Presentation on theme: "College Financing Workshop Greg Ball Assistant Vice Chancellor Brandman University Chapman University System."— Presentation transcript:
College Financing Workshop Greg Ball Assistant Vice Chancellor Brandman University Chapman University System
Workshop Agenda Getting ready – the college calendar College costs Debunking college financing myths Types of financial aid - grants, scholarships, work & loans The application process - (FAFSA, GPA Verification Form, CSS Financial Aid PROFILE and other forms) Evaluating Financial Aid Awards Next steps in the process
The College Calendar Check out the specific deadlines for schools of interest October - March –IF REQUIRED BY THE SCHOOL, complete the CSS Financial Aid Profile form. (Only required by about 500 schools) –Apply for scholarships –Apply for admission November – March : Obtain FAFSA-on-the-Web Pre-Application Worksheet (www.fafsa.ed.gov) December 15 : Notification date for early admission at some schools
The College Calendar January - February: –Submit FAFSA & Cal Grant GPA Verification Form –Check on housing application deadlines February - April: –Notifications for regular admission followed by financial aid award letters. –Send addl documents as requested (IRS tax return transcripts and other forms) –Before deciding where to attend, visit the colleges, if possible
The College Calendar May 1: Send tuition & housing deposits (most 4-year schools) Summer: –Orientation –Pre-registration August – September: –Hit the books!
6 Strategy Work with Your Guidance Counselor Stay Organized –Keep a file on each college Admissions application deadline and required documents, copies and dates of each document submitted and all correspondence Record of campus visits and telephone conferences Financial aid application deadline and required documents, copies and dates each document was submitted and all correspondence. Costs for tuition, fees, residence hall, etc.
7 Strategy Stay Organized –Financial Aid File FAFSA CSS Profile Form (if required) Student Aid Report Information Acknowledgement (received after filing FAFSA) Copies of Tax Returns and W-2s Copies of corrections
8 Deadline Dates & Mailing Procedures Assume deadline date means received date - both for electronic and paper submissions Mail at least one week before the deadline date Certificate of Mailing is recommended Do not send Certified Mail to a PO Box If mailing to a PO Box, do not use private overnight delivery services (i.e., FedEx, etc.) as they dont have access to PO boxes You may use U.S. Post Office Priority Mail to mail to a PO Box
9 Common Errors Failing to submit all required application forms and documents Missing application deadlines Submitting incomplete application forms or documents
10 The Financial Aid Equation Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Estimated financial need or eligibility for financial aid
The Costs Of Going To College Tuition & Fees Books & Supplies Room & Board Personal Expenses Transportation
12 How Expensive is it? College A charges $10,000 College B charges $20,000 Which is more expensive? –College A if College B provides $15,000 in scholarships and College A provides no assistance. –What if College B provided no scholarship assistance but provided $15,000 in low interest loans instead?
13 To assess costs, you need to know: The Sticker Price The Amount and type of Financial Aid Few Families at high cost schools pay the full sticker price.
15 Financial Aid Award Packaging Availability of funds and institutional policy will influence amount and type of aid offered Many schools are unable to meet full federal financial aid eligibility (need) due to limited resources –Schools may use different need analysis methodologies to distribute aid –Schools may use the federal need analysis methodology but under-award each student by a fixed amount or by a percentage of eligibility
16 Possible Financial Aid Packages PS 1 PS 2INDEP COST:$15,000$20,000$38,000 FAMILY CONTRIBUTION: $ 5,000$ 5,000$ 8,000 AID ELIGIBILITY (NEED): $10,000$15,000$30,000 AWARDS: GRANT/SCHOLARSHIP: $ 0$ 5,000$23,000 EMPLOYMENT: $ 3,000$ 3,000$ 3,000 LOANS: $ 2,625$ 5,000$ 4,000 TOTAL$ 5,625$ 13,000$30,000
17 Reduce Costs By: Take AP, IB, and CLEP tests and attend a college that accepts the results. Attend summer school –If attending a different college in the summer, be sure the units will transfer and are applicable to your degree. Max out on credits each term. Choose a major early.
