Financial Aid 101. UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS Sarah Everitt Associate Director, Financial Aid Gonzaga University

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1 Financial Aid 101 UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS Sarah Everitt Associate Director, Financial Aid Gonzaga University

2 Goal of Financial Aid Primary goal: Assist students in paying for college and is achieved by: Evaluating families ability to pay educational costs Distributing limited resources in an equitable manner Providing balance of gift aid and self-help aid

3 Financial Aid 101 The US Department of Education maintains that the primarily responsibility of paying for college rests with a student s family

4 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Electronic Application developed by US Dept. Education Application can be found at 130 Questions Evaluates a Family s ability to pay for student s education Available January 1 st, 2011

5 Expected Family Contribution What is it? It is an estimate of the parents' and/or student's ability to contribute to post-secondary education expenses (output from FAFSA) Range: $0- $99,999 How is it calculated? Formula created by Congress Reviewed & Updated each year Income (parent and student) Asset Equity (excluding home equity) Family Size Number of Family Members in College Age of Parents

6 Principles of Need Analysis To extent they are able, parents have primary responsibility to pay for dependent child s education Students have a responsibility to contribute to educational costs Families should be evaluated in their present financial condition Family s estimated ability to pay educational costs must be evaluated in equitable and consistent manner, recognizing that special circumstances may affect family s ability to pay

7 Independent Student Definition 1. At least 24 years old by December 31 of award year covered by the FAFSA; 2. Married; 3. Graduate or professional student; 4. Currently serving on active duty in US Armed Forces; 5. Veteran of U.S. Armed Forces; 6. Has children or dependents (other than a spouse) for whom the student provides more than half support; 7. In foster care or an orphan or ward/dependent of the court after the age of Emancipated Minor; 9. As of FAFSA filing date, are you in a legal guardianship; 10. Unaccompanied youth who is homeless (as determined by an approved organization; or 11. Determined to be independent by financial aid administrator based on unusual circumstances

8 Cost of Attendance* Tuition and fees Room and board Books and supplies Transportation Miscellaneous personal expenses Study Abroad Costs Other fees Dependent care expenses *(varies by school )

9 Definition of Financial Need Cost of attendance (COA) Expected family contribution (EFC) = Financial NeedNeed

10 Need Varies Based on Cost 25,000 1 X 15,000 2 Y 5,000 3 Z EFC EFC 30,000 20,000 10,000 Cost of 5,000 Expected Family Need Attendance Contribution (Variable) (Variable) (Constant)

11 Categories of Financial Aid Need-based Aid based on your financial need Merit-based (or non-need) Aid based on your grades, test scores, community service, hobbies and special talents (artistic, athletic, etc.) Gift aid: Grants and scholarships (need-based or merit-based) Self-help aid: Loans and employment (need-based or non-needbased)

12 Financial Aid Application Process

13 Application Process Some Admission Application Institutional Aid Application CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE - Available now at Not all schools require $25 application fee (and one school) $16 fee per additional school

14 Application Process - All Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Required for federal, state aid, and institutional aid in some cases Deadlines vary from school to school Several filing methods Paper version FAFSA on the WEB (www.fafsa.gov) Pin #: parent AND student (www.pin.ed.gov)

15 Role of the Financial Aid Office Determines aid eligibility using federal formula Packages aid depending on availability of funds Sends award notification including: Award amount for each program for which student is eligible Disbursement methods and time frames Terms and conditions of each award

16 Sources of Financial Aid Federal and State Grants Federal and State Work-Study Federal Loans Institutional Aid Private Funding

17 Federal & State Grants Need Based Federal Pell Grant Federal SEOG Washington State Need Grant Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Academic & Need Based TEACH Grant

18 Work Programs Employment during school Federal or State Work Study, Institutional Work, or Community Jobs Job may be on or off campus Program varies from school to school Benefits of working

19 Federal Student Loans Perkins Loan Need based $4,000 annual loan limit Nine-month grace period Interest rate: 5% during repayment No fees Deferment and cancellation provisions available Direct Loans Subsidized & Unsubsidized Determined by Need Annual loan limits determined by student s year in school Six-month grace period Interest rate: Fixed Up to 1.5% fees Incentives exist during repayment

20 Federal PLUS Loan Parent borrows on behalf of dependent undergraduate student Credit based Annual Loan limit: COA minus other aid Interest rate: 7.9% Fees: 4% Repayment begins 60 days after loan is fully disbursed for parent borrowers

21 Other Sources of Funds State grants, scholarships, loans, and work programs School need-based and non-need-based programs (e.g., academic, athletic, and other talent-based scholarships and grants) Private business scholarships (e.g., Wal-Mart, Gates Foundation, etc.) Civic organization scholarships (e.g., PTA, Elks Club, etc.)

22 Private Scholarship Search Community: Library resources, High School Guidance Counselors, Community Organizations, Employers and Labor Unions, Professional Associations, Corporations / Foundations, Churches, Banks/Credit Unions Free Internet scholarship search engines: FinAid on the Web: College Board: FastWeb: Scholarship Resource Network Express: GoCollege: The Collegiate Websource: Gates Millennium:

23 Avoid Being Scammed Billions of Dollars Unclaimed... Money Back Guarantee Several warning signs of a possible scam Guaranteed winnings Free seminars on financial aid telephone numbers Check legitimacy of scholarship search services or consultants visit: U.S. Department of Education Federal Trade Commission Better Business Bureau CAUTION: As a general rule, if you must pay money to get money, it might be a scam.

