Student Financial Services: Understanding Financial Aid

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1 Student Financial Services: Understanding Financial Aid Employee Financial Aid Night 2011

2 Overview What is Financial Aid? Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) CSS PROFILE How do colleges give Financial Aid? Types of Financial Aid Graduate Financial Aid Useful Resources

3 What is Financial Aid?

4 What is financial aid? Financial resources intended to help pay for college expenses. Scholarships/Grants = Free Money Work Study = Must work to earn funds. Loans = Must pay back Scholarships Grants Work Study

5 Who is eligible to receive financial aid? Must be enrolled in (or accepted for enrollment in) an approved program of study Must be pursuing a degree or certificate Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen Must have a valid Social Security number Must be registered with Selective Service (if male and required) Must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (as defined by the school)

6 How do students get financial aid? 1) Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Electronic Format 2) Some colleges require a completed CSS PROFILE Check to see if a college requires it 3) Some colleges require a completed Institutional Financial Aid Application Check the school s website to find out!

7 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

8 FAFSA on the Web

9 What is the FAFSA? A standard form that collects demographic and financial information about the student and family May be filed electronically or using paper form FAFSA on the Web (97% of applicants) Paper FAFSA PDF can be found at Available in English and Spanish Information completed on the FAFSA is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and colleges use the EFC to award financial aid

10 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Expected Family Contribution is the determination from the FAFSA of the student/family s ability to contribute towards educational costs. The student and parent s income and assets are used in the calculation to determine their contribution.

11 What information is asked on the FAFSA? General Student Demographic Information Student Financial Data (Income and Assets) Student Dependency questions (as determined by the Department of Education) General Parent Demographic Information (Dependent students must also submit parental information) Parent Financial Data (Income and Assets) Household Information

12 Submitting your FAFSA FAFSA must be submitted each academic year a student would like to be considered for financial aid FAFSA may be submitted after January 1 of each year Both the student and parent must sign the FAFSA for a dependent student You can use a federal PIN to sign electronically, register at The parent should not complete the FAFSA alone both the student and parent should be involved in this process

13 What happens to the FAFSA information? 1) FAFSA information is submitted to the Department of Education for processing. 2) The Department of Education calculates an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). 3) Each of the schools the student lists on the FAFSA will receive the information the student submits including the calculated EFC. 4) Each student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). 5) If necessary, corrections can be made to the FAFSA. Image used from:

14 Common Mistakes on the FAFSA Parent and student social security numbers Divorced/remarried parental information Not including income earned by parents/step-parents Not including untaxed income Household size and number in college Real estate and investment net worth Including retirement accounts in investment net worth Including the value of primary residence in investment net worth Student dependency questions Use the scrolling Help and Hints on the side of the FAFSA on the Web to make sure information is correct.

15 CSS PROFILE

16 CSS Profile Why do colleges use the Profile? The CSS Profile gives a financial aid office a more detailed picture of a student and their family s financial situation than what the FAFSA can give. Who completes it? UVa First-year students and transfer students Check each school s website to see if it needs to be completed each year Cost $25 Initial application and to send it to one school $16 Each additional school Important Dates October 1, 2011 First date a student can access the application March 1, 2011 Priority filing date for UVa https://profileonline.collegeboard.com

17 CSS Profile Layout of the CSS Profile Registration Application Things to Know Once the application is submitted, you cannot got back and make corrections. The student will need to contact the school if changes need to be made. Schools can be added to the application once it has been submitted. Features Built-in fee waiver Help Desk or Phone (305) FAFSA Pre-filled Worksheet

18 How do colleges award Financial Aid?

19 Determining Financial Need

20 Cost of Attendance Direct Costs: Tuition and Fees Room and Board Indirect Costs: Books and Supplies Transportation Costs Personal Costs Loan Fees Study Abroad Computer Expense Health Insurance Direct and Indirect Costs = Cost of Attendance Image used from:

21 Financial Aid Packages Because cost of attendance varies by institution, so does financial need. Financial Aid offices attempt to meet a student s financial need with various types of financial aid.

