Applying for Financial Aid Academic Year

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1 Applying for Financial Aid Academic Year Erica Cummins Associate 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.

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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 Tuition Room & Board Books & Class Supplies Transportation Miscellaneous and Personal Expenses (i.e. purchase of a computer, sometimes health insurance fee, dorm room items needed)

7 Family Contribution Components Parent(s) 2015 income Student s 2015 income Parent s assets value at the time of the application Exclude value of retirement accounts or primary residence home equity Include trusts, equity value of investment properties, business net worth (IM) Include 529 plans set up by parents (not UGMA/UTMA* accounts) Student s assets value at the time of the application Include trusts, if student is beneficiary and UGMA/UTMA* accounts 529 plans set up by parents DOES NOT GO HERE Number of household members: must provide at least 50% support Number 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

8 Untaxed Income Where do I find these? FROM THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN, FORM 1040 Tax Exempt Interest Retirement contributions Untaxed portions of Pension/Annuity withdrawals Untaxed portions of Retirement account withdrawals IRA or SEP/SIMPLE/Qualified Plan contributions Child Support Received

9 Federal Aid Eligibility Determined Using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) FAFSA available 01/01/2016 on Must be a U.S. Citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen Formula determined by Congress EXCLUDE: Home Equity in your primary residence Information about the noncustodial parent Custodial parent and stepparent incomes are included Parent contribution is divided by the # in college parents in college are NOT included in this number Must be a dependent enrolled at least half time in undergraduate or graduate studies Unmarried but living together/same sex marriages: Income from both partners is used. One parent & the student must create a user name and password for the FAFSA at

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11 Helpful Tips When Completing the FAFSA Request an FSA ID Print out the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet Use your 2015 federal tax return and W2 statements Use IRS Data Retrieval tool (DRT) You can also use your 2014 federal tax return IF income will be similar to Be careful! Can use estimates in order to meet application deadline. State of Connecticut deadline: 2/15/2016

12 CSS Profile and Institutional Grant Eligibility CSS Profile: used by schools to award their own funds Information from the non-custodial parent is required (Non Custodial Parent Statement) Items that may be included: Primary residence equity Losses on federal income tax return may be added back Depreciation associated with a business or investment property may be added back Parent contribution might not be divided equally for # in college: no allowance for dependents in graduate school reduced allowance for a lower cost institution (i.e. community college) Reduced or no allowance for siblings receiving substantial merit/athletic aid

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14 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) Value of your retirement accounts (although not used in formula) Business value data (value minus debt) Also, use the comment section to relay special circumstances like loss of income or unusual expenses.

15 CSS Profile Tips Once the Profile has been submitted, you will not be able to make corrections. 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.

16 Sources of Need Based Aid Federal Grants Federal Pell Grant up to $5,775 Federal SEOG Grant up to $4,000 Federal TEACH Grant up to $4,000 Funding for has not yet been determined. for detailed information about these programs.

17 Sources of Need Based Aid Federal Student Loans Federal Direct Loan dependent student levels 1 st year = up to $5,500 ($3,500 maximum subsidized) 2 nd year = up to $6,500 ($4,500 maximum subsidized) 3 rd -5 th year = up to $7,500 ($5,500 maximum subsidized) Current interest rates/fees % interest rate 1.068% origination fee For more information go to: There are online requirements for both types of federal loans.

18 Sources of Institutional Grants and Outside Resources Institutional Grants/Scholarships come from the college s endowment funds. Outside Resources such as: Employee Tuition Benefit Contributions from relatives National Merit, Rotary, Garden Club, etc. Scholarships Use High school guidance office as a resource Search:

19 Student Eligibility Requirements, con t. If a male and age 18 must register by law for Selective Service; Have a valid social security number; Must be enrolled as a regular student 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). Must have resolved any drug conviction issues.

20 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.

21 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.

22 Resources High School Guidance Office Financial Aid Offices College s Websites

23 COLLEGE GOAL SUNDAY Get FREE help filling out the FAFSA Sunday, January 31, :30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. Local Sites: New London: Science and Technology Magnet HS Willimantic: Eastern CT State University must register!

24 Thank you for your attention. What questions can I answer for you? Good Luck in your College journey!

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