Financial Aid Myths Scholarships will pay our students college costs. –Reality: Only 4% of total financial aid is in the form of merit or talent-based scholarships. Our family makes too much money to qualify for financial aid. –Reality: Many factors beyond annual income are considered in determining a familys ability to pay for college expenses. These include family size, net value of assets, age of parents, number of children in college, and special circumstances.
Financial Aid Myths The equity in our home will make our child ineligible for financial aid. –Reality: Federal and state formulae do not consider home equity. Some independent institutions do review home equity but often adjust it relative to family income. Home equity is requested on the CSS Profile Form. Our other assets will make our child ineligible. –Reality: Parental assets are protected for retirement. Parental assets have no effect on eligibility for 95% of applications. For the remaining five percent, no more than 5.7% of parents net assets (savings, investments, equity) are used in determining eligibility for aid. Retirement funds (IRA, 401K, 403b, etc.) are not considered assets (except for CSS Profile Form) but pre-tax amounts contributed in the prior tax year are considered untaxed income.
20 Financial Aid Myths I am not an A student or an athlete, so I will not be eligible for financial aid –Reality: Most financial aid is awarded on the basis of the economic situation of the parents and student. There also are funds available to students with special talents. Financial aid is available only to minorities –Reality: Although a few scholarships are based on race, gender, disability, or other special factors, the overwhelming amount of moneys are awarded on the basis of financial need. Awards based on academic ability, athletic and other special talents, and community service also exceed awards based on minority status. Loans are not a form of financial aid –Reality: Loans provide cash flow assistance by allowing students to spread the costs of college over a longer period of time. They are subsidized by the federal government.
21 Financial Aid Myths Big, prestigious colleges will award more aid –Reality: Every college makes its own decisions about how much aid to offer. Big colleges have big expenses, and some small colleges have large endowments or other financial aid resources. More non-education debt will get me more financial aid –Reality: Need analysis formulas do not consider consumer or mortgage debt. Families that have borrowed excessively will find paying for college more difficult. Debt is debt, and unwise borrowing is always unwise, especially if the purpose is to get more financial aid.
22 Financial Aid Myths I will have to go deeply into debt in order to go to college –Reality: Most students graduate with less debt than the cost of a single year of private school tuition. A good rule of thumb is not to borrow more during college than your expected starting annual salary when you graduate. We cannot afford the high cost of college –Reality: Only the wealthiest families pay the full cost of college. The highest cost colleges tend to provide the biggest financial aid and scholarship awards. Student employment hurts grades –Reality: On average, students who work up to 15 hours per week actually get better grades than those who do not work.
23 Financial Aid Myths Millions of dollars go unclaimed each year –Reality: The only aid that goes unclaimed is aid that is so restricted that no one can qualify for it. Colleges cut support during the junior and senior years –Reality: Some college might engage in this practice, but no one has been able reliably to name one. The most common reason for reducing support is a change in eligibility due to an older sibling graduating from college and consequently no longer being considered in the eligibility analysis. My neighbor did not get financial aid, so neither will I –Reality: Your neighbor is not you. He or she may have significantly different financial circumstances than you do, despite outward appearances. Your neighbors child may have attended a lower cost school, or your neighbor may want you to think he or she is not receiving support. The only way to learn if you are eligible for financial aid is to apply for it. If you do not apply, you definitely will not receive assistance.
24 Financial Aid Myths There is no point in applying for financial aid this year because I was denied assistance last year. –Reality: Eligibility rules for financial aid change each year as do family circumstances. The only way to know if you are eligible is to apply. I should wait until I have filed tax returns before applying for financial aid. –Reality: Meet the application deadlines! It is easier to complete the application materials after tax returns have been finalized, but it is far worse to miss a deadline. If you have not completed your tax returns by the application deadlines, estimate as closely as possible the information you report on the application and provide corrections later if needed.