22 Comparing Financial Aid Packages University of Virginia Cost of Attendance = $24,000 EFC = $3,000 Financial Need = $21,000 Community College Cost of Attendance = $11,000 EFC = $3,000 Financial Need = $8,000 Private College Cost of Attendance = $37,000 EFC = $3,000 Financial Need = $34,000 Fed. Pell Grant $2,600 Fed. Perkins Loan $3,500 AccessUVa Grant $11,400 Fed. Subsidized Loan $3,500 Fed. Unsubsidized Loan $2,000 Fed. Pell Grant $2,600 Fed. Perkins Loan $0 University Grant $0 Fed. Subsidized Loan $3,500 Fed. Unsubsidized Loan $2,000 Fed. Pell Grant $2,600 Fed. Perkins Loan $1000 Merit Scholarship $14,000 Fed. Subsidized Loan $3,500 Fed. Unsubsidized Loan $2,000 VA Tuition Assistance Grant $2,300 TOTAL AID PACKAGE $23,000 TOTAL AID PACKAGE $8,100 TOTAL AID PACKAGE $25,400 *Remember Cost of Attendance is BOTH Direct and Indirect Costs*

23 Questions to Ask the Financial Aid Office What are the deadlines for applying for financial aid? How do outside scholarships affect financial aid packages? If I receive a merit-based scholarship, are there requirements for me to maintain this scholarship? If I receive a scholarship from the college, is it renewable? Is the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents automatically included in the financial aid package? What is the average amount of debt students have when they graduate? Ask about special circumstances that are specific to your situation such as loss of income, death of a parent, divorce or separation of parents, birth of a child, or large medical expenses.

24 Types of Financial Aid

25 Types of Financial Aid Gift Aid Grants and scholarships Self-Help Aid Loans and employment

26 Types of Financial Aid Need Based Aid given to a student based upon the amount of a student s demonstrated need. This aid is usually based on the information calculated from the FAFSA, CSS Profile or other university financial aid applications. This aid can be in the form of loans, grants or scholarships. Non-need Based Aid given to a student not based on a student s need. This aid can be in the form of loans, grants or scholarships. Merit-Based Aid given to a student based on scholastic achievement. Usually given based on a student s GPA, ACT/SAT Scores, extracurricular activities, unique talents, and/or leadership potential.

27 Types of Federal Financial Aid Federal Grants (need based) Such as Pell Grant and SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) TEACH Grant (non-need based) the TEACH grant can become a loan Federal Work Study (need based) Part-time jobs for students through eligible employers, such as Schools Federal, state or local public agencies Certain private non-profit and for profit organizations Student receives earnings in the form of a paycheck rather than the money being applied directly to school bills

28 Types of Federal Financial Aid Direct Subsidized Loans Need based loan in the student s name, guaranteed by the Federal Government with the Department of Ed. Federal Government pays the interest while the student is in school Fixed interest rate for is 3.4% Direct Unsubsidized Loans Non-need based loan in the students name, guaranteed by the Federal Government with the Department of Ed. Federal Government does not pay the interest while the student is in school Fixed interest rate for is 6.8%

29 Types of Federal Financial Aid Perkins Loans (need based) No interest is charged on the loan while the student is enrolled in school Fixed interest rate of 5.0% Education loan in the student s name, guaranteed by the Federal Government All Federal student loan principal payments are deferred until after student graduates or drops below half-time status

30 Types of Federal Financial Aid Direct PLUS Loan for Parents of Undergraduate Students Approval based upon credit worthiness of borrower Education loan in the parent s name guaranteed by the Federal Government Fixed interest rate of 7.9% Interest will accrue upon disbursement of loan Borrower is responsible for payment of interest Loan Fee of 4% Repayment begins 60 days after loan is fully disbursed Parent can request loan be deferred while student is in school at least part-time Maximum amount a student can borrow is the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid

