1 Applying for Financial Aid Academic Year Sean Martin Director of Financial Aid Services Telephone:
2 Where do I start? Visit college websites for: application requirements and DEADLINES Net Price Calculator On the College s website to help you determine your estimated expected family contribution (EFC) Each calculator is unique to that college s awarding policies. Outcome is a ball park -- not an offer admission or financial aid.
3 NET PRICE CALCULATOR TIPS Carefully read all instructions and pop ups. If necessary, try to guesstimate income as close as possible. OK to use calculator more than once. Don t forget untaxed income What to do if parents are divorced -- Combine income but results will not be completely accurate. Be careful what assets you put in the calculator.
4 What goes into paying for Education? Family s ability to pay Federal and State government funding College endowment size and awarding policies Outside scholarships i.e. from the community Does the college offer merit or athletic scholarships? Were the financial aid applications and supporting documentation submitted by the deadline date?
5 Definition of Financial Need Cost of Attendance LESS Expected family contribution (EFC) LESS Other financial assistance EQUALS Financial need
6 Cost of Attendance Ø Tuition Ø Room & Board Ø Books & Class Supplies Ø Transportation Ø Miscellaneous and Personal Expenses (i.e. purchase of a computer, sometimes health insurance fee, dorm room items needed)
7 Comparison of Need by Cost (Assumes full-time enrollment) 4 Year Private 4 Year Public 2 Year Public Cost of Educa,on $60,000 $25,000 $ 7,000 Expected Family Contribu,on (EFC) $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 Need $50,000 $15,000 0
8 Meeting the Full Need or Gapping College A B Cost of Education $60,000 $60,000 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) $ 10,000 $ 10,000 Need $50,000 $50,000 Aid Awarded $50,000 $35,000 Unmet Need 0 $15,000 Add this to EFC!
9 Family Contribution Components q Parent(s) 2015 income q Student s 2015 income q Parent s assets value at the time of the application Ø Exclude retirement account balance or primary residence home equity Ø Include trusts, equity value of investment properties, business net worth Ø Include 529 plans set up by parents (not UGMA/UTMA* accounts) q Student s assets value at the time of the application Ø Include trusts, if student is beneficiary and UGMA/UTMA* accounts Ø 529 plans set up by someone other than a parent q # of household members: must provide at least 50% support q # of dependents attending college (at least half-time) *UGMA/UTMA: uniform gifts to minors act/uniform transfers to minors act where the student owns the account but the parent is the custodian or administrator of the account
10 Untaxed Income Where do I find these? FROM THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN, FORM 1040 Education Credits (1040, line 50) Health Savings Account deduction (1040, line 25) Tax Exempt Interest (1040, line 8b) Untaxed portions of Pension/Annuity withdrawals (1040, line 16a 16b) Untaxed portions of Retirement account withdrawals (1040, line15a 15b) Untaxed portion of Social Security benefits (1040, line 20a 20b) IRA or SEP/SIMPLE/Qualified Plan contributions (1040, line 28 & 32) Earned Income Credit (1040, line 66a), possibly Additional Child Tax Credit (1040, line 67), possibly Maybe: depreciation from 1040, Schedule C, E or Business Income Tax Return
11 Untaxed Income Where do I find these? ADDITIONAL ITEMS NOT FOUND ON THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN, FORM 1040 Child Support Received (not on 1040) Military/Clergy* housing allowance benefit (not on 1040) Pension contributions (W2 box 12 D, E, F, G, H & S) Make sure you don t put untaxed income /assets in multiple places because it looks like extra income/assets! (i.e. retirement funds in retirement balances and in investment balances) *This includes any employer paid housing; i.e. school employees required to live on campus and not charged for that housing.
12 Federal Aid Eligibility Determined Using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) q FAFSA available 01/01/2016 on q Must be a U.S. Citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen q Formula determined by Congress q EXCLUDE: q Home Equity in your primary residence q Information about the noncustodial parent q Custodial parent and stepparent incomes are included q Parent contribution is divided by the # in college q parents in college are NOT included in this number q Must be a dependent enrolled at least half time in undergraduate or graduate studies q Unmarried but living together/same sex marriages: Income from both partners is used. q One parent & the student must create a user name and password for the FAFSA at
14 Helpful Tips When Completing the FAFSA q Print out the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet q Use your 2015 federal tax return and W2 statements. q You can also use your 2014 federal tax return IF income will be similar to Be careful! q Can use estimates in order to meet application deadline. q State of Connecticut deadline: 2/15/2016 q College Goal Sunday for help with the FAFSA January 31, 2016, 1:30-4:30 (There are some Saturday sites too.)
