Are You Ready for College?

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1 Are You Ready for College? Financial AID, Scholarships, School Loans, Work Study, and Grants for College Tuition Patricia Jackson Wadquidia Retta

2 College Tuition College is an expensive expense when your child gets to this momentous point in his or her life. If you were not able to save for you child s college, don t worry. Here are a few options for you and your child

3 What is Financial AID? There are a variety of financial aid tools available to students today, including scholarships, needbased awards, work-study employment and student loans. Let's start with need-based financial aid.

4 Need-based Financial AID Nearly two-thirds of today's full-time college students receive some form of need-based aid Need-based financial aid eligibility is based on two calculations -- the total cost of education and the family's ability to pay. The cost of education can vary significantly from institution to institution. Generally, these calculations include all reasonable costs (tuition, room, board and living expenses) of attendance.

5 Financial AID To apply for need-based financial aid, families must complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). These documents are used to determine what amount, if any, a family (and that means both parent and student) can contribute to the annual cost of attendance. That number is known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The specific amount of your E FC may vary somewhat from institution to institution, but the formulas in place ensure that most EFCs are similar. The FAFSA website is very informative.

6 Financial AID Formulas The formulas consider a variety of family circumstances when determining eligibility Consequently, there's no real cut-off point or maximum income a family can have and still qualify for assistance. E ven if you have a comparatively high income, you may still qualify for need-based aid, particularly if you have more than one child in college. E very student, regardless of financial situation, should consider applying for need-based aid to see what happens., finaid.org 6

7 College Scholarships College scholarships can also be found at the FAFSA website. The College Scholarships Services PROFILE is the site to find Federal Scholarships. Independent students do not need their parents Income tax forms Dependent students need their parents income tax returns Which one are you? Most all high school students are dependent students

8 1 st Local Scholarship Merit-based Scholarships Compared with need-based financial aid, meritbased scholarships are few and far between. Many schools offer no merit-based aid at all. Still, students should apply for any scholarship that seems like a good fit., scholarships.com 8

9 1 st Local Scholarship cont d Merit scholarships are awarded to the best and brightest students. Merit scholarships are awarded to students based on strong academic abilities, leadership skills, artistic or musical ability, and athletic abilities, including specialized activities like cheerleading. They also may require a paper, speech, project or other form of competition., scholarships.com 9

10 2 nd Local Scholarships "Who-are-you-what's-your- heritage-where-areyou-from-who-do-you-know? Students are selected on the basis of religion, ethnicity, professional affiliations or employment. Generally requires only an application., scholarships.com 10

11 2 nd Local Scholarships Four places to find these scholarships: Your kitchen table -- Sit down as a family and consider your various family connections. Consider your religious affiliation. Parents, perhaps you are a member of a club or fraternal organization that offers scholarships for which your child may apply. Many corporations provide scholarships to the children of employees. Perhaps your company does. If you have an affiliation that could lead to a scholarship, follow up on it! The high school guidance counselor's office -- Students should stop by regularly and read the counselor's bulletin board. You may be surprised by what you find. The local library -- The library bulletin board and resource section can provide you with very real scholarship opportunities. The Internet -- The Internet is a rich source of scholarship opportunities -- both local and national. Search for scholarships at sites like The College Board, SallieMae.com, USAGroup and Fastweb.com. These sites offer excellent advice on paying for college and often list national scholarships for which you may apply. As a rule, you should avoid working with any scholarship or financial aid search firm that charges a fee for its services. Almost without exception, any scholarship funds available for a fee are also available for free, scholarships.com, fastweb.com 11

12 National Scholarships Many national organizations, corporations included, also offer valuable scholarships

13 Student Loans Federal loans are the most accessible and affordable loan resources for students. There are two federal programs available nationally: the Stafford and Perkins programs. Both provide low-interest, payment-deferred loans that borrowers can repay after their enrollment ends. These loans are subsidized by the government to keep rates low and only begins to accrue after the borrower begins repaying the loan.

14 Student Loans Students who are unable to demonstrate need through the FAFSA may still borrow from the Stafford student loan program. These funds are unsubsidized, meaning they carry higher interest rates and must be repaid starting at the time of receipt, fafsa.org 14

15 Parent Loans The federally supported Parent Loan to Undergraduate Students (PL US) offers low interest (not interest-subsidized) loans for which repayment begins 60 days after funds are disbursed. Parents can apply for PLUS loans by completing either a PLUS Loan application or a Direct PLUS Loan application (if your school participates in the federal Direct Loan program).

16 Parent Loans There are also many private parental loans offered under a variety of terms and interest rates, some allowing repayment over as long as 20 years. Almost all parent loans require some type of credit check. The PLUS loan credit check is the most liberal, requiring only that parents have had no credit problems within 60 days of application. The credit check for private parent loans is more stringent and generally requires that the applicant's debtto-income ratio meet a specified standard.

17 Grants A grant is considered the best form of financial aid because it's money that never has to be repaid -- ever! Grants are based on demonstrated financial need and are awarded by both federal and state governments, as well as individual colleges.

18 Pell Grant The Pell Grant is the most common type of federal grant. Eligibility for a Pell Grant is determined by completing the FAFSA. The maximum Pell Grant award amount for the academic year is $5,350 per student

19 Federal Work Study Program If you want to earn some money for school while you're in school, a job funded by the Federal Work-Study Program is another financial aid option. Depending on the level of need demonstrated in your FAFSA, a Work-Study job can be an excellent way to earn thousands of dollars a year toward tuition

20 Federal Work Study Program The Federal Work-Study program encourages students to find employment that's related to their field of study. Schools reserve a certain amount of on-campus jobs for work-study students, everything from library assistants to admissions office representatives, dining hall workers and landscape teams. Schools also maintain a list of off-campus positions that qualify for work-study funds

21 ROTC If you do ROTC for three years in high you are eligible to enter the military at a high rank. Joining the military is another way to earn a freeride to college. You may use the time while enlisted in the military to earn a degree or use the hours after your time in the military.

22 Financial AID TIPS Start saving for college now. This is good advice for parents and students because the more you save, the less you have to borrow. It's not the college's sticker price that matters. All that really matters is the net cost of education. In most cases, there is a difference between the family's out-of-pocket expense and the college's sticker price.

23 Financial AID TIPS As your student creates the list of schools to which he or she will apply, don't eliminate a school just because it's expensive. A great deal of assistance is available, and you may be surprised at how much you or your student receives.

24 Resources How Stuff Works (2008). A Discovery Company. Retrieved from / Free Application for Federal Student Aid. (2010). Retrieved from The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid. (1994). A Monster Company. Retrieved from /www.finaid.org Paying for School just got easier (2010). A Monster Community. Retrieved from /www.fastweb.com Find Money for College (1999). Retrieved from

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