is paid to the college. B/S are paid to the bookstore. PE/T are flexible and pay as you go. You cannot receive more need-based fin aid than your need. BUT the higher the total costs, the higher your need will be and the more aid you can get!
7 Item So, show me some specifics! Alamance CC (living at home) UNC-Charlotte (on campus) Elon U (on campus) Tuition/Fees $2,190 $6,277 $31,247 Room/Board - 9,270 10,667 Books/Supplies 800 1, Personal Expenses 800 2,306 1,500 Transportation ,100 Total COA $4,540 $20,011 $45,414
8 The Expected Family Contribution The EFC is a 5 digit number between and There is no dollar sign ($), but you will read it as dollars. It is the federal gov t s estimate of how much you can pay towards college costs next year. If your EFC is 05001, you will be expected to pay $5,001. It is based on parents and student s last year s income, usually as reported on the federal income tax returns. (Student claims 0 dependents, so parent can still claim him/her.) Your EFC can change from year to year depending on your income. But each year s EFC will not change due to the different COAs at different colleges. You will get your EFC when you complete the FAFSA.
9 What is the FAFSA? FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Note the Free. You do not have to pay to apply for fin aid. In addition to federal aid, it is also used to determine state aid, some institutional aid, and occasionally private source aid. Do not complete it until Jan 1 or after, to determine your EFC for the following school year. Since some monies are limited, the earlier you apply, the more money you may get. All colleges are required to use this form. Some will want additional info and may require the CSS Profile. It is not free, but your guidance counselor may be able to get your fee waived. You must re-apply for aid each year.
10 Completing the FAFSA Step One: Relax! And keep a record! This process is no longer that complicated any college bound high school senior can (and should) do it. But, please, do not rely on your memory. Write down PINs and PWs; make paper copies of your application and keep them! Step Two: Get your Income Tax Returns Done Whether you do it yourself or pay someone else, both students who work and parents need to file returns, then wait about two weeks for your returns to get in the system.
11 Completing the FAFSA, cont. Step Three: Get your PINs Go to The PIN is a 4 digit number you select as your signature. When told to sign the application, you will type in that number. The student and one parent will each need one. Your PIN will remain valid from year to year, so don t forget it! Click apply now and provide the usual info (bd, ssn, etc) Step Four: Starting the FAFSA Go to Click start a new FAFSA and begin. You can save and exit at any time and return later to complete it. Remember that you always refers to the student. Especially when parents fill it out for the student, they often forget this and put in their own info (bd, ssn, etc) when it should be the student s. It s the most common mistake made in completing the FAFSA!
12 Completing the FAFSA, cont Step Five: Linking to the IRS Entering your Financial Info: After a few questions ( Filed your tax return yet? ) you will be asked to link to the IRS and have your financial info entered directly by them. Do it! This is why the FAFSA is so much easier than it used to be. Also, if the IRS completes this part, you will not need to verify your financial info, a step that is complicated and takes a lot of time. Most important Tip of the Night: In order to link to the IRS, you must enter your address exactly as it is on your return. To the computer, 123 E Main St. is different from 123 East Main St., or even 123 E Main St (no period).
13 Completing the FAFSA, cont. Step Six: Finishing the FAFSA The computer program will not let you proceed if you have left something blank; but it can t know if you entered something incorrectly. It is always best to check your responses for accuracy before submitting. Once the app is submitted, you will automatically and immediately get an SAR (Student Aid Report) which contains all your responses, info about the colleges you re interested in, and (in small print towards the end) your EFC! Even though you can return any time to view your SAR or edit/correct your app, I strongly encourage you to print out a paper copy and keep it along with your PINs and PWs!
14 Now figure your Fin Aid Need Item Alamance CC (living at home) UNC-Charlotte (on campus) Elon U (on campus) Tuition/Fees $2,190 $6,277 $31,247 Room/Board - 9,270 10,667 Books/Supplies 800 1, Personal Expenses 800 2,306 1,500 Transportation ,100 Total COA $4,540 $20,011 $45,414 My EFC 5,001 5,001 5,001 My Fin Aid Need No need 15,010 40,413
15 How much Fin Aid will you get? Unfortunately, you may not get all the aid you need. Most colleges cannot supply 100% of every student s need. But don t just wait, idly hoping. Go to Enter the name of your college in the college search box. Click search, then scroll to the bottom of the At a Glance page. Under Quick Facts, it will tell you that the average award at East Carolina, for example, is $10,296 and that ECU meets an average of 65% of financial need not great! Not enough? Then it s time to find some private source scholarships to apply for! Check with your counselor about local scholarships and complete an online (free!) search.
16 More Resources specific to North Carolina; info on colleges, costs, scholarship search, a short course on financial literacy info on colleges, careers, costs, SAT test prep, scholarship and fin aid, everything! to get PINs and to apply free scholarship search government site with complete info about types and sources of student aid
17 On the back of this is a blank table you can use to record your COAs at three different colleges, your EFC and Need, plus your award amounts and any discrepancies. Thank you for joining us tonight. Any questions?
18 Item College 1 College 2 College 3 Tuition/Fees Room/Board Books/Supplies Personal Expenses Transportation Total COA My EFC My Fin Aid Need My Award Under (-) or Over (+)