25 Financial Aid Myths Prenuptial agreements and trust funds are good tools for sheltering money from the eligibility analysis –Reality: A prenuptial agreement is between a husband and wife before they are married. It is not binding on a third party, such as the federal government or a college, and cannot be used to change financial aid eligibility rules. Likewise, restrictions established in a trust fund, such as limiting access to income or principal, also have no affect on eligibility. Applying for financial aid will hurt my chances for admission –Reality: Most colleges practice aid blind admission, which means they make admissions decisions without regard to ability to pay. If you are interested in one of the very few schools that does consider financial aid applicants differently from non-applicants, you still should apply. If you need financial aid to attend a school and do not apply for it, you will not receive assistance and consequently still will be unable to attend.
26 Financial Aid Myths I should wait until I am admitted before applying for financial aid –Reality: Meet the application deadlines! Many application deadlines for financial aid are earlier than the dates that colleges announce admissions decisions. If you do not meet the financial aid deadline, you may not be awarded some aid because funds will be exhausted by the time you do apply. By meeting the deadline, you will be considered fully for all financial aid funds and will be notified shortly after learning of your admission. If I win a scholarship, it will reduce my financial aid package –Reality: This might be true to some extent. Federal rules prohibit a student receiving more than needed to attend school. If you have already received all the aid the government calculates you need, additional assistance requires a reduction in previously awarded funds. In most cases, students have not been awarded their full eligibility, and a scholarship is simply added to the amount they are receiving. When aid must be reduced, most colleges reduce loans and employment rather than grants and scholarships.
27 Financial Aid Myths I will not qualify for financial aid because I have saved money for college. –Reality: Not as true as it used to be. With passage of the Higher Education Reconciliation Act, the federal government uses only 20% of student assets as part of the family contribution. For instance, if a student has $5,000 in savings, the change to the family contribution would be $1,000: $5,000 X 20% = $1,000. In some special circumstances, student assets are not considered at all. If my parents do not claim me on their tax return, I will get more aid –Reality: Not true since 1992 and not always true then.
Independent Student Criteria... The student MUST: –be born before January 1, 1991, or –be married, or –have a dependent child living with the student and the student must be providing at least 50% support, or –be a Veteran of Armed Services or on active duty for purposes other than training, or –at age 13 or older, be an orphan, foster child, or Ward of the Court, or –be a graduate degree seeking student, or
29 Independent Student Criteria Continued… –be an emancipated minor as determined by a court, or –be in legal guardianship as determined by a court, or –be an unaccompanied youth who is homeless as determined by your high school homeless liaison, the director of an emergency shelter program funded by the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, or the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional learning program, or –special circumstances as determined by the Financial Aid Office If dependent, parental financial information must be included on the FAFSA
Types of Financial Aid Grants (gift aid based on need) Scholarships (gift aid based on merit/talent) Work-Study Educational Loans (student & parent loans) Depending on circumstances, students may obtain all types of aid (and several different grants, scholarships, loans and work-study)
Need-Based Grants Federal Pell Grants ($5,645 maximum for year) Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) –$4,000 annual maximum State Cal Grants (financial need; sophomore and junior year cumulative GPA) –CSUs - full educationally-related, system-wide fees –UCs - full educationally-related, system-wide fees –Independents – up to $9,084 for College Grants –Community College Fee Waiver (BOG) –CSU State Univ Grant (SUG) –UC Grant –Independent college grants
Cal Grants For California residents attending a California college or university –Cal Grant A Entitlement Awards based on: a financial need of at least $1,500; GPA of at least 3.00 in sophomore-junior years in high school; and familys total 2013 income and assets are below State ceilings –Cal Grant B awarded to very low-income families with at least a 2.0 GPA and financial need of at least $700 –Cal Grant C for occupational or vocational programs By March 2, 2014, submit –FAFSA to –Cal Grant GPA Verification Form to the California Student Aid Commission
33 Source: California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) Cal Grant A Income & Asset Ceilings NOTE: income & asset ceilings subject to change $64,300 $89,100 5 $64,300 $83,100 4 $64,300 $76,500 3 $64,300 $74, or more $96,100 $64,300