24 Financial Aid Consultants Free assistance is available Be wary of any consultant who encourages you to use strategies that seem unethical Avoid consultants who encourage you to misreport your income

25 Financial Aid Information Accurate, Comprehensive and Objective Information Links to Free Scholarship Searches Scholarship Scam Alerts Financial Aid Consultant Guide EFC and Loan Calculators Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Special Interest Groups Information

26 Application Process Submit FAFSA prior to school s deadline Most aid awarded on first-come, firstserved basis To ensure maximum consideration for federal, state, and institutional aid, check information from each school to determine: Required application materials Application deadlines

27 Basic Application Flow Student and school receive Student Aid Report (SAR) from federal processor after FAFSA is received and processed 6 School matches admissions record with financial aid application and determines eligibility 6 School mails award letter to student 6 Student mails award letter back to school

28 Financial Aid Timeline Apply for Aid (January-February 2011) Receive Award Letter (April-May) Comply with Information Requests (April-May) National School Decision Deadline - May 1 Verification and Aid Coordination (Summer) Re-apply for Aid (January-February 2012)

29 Is There Life After Missed Deadlines? Yes, but Award letter may be delayed Certain funds may be unavailable: Institutional grants and scholarships Free federal money Work-study Application of funds may be after payment due date

30 Additional Financial Resources Inquire about tuition installment plans Spreads tuition payments through the year Low sign-up fees, low or no interest charged Consider alternative loan programs Federal non-need based educational loans Private educational loans Home equity or line-of-credit loans

31 Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Out of state tuition at 150% of in state rate 15 states in the west Certain state schools with certain programs Mark WUE on admission application

32 Where Do I Go From Here? Check each schools website/materials (that you are applying to) for Admission and Financial Aid information Meet all application deadlines Complete FAFSA and other application materials, such as College Scholarship Service s PROFILE application, IF required Submit all requested follow-up documents Investigate other sources of aid

33 Special Circumstances Loss of Job Loss of Benefits Natural Disaster Separation/Divorce Death in Family Other Contact the financial aid office

34 Figuring Out the Best Deal Develop an Award Comparison Chart Consider direct, non-direct and total costs at each institution Review types, amounts and renewability of gift aid (free money) Compare types and amounts of self-help aid (work-study and/or loans) Determine any amount you ll need to pay in addition to awards being offered

35 Completing the FAFSA

36 Getting Ready Gather records you will need Student s driver s license and Social Security card W-2 forms and other records of money earned in federal income tax returns (for estimates) Records of untaxed income Current bank statements Business and farm records Records of stocks, bonds and other investments Make it a family affair

37 FAFSA on the Web Web site: FAFSA on the Web available on January 1, 2011 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet: o Use as pre-application worksheet o Questions follow order of FAFSA on the Web

38 FAFSA on the Web Good reasons to file electronically: o Secure website o Built-in edits to help prevent costly errors o Allows student & parent to skip unnecessary questions o More timely submission o More detailed instructions and help for common questions o Ability to check application status on-line o Simplified renewal application process

39 CAUTION! Avoid being charged a fee to file the FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid Completion and processing of the FAFSA are FREE Be sure to go directly to Contact financial aid office for help completing the FAFSA

40 PIN Registration Web site: Can request PIN now Not required, but speeds processing May be used by students and parents throughout aid process, including subsequent school years

41 An 8 page booklet containing: Instructions 106 questions in 7 sections FAFSA on the Web Worksheet

42 FOTW Worksheet: Student Info General student information: Name Citizenship State of legal residence Social Security Number Driver s license number Self-help preferences

43 FOTW Worksheet: Dependency Status Student s dependency status If all No responses, student is dependent If Yes to any question, student is independent

44 FOTW Worksheet: Parent Info Data for parents of dependent students: Parents marital status Tax filing status & Income information Parents income and tax paid for 2010 Parents household size Parents number in college

45 FOTW Worksheet: Assets Asset data for students & parents of dependent students: Cash, savings, and checking Net worth of investments Net worth of business and investment farms Do NOT Include certain items

46 FOTW Worksheet: Student Income Student s (and spouse s) financial data: Tax filing status and return type Adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2010 Income tax paid for 2010 Information about student s veteran s benefits

47 FOTW Worksheet: School Info List of up to 6 schools to receive FAFSA data: Federal School Code Housing plans for each school

48 ERRORS can be COSTLY! Errors on the FAFSA or supplemental forms may DELAY application processing and result in the LOSS of financial aid funds. Read the instructions and complete all forms carefully!

49 Frequent FAFSA Errors Parent and student Social Security Numbers Divorced/remarried parental information Income earned by parents/stepparents Untaxed income U.S. income taxes paid Household size Number of household members in college Real estate and investment net worth

50 FAFSA Processing Results Central Processing System (CPS) notifies student of FAFSA processing results by: notification containing a direct link to student s on-line SAR if student s was provided on paper or electronic FAFSA Paper Student Aid Report (SAR) if student s e- mail address was not provided Student with PIN can view SAR on-line at

51 Making Corrections If necessary, corrections to FAFSA data may be made by: Using FAFSA on the Web (www.fafsa.ed.gov) if student has a PIN; Updating paper SAR (SAR Information Acknowledgement cannot be used to make corrections); or Submitting documentation to school s financial aid office

52 Questions? Good Luck!

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