15 Helpful Tips When Completing the FAFSA Make sure you use your LEGAL NAME (cross checked w/ SSA) Parents and students must provide their SSNs and DOB if a parent does not have a SSN, enter zeros. When reporting assets, in addition to savings/checking and liquid (non retirement) investments, remember to include: Ø Investment (non primary residence) real estate property equity (value minus mortgage) Ø If renting out a portion of primary residence, include that % only. Ø % of ownership in legal trusts (Remember wills are not trusts.) Ø 529 College Savings Plans: Ø in parent s name -- include in parent s investment balances. Ø in name of other than parent include in student s investments. Ø Business/investment farm net worth (value minus debt) Ø not if more than 50% family owned and with less than 100 employees
16 Changing the FAFSA You can update the FAFSA for the following: adding a college updating income i.e. after income tax return is filed correcting errors It is recommended (and may be required) to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool on the FAFSA to update your income if you filed a federal income tax return.
17 CSS Profile (not used by all schools) determines Institutional Grant Eligibility Ø CSS Profile: on College Board website cost: $25 + $16 for every additional school listed Ø College Board website has a list of those schools that use the CSS Profile Ø Completed using custodial parent and student information Ø The non-custodial parent information required Ø By completing the Non Custodial Parent Statement on College Board website Ø Items that may be included: Ø Primary residence equity Ø Losses on federal income tax return or depreciation associated with a business or investment property may be added back Ø Parent contribution might not be divided equally for # in college: Ø no allowance for dependents in graduate school Ø reduced allowance for a lower cost institution (i.e. community college) Ø Reduced or no allowance for siblings receiving substantial merit/athletic aid Ø Minimum student contribution: anywhere from $1,000 to $2,200
19 CSS Profile Tips In addition to the assets reported on the FAFSA, you will also be required to report: Primary Residence Equity (value minus mortgage balance) (not necessarily used in formula) Value of your retirement accounts (although not used in formula) Business net worth (value minus debt) Also, use the comment section to relay special circumstances --i.e. a loss of income, one time income or unusual expenses.
20 CSS Profile Tips Once the Profile has been submitted, you will not be able to make corrections. So be careful! Contact your school for instructions. Many colleges participate in the College Board s IDOC document imaging service. You send your federal income tax returns, W2 forms, income statements and other required documents to IDOC Participating colleges listed on your profile can then access the docs electronically. Saves you multiple copying /mailing time and expense.
21 Remember! Ø Grants/Scholarships do not have to be repaid Ø unless a student withdraws during a term. Ø May be considered taxable income -- any amount of grants/scholarships over the cost of tuition and books. Ø Student loans must be repaid. Ø Additional online requirements must be completed. Ø Federal Work Study provides income from a campus job Ø This does not go toward the tuition bill. Ø This is paid to the student in the form of a paycheck or direct deposit.
22 Sources of Need Based Aid Federal Grants q Federal Pell Grant up to $5,775 q Federal SEOG Grant up to $4,000 q Federal TEACH Grant up to $4,000 q Funding for has not yet been determined. for detailed information about these programs.
23 Sources of Need Based Aid Federal Student Loans and Workstudy q Federal Perkin Loans up to $5,500 q Interest rate is 5% fixed, no origination fees q Program was cancelled by US Congress as of 9/30/2015. Stay tuned for updates. q Federal Direct Loan dependent student levels (online requirements apply) Ø 1 st year = up to $5,500 ($3,500 maximum subsidized) Ø 2 nd year = up to $6,500 ($4,500 maximum subsidized) Ø 3 rd -5 th year = up to $7,500 ($5,500 maximum subsidized) Ø Current interest rates/fees Ø 4.29% interest rate Ø 1.068% origination fee Ø For more information go to: q Federal workstudy limits usually between $1,400-2,500.