Community College Fee Waiver The California Community College Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver ( BOG Fee Waiver ) waives the California Community Colleges enrollment fee for California residents: –who are eligible for need-based financial aid, or –who receive CalWORKs/TANF, SSI, or General Assistance payments, or –whose family income falls below published income ceilings To learn more about this BOG Fee Waiver, go to
Scholarships Available from colleges, companies, community- based groups and other organizations Usually require separate applications May require transcript, essay, interview, or audition Beware of scholarship search companies that charge a fee At least once each week, check with the high school guidance office about scholarship opportunities Make use of free scholarship searches
36 A Lot Has Been Said About Students And Parents Getting Hooked By Fraudulent Scholarship Scams Beware false claims! –Thousands of dollars in scholarships go unclaimed each year –Guaranteed or your money back! –Give me your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship –The scholarship will cost some money –Youve been selected... –Youre a finalist in a contest (that your child never entered)
Free Scholarship Searches These sites also contain useful financial aid information
Check out on the Web! This ones on the level Supported by: –U.S. Department of Education –Over 1,300 colleges use their logo –Praised by: LA and NY Times, Business Week, Money Magazine, Kiplingers, Wall Street Journal, CNN Financial News, CNBC, MSNBC... –Many happy student testimonials
Has over 1,000,000 scholarships in database These are worth over $3 billion Each scholarship updated quarterly to maintain accuracy of database Parents page offers unique perspectives from financial aid experts Supported with an advisory board of educators
Sample Scholarship Application Questions Contact data: –Name and address of student Demographics: –Birth date, gender, race, heritage, religion, marital status, citizenship, disabilities –Parent employer, education, and veteran status Education, work and activities: –High school and colleges attended, year in school, GPA, SAT/ACT scores, community service and employment history –Student sports, hobbies, special talents/skills, and other interests
Features of Easy to use - just go on the web page using the above URL address Give yourself a password Answer the questions Wait a few minutes for the search to take place Then print out a letter to any sponsor chosen & submit it Follow up with sponsors
Additional features: Go back and visit your mailbox periodically-- fastWEB updates it with new scholarships listings for which you might be eligible Link with important sources for general financial aid information Get tips for making a good search Parents can use parent chat room
Gates Millennium Scholarship Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation –Minimum 3.3 high school GPA –African American, Asian, Hispanic or Native American students who are Federal Pell Grant eligible in their first year of college –Application deadline – January 15, 2014 Renewable for undergraduate and graduate studies –Maintain minimum cumulative college GPA of 3.0 –Continue to demonstrate financial need –Meet renewal deadlines Application and more information available at
Student Work Earnings Work-Study - Work program during school year or summer for students with financial need Regular work earnings during school year Summer jobs Studies show that students who work in campus-sponsored jobs earn, on average, better grades than non-working students and are more likely to graduate in four years
Educational Loans: An Investment in the Future Federal Perkins Loans Federal Direct Stafford Loan Federal PLUS (Parental) Loan for Undergraduate Students Private or Institutional Loans for students and parents Institutional Monthly Payment Plans Some families use home equity loan for college Interest paid on student loans is deductible on federal tax returns for many middle income students and parents
Federal Direct Stafford Loans Students educational loan From federal government direct to school for students 2 types: subsidized or unsubsidized Separate application/promissory note required (at least for the 1 st year) Virtually all students (if enrolled half-time in a degree or certificate program and a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen) are eligible, regardless of financial need
Subsidized Direct Loans Need-based No payments or interest while in school How much? $3,500 for freshmen; $4,500 for sophomores; $5,500 for juniors and seniors Payments & interest begin 6 months after graduation Interest rate: 3.86% for undergraduates Repayment options from 10 to 25 years
Unsubsidized Direct Loans Eligibility not based on income or need Interest rate of 3.86% for undergraduates begins when funds are disbursed Defer interest or pay interest while in school Maximum amount: $2,000 plus the borrowing maximum for the subsidized Direct Loan if student is ineligible for a subsidized Direct Loan Additional borrowing - independent undergrads and dependents whose parents are ineligible for PLUS: –$4,000 for freshmen/sophomores; $5,000 for juniors/seniors; grads up to $10,000
Federal PLUS (Parental) Loans Parents may borrow the total cost of education less any financial aid received (can be used to replace parent and student EFC) Interest rate: 6.41% – monthly repayment ~ $100 per month for every $10K borrowed Minimal credit check required Separate application is necessary (in late spring/early summer) Interest on loans is income tax deductible for many middle income parents
