Financial Aid Tips Applying for and Receiving College Assistance

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1 Financial Aid Tips Applying for and Receiving College Assistance

2 What is Financial Aid? Financial aid is money intended to help students pay for their educational expenses. Typically, aid packages contain the following types of awards: Scholarships Grants (Institutional, Federal, and State) Work Study Loans The application process depends on the type of aid and the requirements of the institution.

3 Terminology FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) - The required application for any federal student aid CSS Profile (College Scholarship Service Profile) - The key application required for many private institutions EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) - An estimate of the amount of money your family can contribute each year towards education FM (Federal Methodology) - The calculation used in the FAFSA to determine Federal EFC IM (Institutional Methodology) - The calculation used by private institutions to determine the Institutional EFC, used to determine institutional grants

4 Terminology COA (Cost of Attendance) - The total expected cost to attend a specific university for one year Need - The difference between your EFC and the COA Non Custodial Parent - Biological parent who provides less than half of the financial support for the student. Not required for Federal aid NCP (Non Custodial Profile) - The secondary institutional application for divorced parents NPC (Net Price Calculator) - A required on-line calculator that provides students and parents a list of estimated awards and expenses

5 Principles of Need Analysis Paying for the student s educational costs is the primary responsibility of the student and the parent(s) Families are evaluated on ability to pay for educational costs not willingness Families are reviewed and assessed in their present financial condition A family s financial situation is evaluated in an equitable and consistent manner, recognizing that special circumstances may affect a family s ability to pay.

6 Tuition and fees Room and board Cost of Attendance Books and supplies, equipment, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses Loan fees Study abroad costs DO NOT confuse this with your bill Cost of Attendance exceeds costs billed by the university and is meant as a ceiling to the amount of aid a student can receive. 5

7 Cost of Attendance Tuition $31,175 Activity Fees $300 Mandatory Technology Fee $200 Health Fee $200 Room $3,710 Board $4,230 Books/Supplies $1,550 Misc/Personal $1,660 Transportation $360 $43,385

8 Expected Family Contribution Parent contribution from income and assets* + Student contribution from income and assets = Expected Family Contribution (EFC) *Determined by using either the Federal or Institutional formula from the information reported on the specific application

9 Expected Family Contribution Main Determinants of the EFC Income Assets Family Size Number in College Age of Parent

10 Financial Aid Eligibility Equation Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

11 Need Varies Based on Cost 1 X 2 Y 3 Z EFC EFC Cost of Expected Family Need Attendance Contribution (Variable) (Variable) (Constant)

12 Types of Aid Gift Aid Grants (need) Scholarships (merit) Self-Help Aid Student and Parent loans Part-time student employment

13 Institutional Programs Need-based Grants Institutional Loans Work-Study Non need-based Scholarships Work Study Special Programs

14 State and Other Organizations Need-based Grants Work-Study Non need-based Scholarships Work-Study Loans

15 Federal Programs Need-based Pell Grant Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Work-Study Perkins Loan Subsidized Stafford Loan Non need-based Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Parent Loan (PLUS) Grad PLUS Loan Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

16 Federal Grants Federal Pell Grant Undergraduates pursuing first bachelor s degree Amount determined by the EFC Award prorated based on enrollment status FSEOG Undergraduates pursuing first bachelor s degree Priority to Pell recipients Maximum is $4,000

17 Need Based Federal Aid Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan) - Funds provided directly by federal government via participating schools School determines eligibility; delivers proceeds to student Annual loan limits: $3,500 for 1st year undergraduates $4,500 for 2nd year undergraduates $5,500 for each Junior and Senior undergraduate year Six (6) month grace period Deferment, forbearance, and cancellation provisions available ED pays interest while in school

18 Need Based Federal Aid Federal Work-Study Employment may be on or off campus Available for part-time and full-time students, undergraduates and graduates Wages vary depending on type of work Federal Perkins Loan Maximum is $5,500 a year for full-time or part-time undergraduate students Interest rate fixed at 5% Nine (9) month grace period Deferment and cancellation provisions available

19 Non-Need Based Federal Aid Stafford Unsubsidized Loan Student charged interest while in school PLUS Loan Parent loan program for parents of dependent undergraduate students (parents must have good credit history) Annual loan limit cost of attendance (COA) minus other aid Repayment begins 60 days after loan is fully disbursed Only principal may be deferred under certain conditions; interest may be capitalized

20 What can I Expect? Depending on the university and your EFC, you may be eligible for grants to help you pay for school Institutional State Outside Organization Pell / FSEOG Depending on your academics, you may be eligible for scholarships Institutional State Outside Organization Most families are eligible for parent and student loan to cover the full cost of attendance.

