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Financing Your College Education 101: Scholarship Tips and Financial Aid Karen Sweeney, Counselor Robertsdale High School Presented at Silverhill Town.

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Presentation on theme: "Financing Your College Education 101: Scholarship Tips and Financial Aid Karen Sweeney, Counselor Robertsdale High School Presented at Silverhill Town."— Presentation transcript:

1 Financing Your College Education 101: Scholarship Tips and Financial Aid Karen Sweeney, Counselor Robertsdale High School Presented at Silverhill Town Hall,

2 College is Expensive! Auburn University $7900/yr 32+ hrs. (no charge16+ hrs/sem) ~$25,000/yr University of Alabama $7900/yr 32 hrs. (+$325/hr over 32) ~$25,000/yr Univ. of South Alabama $7264/yr 32 hrs. (+$227/hr over 32) ~$20,000/yr : Tuition only Tuition onlyCOA

3 Factors affecting cost: In-state vs Out-of-state tuition rates In-state vs Out-of-state tuition rates Public vs Private school Public vs Private school Starting at 2 yr vs Starting at 4 yr Starting at 2 yr vs Starting at 4 yr Cost of university or college choice Cost of university or college choice Length of program; costs associated with major. Length of program; costs associated with major. Living arrangements/Distance from home Living arrangements/Distance from home Extra-curricular activities such as fraternity/sorority participation or study abroad Extra-curricular activities such as fraternity/sorority participation or study abroad This government sponsored website will help you compare universities using data.

4 Major sources of financing: (Other than your savings) Federal government through FAFSA Federal government through FAFSA

5 FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid Types of aid available when you complete the FAFSA:Types of aid available when you complete the FAFSA: GRANTS – Money awarded does not have to be repaid. Available to lower income families. Some grants are awarded based on field of study in high need area*. GRANTS – Money awarded does not have to be repaid. Available to lower income families. Some grants are awarded based on field of study in high need area*. Pell (currently $5500/yr), SEOG ($100-$4000), ACG ($750/$1300), *SMART($4K 3 rd & 4 th yrs), TEACH**(up to $4K/yr) **Not income dependent. WORK STUDY – On campus job; at least minimum wage. WORK STUDY – On campus job; at least minimum wage. LOANS – Most must be repaid. Different terms depending on family income. The advantage of a student loan is that repayment is not necessary until after graduation. The student, not parent, signs for and is responsible for a student loan. Parent PLUS loans are available for parents with good credit wanting to borrow. LOANS – Most must be repaid. Different terms depending on family income. The advantage of a student loan is that repayment is not necessary until after graduation. The student, not parent, signs for and is responsible for a student loan. Parent PLUS loans are available for parents with good credit wanting to borrow. Each family submitting the FAFSA will receive a dollar figure which is the amount the government expects each family to contribute per year toward schooling for that student: the EFC.

6 The Process The Process Apply to colleges Submit FAFSA ASAP after Jan. 1 EFC $$$ EFC $$$ Financial Aid Award Letter $$$ Financial Aid Award Letter $$$

7 Major sources of financing: (Other than your savings) Federal government through FAFSA Federal government through FAFSAFAFSA Universities & Colleges Universities & Colleges

8 University Scholarships are valuable!! All have ACT/SAT & GPA minimums. All accepted students who meet these minimums are guaranteed the award. This type of scholarship rewards individual effort over competition with peers. Most are renewable with success. All have ACT/SAT & GPA minimums. All accepted students who meet these minimums are guaranteed the award. This type of scholarship rewards individual effort over competition with peers. Most are renewable with success. Doing well in school is the best preparation for scholarships. Doing well in school is the best preparation for scholarships. Taking challenging courses (Honors level and/or AP) will help increase ACT/SAT scores. Taking challenging courses (Honors level and/or AP) will help increase ACT/SAT scores. Taking the ACT in 10 th grade is a good idea. Juniors (11 th graders) need a solid ACT & GPA by the end of the year. Taking the ACT in 10 th grade is a good idea. Juniors (11 th graders) need a solid ACT & GPA by the end of the year. Most university scholarships are awarded by Dec. 1 of senior year. Most university scholarships are awarded by Dec. 1 of senior year.

9 Major sources of financing: (Other than your savings) Federal government through FAFSA Federal government through FAFSAFAFSA Universities & Colleges Universities & Colleges IRS Tax Credit IRS Tax Credit

10 American Opportunity Tax Credit Here are some key features of the credit: Tuition, related fees, books, loans and other required course materials generally qualify.Tuition, related fees, books, loans and other required course materials generally qualify. The credit is equal to 100 percent of the first $2,000 spent and 25 percent of the next $2,000.The credit is equal to 100 percent of the first $2,000 spent and 25 percent of the next $2,000..The credit can be claimed for 4 years of undergraduate study..The credit can be claimed for 4 years of undergraduate study. The full credit is available for a single taxpayer whose modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is $80,000 or less; (for married couples filing a joint return, the limit is $160,000 or less). The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels.The full credit is available for a single taxpayer whose modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is $80,000 or less; (for married couples filing a joint return, the limit is $160,000 or less). The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. Even people who owe no tax can get an annual payment of the credit of up to $1,000 for each eligible student. See Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents, for details.Even people who owe no tax can get an annual payment of the credit of up to $1,000 for each eligible student. See Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents, for details.