Net Price Calculator Federal rules require that most colleges provide Net Price Calculators on their websites to give families information about the net cost (tuition minus estimated financial aid) to attend that college. Limitations –Some schools use sophisticated analysis; others use averages. –Only as good as the information submitted. Bottom Line: Results may be unreliable. 50
How Students Apply for Financial Aid FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Cal Grant GPA Verification Form –For California Residents Only CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (if required) 2013 IRS Federal Tax Transcripts 2013 IRS Federal Tax Returns (including all schedules and W-2 forms) or Non-Filing Forms Other required forms may include: –Verification Form –Noncustodial Parent Form –Business/Farm Supplement –Other Special Appeal Forms
Application Materials FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) –File online after January 1, 2014 at: –The electronic FAFSA Worksheet is available online in mid-December. –File no later than the earliest college deadlines The FAFSA is used –for federal aid –for some state aid –by some schools for awarding institutional aid –by you to list all schools to which you want your family information to be sent All Schools
Some Schools Application Materials CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE –The PROFILE Registration Guide, listing those schools that require the forms, is available on line at The College Board and also from the colleges and universities. –Apply now at : –Submit customized PROFILE no later than the earliest college deadlines The PROFILE is used –by some schools to award institutional aid –to list all schools to which you want your family information sent
Other Application Materials Income Documentation –2013 Federal Tax Transcript –2013 Federal Tax Returns all schedules all W-2 forms –documentation of non-taxable income Other Supplemental Forms –Developed by individual college or university. Examples: Non-custodial parent or divorced/separated form Business/Farm Supplement Verification Form Appeals and Special Circumstances –Check with schools to determine procedures and required documentation
55 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) FAFSA is the central element in federal student aid application process Asks for familys financial and demographic information Used to calculate Expected Family Contribution based on federal methodology (FM) Used to confirm certain student eligibility criteria via database matches with federal agencies
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Electronic FAFSA –FAFSA on the Web –www.fafsa.ed.gov Paper option –mid-December distribution –Includes postcard and supplemental information page
Electronic FAFSA Process Student uses FAFSA on the Web to enter and transmit application data to CPS For FAFSA on the Web, student and family use PIN, or they print, sign and mail signature page to FAFSA Processor CPS edits data, performs database matches, calculates EFC, sends SAR Information Acknowledgement to student
58 Federal PIN PIN (Personal Identification Number) serves as the electronic signature on the FAFSA and other federal aid documents Student and at least one custodial parent need a PIN May also be used to: –Check on FAFSA status –Verify FAFSA data –Make FAFSA Corrections on the Web –Reapply for financial aid in future years Apply NOW for your PINs at:
Paper FAFSA Process Student (and family) completes either a paper FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA Student mails paper FAFSA to FAFSA processor FAFSA processor enters and transmits application data to Central Processing System (CPS) CPS edits data, performs database matches, calculates EFC, prints and mails Student Aid Report (SAR) to student
Federal Methodology Need Analysis Many factors considered, including –Taxed and untaxed income of custodial parent(s) and student –Number of family members –Number of dependent children in college at least 1/2 time in for at least 1 academic term –Age of older parent (to protect assets for retirement) –Net assets (checking, savings, investments, other real estate equity, business and farm equity) Neither home and/or family farm equity nor retirement assets are used to calculate eligibility for California state or federal aid
FAFSA Information & Tips File no later than March 2, 2014 or the earliest college deadline – whichever comes first Easier to complete using 2013 tax return but use estimated income information if tax return is not filed. Student, parent, & preparer must sign FAFSA or provide PIN number for each
FAFSA Information & Tips May list up to 4 colleges on paper FAFSA, 10 on electronic FAFSA Divorced or separated? Include custodial parent information only Custodial parent remarried? Include step- parent information as well Student and parent must complete the FAFSA every year by school's published deadline
63 Common FAFSA Errors Leaving a field blank (If the answer is zero, write 0). Not using legal name as it appears on the students Social Security card. The words you and your on the FAFSA always refer to the student, not the parents. Confusing total income tax with adjusted gross income, taxes withheld, or taxes due. Listing retirement assets as investments.