31 Types of State Financial Aid State Council of Higher Education for Virginia College Scholarship Assistance Program Public & Private Colleges, Need based Virginia Commonwealth Award Public Colleges, Need based Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (V-GAP) Public Colleges, Need based Two-Year College Transfer Grant Public Colleges, Need based Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (V-TAG) Private Colleges, Non-need based, Separate Application Required; $2,300 for

32 Other Types of Financial Aid Colleges and universities Some colleges and universities offer institutional scholarships, grants, and loans Check out their website for deadlines and applications Scholarship Opportunities Know what kinds of scholarships you can apply for locally Learn how your school advertises scholarship opportunities Get help with your applications and prep for interviews if a scholarship requires one! Continue to look for scholarships after your first year of college

33 Faculty and Staff Undergraduate Scholarship Criteria Sons and daughters of full-time faculty and staff who have been employed at the University for at least one year. Need based scholarship Application Due March 1, 2011 The application for is available on the University s financial aid website How many? Amount and number given is based on the returns of the endowment In one new recipient and one renewal applicant were awarded scholarships

34 Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Federally-funded, merit-based program administered by states Recognizes and promotes student excellence and achievement Recipients may receive up to $1,500 a year, for up to 4 years of undergraduate assistance To find out more information contact: Joseph Wharff VA Department of Education

35 Other options for covering the cost Installment Payment Plans through the school Some schools may require you to start this plan in the Summer Contact the school as early as possible to find out details Alternative/Private Loans for Students Loan in the student s name Will likely require a credit worthy co-signer (must be U.S. Citizen) Credit Check required May borrow up to the Cost of Attendance minus other financial aid

36 Other options for covering the cost Virginia Pre-paid Education Plan and Virginia Education Savings Trust How do you report it to your school? VPEP Notify Virginia 529 where the funds need to be sent at least 1 to 2 months prior to the start of each semester VEST Notify Virginia 529 the amount and school of where to send funds at least 1 month in advance; multiple requests can be made each semester How do you include it on the FAFSA? Parent s Name: Value of the total investment is included as an asset of the parent Other Relative s Name: Value of the amount paid for that calendar year is reported as money paid on the student s behalf Check with your college savings plan provider for questions regarding using the funds for study abroad and summer school. Virginia 529 College Savings Plan Contact Information

37 Graduate Financial Aid

38 General Information about Graduate Students All Graduate students are independent for federal aid. Grant aid is usually coordinated through the student s individual major/department/school. Opportunities may be available for teaching positions/internships. Most often, professional schools have their own financial aid office. UVA Employees Check with Human Resources regarding employee benefits

39 General Information about Graduate Students Federal Direct Loan annual limits: Subsidized up to $8,500 with 6.8% fixed interest Unsubsidized up to $20,500 including the sub amount with 6.8% fixed interest PLUS Loan for Graduate & Professional Students Credit check 7.9% fixed interest rate Loan Fee of 4% and repayment beings 60 days after loan is fully disbursed but can be placed in deferment while student is in school at least part-time Medical students may receive additional Federal Direct Loan amounts through the HEAL program.

40 Useful Resources

41 Helpful Tips Obtain and review admissions and financial aid information from each school to which you are applying. Submit all applications and requested documentation by the deadlines. Investigate other sources of aid every year. Talk to financial aid offices if you have questions or special circumstances. Keep copies of everything. If you have not completed your tax returns and would like to submit the FAFSA, you may use estimated figures. Then update the FAFSA after completing your tax returns. Review financial aid office websites before contacting.

42 Websites (not.com) Select Tools and Resources Then select Publications Tools and Resources

43 Websites Continued *Student Financial Services and the University of Virginia do not endorse ECMC.

44 SUPER SATURDAY Get help filing the FAFSA February 5, AM to 2 PM Piedmont Virginia Community College

45 THANK YOU Questions? Contact UVa Student Financial Services: or (434)

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