21 Private vs. Public Gift Aid Public Federal, State, Institutional grants available Institutional funds may be limited and university may need to Gap (not meet need) Need is based on FAFSA Flexibility is limited and restricted by regulation Professional judgment is allowed Financial analysis is less strict

22 Private vs. Public Gift Aid Private Federal, State, Institutional grants available Institutional funds are usually more abundant Need can be based on FAFSA, CSS Profile, and other documents such as tax returns. Funding is usually more flexible Professional judgment is allowed Financial analysis is strict

23 Private and Public Issues Need Blind - Admissions is not aware of student need Full Need Met - Need is met completely using only need-based awards. Could include need-based loans No Loans - Need is met completely using only needbased grants and work study. No loans are used to meet need. Loans may be provided to meet the EFC. Increased concern over federal deficit has placed pressures on aid funding which could result in loss of subsidies and grants.

24 Undergraduate Student Aid by Source (in Billions) Source: The College Board, Trends in Student Aid 2009

25 What Makes Up Student Aid Components of Private College Student Financial Aid 3% 2% 4% 20% 3% Federal Grants State Grants Institutional Grants Outside Scholarships Student Loans Federal Work Study 68%

26 Best Advice: APPLY!!!

27 How do you Prepare? Review the application requirements for each school : -What forms are required -What are the deadlines for the various awards especially institutional -What does the website tell you about their program -Who do you call if you have additional questions Create a budget for the entire four years for each school -Be Realistic -What are the total costs -What will you need in grant to make it possible -Is work study an option for your student -Summer earnings

28 Information Needed Before starting the FAFSA or CSS Profile, gather: - Student s driver s license - Student Alien Registration Card - Student and Parent prior year tax information Social Security cards W-2 forms and other records of money earned Federal income tax form (even if not completed) Records of untaxed income Current bank statements Business, farm, and other real estate records Records of stocks, bonds, and other investments Create a file for copies of all financial aid documents

29 Student Dependency Status Determines student s dependency status An independent student is one who: Is 24 years of age, or Is married, or Is working on a master s degree or higher, or Is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, or Is a veteran of the U. S. Armed Forces Has a legal dependent who receives more than half their support from the student, or Is an orphan or ward of the court Is an emancipated minor or unaccompanied youth Was a foster child or ward of the court after the age of 13 All other students are dependent

30 Parent Information Report information for biological or adoptive parent(s) Custodial/ Non custodial parent: In the past 12 months: Which parent did you live with more, or Which parent provided more financial support? How many in household will be in college (exclude parents from number in college) Information about the parent s untaxed income and benefits Information about Child Support Information that can be excluded from FAFSA but not Profile - Education tax credits

31 Parent Information Investment Assets - Include: Trust funds, 529 college savings plans, mutual funds, real estate, investments, second home, vacation home, or rental home - Include for Profile but not FAFSA: Primary residence, retirement funds (IRAs, 401k, 403b, Keogh, SEP, etc.) Business and Farm Assets - Include for Profile but not FAFSA: Farm that you live on and operate - Include for Profile but not FAFSA: A small business (family owns more that 50%) that has 100 or fewer full time equivalent employees

32 Student Finances and Assets Student income is considered by most Financial Aid Offices as 100% educational. Student s assets (savings in students name) will be considered as a 100% contribution to the EFC It is expected that students will earn money during the summers and most colleges will count a certain income even if the student does not work. To avoid excessive contribution consider moving all assets to the parents name.

33 Supplemental Forms Institutional application Stafford loan application Parent (PLUS) Loan application

34 Private Resources Professional associations Foundations Corporations Community organizations Civic Religious Social Alumni Commercial lending institutions Place of employment Research institutes

35 Scholarship Scams Victims of scholarship scams lose more than $100 million annually Paying money to get money is a scam Duplicates what you can find out for free Watch for Scholarships with application fee Scholarship services who guarantee success Sales pitches disguised as financial aid seminars

36 After reviewing your application, we are pleased to provide you with the following financial aid offer. This award is contingent upon anticipated annual renewal of funding from federal, state, and private sources. You may accept or decline any of the awards offered. Projected Cost of Education - $15,000 Expected Family Contribution - $3,000 Total Financial Need $12,000 Type of Aid Fall Spring Total Accept Decline Pell Grant $500 $500 $1,000 ( ) ( ) FSEOG $500 $500 $1,000 ( ) ( ) MSU Grant $1,000 $1,000 $2,000 ( ) ( ) Work-Study $700 $700 $1,400 ( ) ( ) Perkins Loan $550 $550 $1,100 ( ) ( ) Stafford Loan $1,750 $1,750 $3,500 ( ) ( ) Total $5,000 $5,000 $10,000 Please sign this letter and return it to the financial aid office within two weeks.

37 Special Circumstances Financial circumstances may change so contact the Financial Aid Office if there is: Reduction in parent of student income or assets Death or serious illness Natural disaster affecting parent income or assets Unusual medical expenses not covered by insurance Any other unusual circumstances that affect a family s ability to contribute to higher education

38 Special Circumstances What if the award does not reflect my ability to cover the costs of the university? Do not hesitate to provide the Financial Aid Office with a list of extenuating circumstances Contact the office directly and seek assistance in placing an appeal Don t be afraid to negotiate Avoid being confrontational. In most cases the person you are speaking with has no control over the award. Recognize that in some cases that aid may be limited for all students and the options just do not exist.

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