64 Common FAFSA Errors Not reporting Earned Income Credit, retirement plan contributions, combat pay, and military food and housing allowances as untaxed income. Not counting the student as a member of the family and/or as a family member who will be attending college. Women failing to indicate they are women for the Selective Service question.
65 Common FAFSA Errors Not listing colleges you want to receive the report, listing the wrong colleges, or using the wrong Federal School Code. Not reporting the students housing plans for each college. Not signing the form. (The student is always required to sign. At least one parent also must sign if parental information is required to be reported.)
FAFSA: Step One Name & address SSN & date of birth Telephone number Drivers license & state address General student information:
FAFSA: Step One Citizenship Marital status State & date of legal residence Selective Service General student information ( Questions 14 – 22) :
FAFSA: Step One Drug Conviction Parent s Education High school diploma General student information ( Questions 23 – 26) :
69 FAFSA: Step One High School Info. First Bachelors Degree Year in School Academic Program Work Study Interest General Student Information (Questions 27 – 31
FAFSA: Step Two Questions 32 – 35: –Student (& spouse, if married) 2013 IRS income tax return status & type Students (& spouses, if married) income & asset information
FAFSA: Step Two Questions 36 – 40: Student (& spouse, if married) 2013 adjusted gross income, federal tax paid, number of exemptions, and earnings from employment.
FAFSA: Step Two Questions 41 – 43: Total cash, savings, & checking Net worth of investments Net worth of businesses & investment farms
73 FAFSA: Step Two Question 44 (Students Additional Financial Information): Education Credits Child Support Paid Taxable Earnings from Need Based Employment Financial Aid Reported to IRS As Part of AGI Combat Pay Earnings from Cooperative Education at a College
74 FAFSA: Step Two Question 45 (Students 2013 Untaxed Income): Payments to tax-deferred retirement plans IRA deductions Child support received Tax exempt interest Untaxed retirement distributions Living allowances Veterans non-educational benefits Gifts Other
FAFSA: Step Three Students dependency status questions: If all no responses, student is dependent If yes to any question, student is independent
FAFSA: Step Four Financial & household data for parents of dependent students Questions 59 – 69 –Marital status –SSNs, last names, first initials, & dates of birth – Address
FAFSA: Step Four Questions 70 – 79 for parents: State and date of legal residency Household size Number in college Receipt of Federal Benefits
FAFSA: Step Four Questions 80 – 84 for parents: 2013 Federal tax return filing status and dislocated worker.
79 FAFSA: Step Four Questions 85 – 89 for parents: Parents 2013 adjusted gross income, federal tax paid, number of exemptions, and earnings from employment.
FAFSA: Step Four Questions 90 – 92 for parents: Total cash, savings, & checking accounts Net worth of investments Net worth of businesses & investment farms
81 FAFSA: Step Four Question 93 (Parents Additional Financial Information): Education Credits Child Support Paid Taxable Earnings from Need Based Employment Financial Aid Reported to IRS As Part of AGI Combat Pay Earnings from Cooperative Education at a College
82 FAFSA: Step Four Question 94 (Parents 2013 Untaxed Income): Payments to tax-deferred retirement plans IRA deductions Child support received Tax exempt interest Untaxed retirement distributions Living allowances Veterans non-educational benefits Gifts Other
FAFSA: Step Five Questions 95 – 102: Independent students & spouses (if married) household size & number in college 2013 Federal Benefit Programs Dislocated worker
FAFSA: Step Six Question 103: Federal school code for each school Name/address for each school Housing plans for each school List of up to 4 schools to receive FAFSA data or 10 schools by filing online:
86 More Than Four (or Ten) Strategy Get PIN and file electronically –Not absolutely necessary but faster than paper and you can list 10 schools instead of 4. File earlier than the Deadline –For every 10 additional schools, electronically file at least five business days earlier than the deadline. If you are considering 25 schools, make initial application at least 10 business days before the deadline (25 schools equals one initial group and two more groups. Two more groups equals 10 days.) On the first FAFSA, list your first 10 schools with the most expensive California school first. (Slight advantage for Cal Grant)
87 More Than Four (or Ten) Strategy About three to four days after sending initial electronic FAFSA, you will receive an electronic notice that the FAFSA has been processed and that data has been transmitted to your first 10 schools. Go to FAFSA-on-the-Web, change the current 10 schools to the next 10, electronically sign the corrections with students and one parents PIN, and resubmit. In another three to four days, you will receive notice that your corrected FAFSA record has been processed. If you still have more schools to which you wish to apply, log on to FAFSA on the Web and repeat this process until all your schools have been notified.
