Financial Aid FAQs and Figures. David R. Gelinas Senior Associate Dean Office of Admission and Financial Aid

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1 Financial Aid FAQs and Figures David R. Gelinas Senior Associate Dean Office of Admission and Financial Aid

2 What will we cover? Paying for College Applying for Aid Cost of Education Need-Based Aid Merit-Based Aid Packaging/Awarding Additional Information Answer Your Questions

3 How do families pay for college? There are four sources of funds to pay college costs: Money that s been saved Current income Money that s borrowed Money that s awarded

4 How do schools determine how to award money? Two basic philosophies: Need-based awards Family financial factors determine how much and what type of aid is awarded Merit-based awards Individual student factors determine how much and what type of aid is awarded BUT, Some schools mix and match Combine need-based AND merit-based factors to determine awards

5 What are the principles and purposes of need-based financial aid? Families have primary responsibility to pay for college Parents and students contribute to the extent they are able Provide students opportunity to attend college based on best fit Provide equity in distributing limited funds

6 How do students apply for financial aid? FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid CSS Profile student.collegeboard.org/profile Some schools also may require: Tax returns and W-2 forms/irs Data Retrieval Tool Non-custodial Parent PROFILE Institutional aid application

7 How do families sign a FAFSA? Students and parents electronically sign the FAFSA with an FSA ID For those who had a Federal Student Aid PIN, they must now get an FSA ID Process involves creation of username and password FSA ID can be created when completing the FAFSA or beforehand When completing the FAFSA: at fafsa.gov Beforehand: Information at StudentAid.gov/fsaid

8 What is IRS Data Retrieval? The ability to move federal income tax data from the IRS database to the FAFSA Can move the data at initial application or as an update/correction after FAFSA filed Can move parent, student or both sets of tax data Last completed tax year s return(s) must be on file for IRS to retrieve data Some tax filing situations cause Data Retrieval to not be usable

9 Are there changes coming? Beginning with , the FAFSA will begin to use prior-prior year (PPY) income data On the FAFSA, income will be reported from 2015 (the PPY), rather than 2016 (the prior year) Will allow the FAFSA to be available in October of 2016 rather than January of 2017 Will allow almost universal use of IRS Data Retrieval by all FAFSA filers [T]here are a number of issues that will need to be resolved over the next months.

10 Can an aid applicant apply as self-supporting? Students can apply as self-supporting IF: They re 24 years of age They re married They re pursuing a graduate degree They re in the Armed Forces or are a veteran They have a child and provide more than 50% support They re orphaned or are/have been a foster child They ve been emancipated by a state court They have a court-appointed legal guardian They re homeless or at risk of being homeless

11 Who Is A Parent? The federal definition: dependent students will be required to include on the FAFSA income and other information from the dependent student s legal parents (biological or adoptive) regardless of the parents marital status or gender, if those parents live together. No change to divorced/separated status

12 How is undocumented citizenship handled? Filing for aid is always determined by the student s citizenship status PROFILE is unconcerned with citizenship status Documented students file both online FAFSA and PROFILE Undocumented parents can complete online FAFSA Undocumented students file online PROFILE and paper FAFSA (for FAFSA-only schools) This is how DACA students must file

13 How is aid eligibility determined? Cost of education - Expected Financial Assistance (outside resources) - Calculated family contribution = Student s financial need

14 What is included in the cost of education? Tuition and fees Room and board Books and supplies Transportation Miscellaneous personal expenses

15 Are there other costs that can be considered? Computer (one time) Child/dependent care costs Specialized equipment Supportive needs Co-op expenses

16 What are outside resources? Funds from sources other than the college/university Clubs and civic organizations Churches Employers Foundations Certain types of benefits (e.g., military) Private gifts

17 What is the family contribution? A figure derived from the financial data provided on the FAFSA and/or PROFILE Represents the calculated capacity of the family to contribute toward the cost of education Takes into account factors such as income, assets, family size and number of children attending college Annually determined, so can change from year to year as factors change Ranges from zero (no contribution) to $1,000,000 and above ( to )

18 What are the components of the family contribution? Parent contribution from income (after allowances made) Parent contribution from assets (after allowances made) Student contribution from income and assets (if any)

19 What About 529 Plans? 529 plans (savings or pre-paid tuition) are assets of the plan owner(s). FAFSA exception: [W]hen the owner is a dependent student they are [reported as] an asset of the parent. PROFILE instruction: If the student has a 529 plan as part of an UGMA or UTMA account, it is a student asset. When the owner is some other person distributions from these plans to the student count as untaxed income, as money received.

20 What about merit-based scholarships? Funds awarded on the basis of factors other than or in addition to financial need Academic factors Talent factors Service factors (Fill in the blank) factors Procedures for being considered vary Nomination process Scholarship application Admission application

21 What about athletic scholarships? Awarded by athletics department, not admission/financial aid office Both partial and full athletic scholarships can be offered Old vs. new definition of full Some schools offer athletics, but not athletic scholarships (D-III)

22 What are the typical components of a financial aid award/package? Gift Aid Grants (Institutional, Federal, and State) Merit-Based Scholarships Funds not requiring work or repayment Self Help Student Employment Student Loans (at some schools)

23 How is need met? Some sample aid packages Davidson Public U. Private U. Cost $63,044 $27,000 $45,000 EFC $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 Need $48,044 $12,000 $30,000 Merit $0 $0 $15,000 Grant $45,944 $6,500 $6,000 Loan $0 $4,000 $4,000 Work Study $2,100 $1,500 $2,000 Total Aid $48,044 $12,000 $27,000 Unmet Need $0 $0 $3,000 Total Paid $15,000 $15,000+loan +interest $18,000+loan +interest

24 What are some payment options? Monthly payment plans Federal Educational Loans Student (Direct Stafford) Parents (Direct PLUS) Private Educational Loans

25 What if my financial circumstances change? Institutions may choose to consider changed family circumstances at different times throughout year or wait until next annual filing Might affect a family s funding options Might not affect family contribution

26 Do you have any consumer tips? Hire an admission/aid consultant(?) Avoid scholarship programs that charge application fees Avoid scholarship search services that charge fees

27 What are other things I should know? Deadlines are important Net Price Calculators Early Decision Admission yes/no? Need-blind vs. need-sensitive admission policies May 1: National Candidates Reply Date

28 What are some on-line resources? School web sites Federal government State aid authority/commission web sites In GA, it s secure.gacollege411.org SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid Has links to all state aid web sites The College Board

29 Additional Questions? Thank you for coming!

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