24 Sources of Need Based Aid State Grants q For CT residents attending a college in CT Ø Ø Ranges from $2,000 or $4,000 (approx.) FUNDING NOT DETERMINED FOR YET Ø Governor s Scholarship Program: Ø FAFSA required must file by February 15, 2016 Ø Need based: EFC less than $11,000 Ø Merit based: Class rank: top 20%, testing scores of at least 1800 or higher for SAT or 27 or higher for ACT
25 Sources of Institutional Grants and Outside Resources q Institutional Grants/Scholarships come from the college s endowment funds. q Outside Resources such as: Ø Employee Tuition Benefit Ø Contributions from relatives Ø National Merit, Rotary, Lions Club etc. Scholarships Ø Use High school guidance office as a resource Ø Ask companies that are in the field of your major Ø Search:
26 Student Federal Aid Eligibility Requirements U.S. Citizen or Eligible non-citizen Additional documentation may be needed to prove eligibility. Males, 18 and older, must register for Selective Service; Have a valid social security number; Must be enrolled, full time, in an eligible degree or certificate program; Must have a high school diploma or an equivalent (i.e. if home schooled); While enrolled in college, must make satisfactory academic progress (including # of credits and GPA).
27 What is the Federal Definition of a Parent? If your parents are divorced or separated, answer the FAFSA questions about the parent you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months. Parents who are together but unmarried or same sex marriages: the incomes will need to be combined for FAFSA filing purposes.
28 What is the Federal Definition of a Parent? If your parent has remarried, you must include information about the stepparent on the FAFSA. The following people are not your parents unless they have adopted you: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, or uncles or aunts Other unrelated persons that you may be living with.
29 What if parent information is not available? If (among a few other reasons) the student has no contact with the parent(s) and does not know where they are and the student has not been adopted by someone else or the student has left home due to an abusive situation or can be considered an unaccompanied youth / homeless, then the College will ask you to provide: third party documentation to verify your living situation from: i.e. an attorney, court officer, social worker. Some colleges also require that you complete their own waiver form in addition to submitting the 3 rd party docs.
30 Sample Financial Aid Award Tuition & Fees $45,000 Room & Board 13,000 Expected Family Contribution (EFC): $4000 Books & Supplies 1,000 Miscellaneous 500 Transportation 500 Total Cost $60,000 Federal Pell Grant $ 2,500 Federal Supplemental Educational Opp. Grant $ 2,500 Connecticut Governor s Scholarship Grant $ 2,500 College Grant $ 41,600 Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan $ 3,500 Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan $ 2,000 Federal Work Study $ 1,400 Other options: Parent Payment Plan Parent PLUS loan Private alternative loan
31 What if my family contribution seems unreasonable? Compare aid awards from similar colleges. If the family contribution is significantly different: Ask how the contribution was determined Ø Is there a contribution expected from the non-custodial parent? Ø Were losses reported on the tax return added back? Ø What is the minimum student contribution? Ø How were number of family members in college treated? Ø Was home equity included in the analysis? Has there been a change in family dynamics since the FAFSA was filed re: # in college, income, expenses? If you have special circumstances, request procedures for an Appeal or Review and ask what the deadline is.
32 Aid Award in Subsequent Years The Four Year Plan q Most Colleges make you apply every year for financial aid. q But ask: Is this award for just this year? q Loan amounts increase as the student advances to the next grade level (causing grants to decrease). q Increases/decreases in the family income and/or assets will cause the family contribution to increase/decrease. q If the number of dependents enrolled in college changes, the family contribution will change. q Remember that only for federal purpose is a sibling attending graduate school included in number in college q If the number in family changes, the family contribution will change. q Federal and state funding levels change from year to year
33 How do I pay the rest of the bill? q Withdrawals from Savings / Investments / 529 Plans q The College s Installment Payment Plan (not a loan) q Home Equity loans, 401K loans, Stock loans q Alternative Student Loans through private lenders (i.e. banks, credit unions, state institutions and national student loan lenders) q Federal PLUS program (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student) q Apply for other outside scholarships q Check with your financial planner or CPA for other options open to you specifically.
34 Federal PLUS Program q PLUS = Parent loan to undergraduate student (student must be a dependent) q offered by the Department of Education to custodial and non custodial parents q Annual loan limit: cost of attendance minus other aid q Fixed interest rate 6.84%, Loan origination fees 4.272% q Repayment begins 60 days after the full loan is disbursed. q Can defer payments (interest will still accrue) while student is enrolled at least half-time.
35 Resources High School Guidance Office Financial Aid Offices College s Websites
36 Thank you for your attention. What questions can I answer for you? Good Luck in your College journey!