11 Major sources of financing: (Other than your savings) Federal government through FAFSA Federal government through FAFSA Universities & Colleges Universities & Colleges IRS Tax Credit IRS Tax Credit IRS Tax Credit IRS Tax Credit Local foundations, groups, & employers Local foundations, groups, & employers National scholarships National scholarships

12 For competitive scholarship selection: Extra-curricular activities Extra-curricular activities Leadership experience Leadership experience Work experience Work experience Volunteer experience Volunteer experience Sports participation Sports participation Reviewers are looking for well-rounded individuals who have a proven success record. Choose quality over quantity. Students will be asking teachers or sponsors for letters of recommendation. Character matters. Most scholarships are paid directly to the school of your choice in your college account.

13 Major sources of financing: (Other than your savings) Federal government through FAFSA Federal government through FAFSA Universities & Colleges Universities & Colleges IRS Tax Credit IRS Tax Credit IRS Tax Credit IRS Tax Credit Local foundations, groups, & employers Local foundations, groups, & employers National scholarships National scholarships ROTC Military College Programs ROTC Military College Programs

14 Youre a good candidate and its time to apply. Now what? Submit your college application during the summer after your 11 th grade year. Universities will not offer scholarships unless you are an accepted student. This process is over by Dec. 1 st of your senior year for many 4 year schools. Submit your college application during the summer after your 11 th grade year. Universities will not offer scholarships unless you are an accepted student. This process is over by Dec. 1 st of your senior year for many 4 year schools. Contact the college of your major. Many schools offer departmental scholarships in addition to university scholarships. Contact the college of your major. Many schools offer departmental scholarships in addition to university scholarships. Sign up for scholarship searches. Create a new address to avoid the inevitable spam. Sign up for scholarship searches. Create a new address to avoid the inevitable spam. File the FAFSA as soon after Jan. 1 of your last year in high school. Parents will need to cooperate by completing tax forms early. December graduates should file NOW! File the FAFSA as soon after Jan. 1 of your last year in high school. Parents will need to cooperate by completing tax forms early. December graduates should file NOW! Have your resume in order. Complete your brag sheet for use by teachers when writing letters of recommendation. Have your resume in order. Complete your brag sheet for use by teachers when writing letters of recommendation. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!! Some applications are ridiculously simple; others must be started months in advance (i.e. ROTC). Start essays ASAP so you have plenty of time to include all your ideas & PROOFREAD! DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!! Some applications are ridiculously simple; others must be started months in advance (i.e. ROTC). Start essays ASAP so you have plenty of time to include all your ideas & PROOFREAD! Read the scholarship newsletter on the first day you receive it & take action. Almost all are internet accessible. Read the scholarship newsletter on the first day you receive it & take action. Almost all are internet accessible. You can ask your parents to help with mailing & such but the application must be completed by YOU. You can ask your parents to help with mailing & such but the application must be completed by YOU.

15 Never pay for college financial aid services: Unscrupulous individuals often rent hotel rooms & send out official-looking invitations through the mail. Cost is in the range of $300 - $1500. They guarantee financial aid, but everyone can get a loan – without their help! Unscrupulous individuals often rent hotel rooms & send out official-looking invitations through the mail. Cost is in the range of $300 - $1500. They guarantee financial aid, but everyone can get a loan – without their help! Never pay for filing the FAFSA. Dont go to fafsa.com! The official website is Never pay for filing the FAFSA. Dont go to fafsa.com! The official website is

16 Luckily, free experts are available: Use the internet to search for information about colleges, scholarships, and financial aid. Use the internet to search for information about colleges, scholarships, and financial aid. Contact your students high school counselor to set up an appointment to discuss plans and options. Contact your students high school counselor to set up an appointment to discuss plans and options. Ask questions of the admission counselors of the schools you are considering. Ask questions of the admission counselors of the schools you are considering. As soon as you are accepted, make an appointment with your future schools financial aid professional. As soon as you are accepted, make an appointment with your future schools financial aid professional.

17 Everyone who wants to go to college can go. Low income students usually graduate debt free. Low income students usually graduate debt free. A moderate debt is worth it if you trade that debt for a higher paying, more satisfying career. A moderate debt is worth it if you trade that debt for a higher paying, more satisfying career. GI benefits are available for veterans and can now be transferred to family members. GI benefits are available for veterans and can now be transferred to family members. Some employers will pay for further training for a valued employee. Some employers will pay for further training for a valued employee. Whatever you decide, if you dont get further training after high school, you will only be qualified to do the job you get right out of high school. Sometimes you get lucky; usually not. Whatever you decide, if you dont get further training after high school, you will only be qualified to do the job you get right out of high school. Sometimes you get lucky; usually not.

18 Happy Fishing! Financing your college education is a lot like fishing – if you dont bait your hook & cast a line, you wont catch a fish, but there are no guarantees either.


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