88 More Than Four (or Ten) Strategy When you decide to attend a particular school, make sure that school is listed to receive your FAFSA information. If it was on the last list of schools you submitted, you need do nothing. If it was one of the earlier schools you listed to receive your information, go back to FAFSA-on- the-Web, remove one of the currently listed schools, and replace it with the school you have decided to attend. Again, the student and at least one parent must electronically sign (PIN) the e-FAFSA.
Federal Resources General info or technical questions: – (800) or (800) 4 FED AID – PIN Application Process – FAFSA on the Web – Federal School Codes by state by school –
Financial Aid Notifications Award notification usually contains: –Cost of attendance at that school –How the students need for assistance was determined –Types and amounts of aid offered –How aid will be disbursed –Terms and conditions of offer
Financial Aid Notifications Students should: –Accept or decline offer –Sign and return award notification to financial aid office, if required –If borrowing, complete loan counseling and sign promissory note (usually done online)
Summary of Financial Aid Process Submit –CSS Financial Aid PROFILE (for the independent colleges that require it) –Federal FAFSA (to be completed every year after January 1) –College Financial Aid Applications (some schools) –Cal Grant GPA Verification Form before March 2 Review Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy
Summary of Financial Aid Process If required, submit verification documents including 2013 federal tax transcripts When you receive financial aid award notifications from colleges –Compare and evaluate financial aid award letters –Decide which college to attend Complete loan applications if you or your parents plan to borrow
Making a Decision Select the college based on all the factors, not just cost and financial aid –Academic Program –Reputation –Location –Class size –Learning environment –Caliber of faculty
95 Making a Decision –Type of College (Two year, four year, public, private, etc.) –Is this my last school or next stop? –Quality of facilities –Nature of the student body –Religious affiliation –Relationships with professors –Safety and emergency services –What sacrifices must I make and are they worth it?
96 Making a Decision –Career Objectives –Comfort Level (How does it feel?) How long does it typically take to graduate? –Nationally, only 30% of students who start at a four year school graduate within four years. –Six years at a less expensive college might cost more than four years at a higher cost institution.
97 Evaluating Aid Packages Financial aid awards contain varying amounts of grant, work-study, and loan Compare the awards you are offered to the cost of the college that made the offer Consider your need, not calculated need, and compare it to the offer Grants and scholarships vs. loans and work What are the terms and conditions of the scholarships, grants, and loans you have been offered?
98 Evaluating Aid Packages Is financial aid renewable? –What are the terms for renewal? –How long? –If I study abroad, what will happen to my financial aid award? –What if a parent or student loses a job? –What if a parent or student obtains a higher paying job or gets a raise? –What if I inherit a large sum of money?
Special Circumstances Contact the Financial Aid Office if there is: –A loss or reduction in parent or student income or assets –A death or serious illness of family member –Unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance –Reduction in child support or social security benefits –Financial responsibility for elderly grandparents –Roth IRA rollovers –Casualty losses due to weather, fire, flood, theft, etc. –Unusual capital gains –Children with special needs –Tuition expenses at a private elementary or secondary school
100 Special Circumstances –Bankruptcy or foreclosure –Custodial parent remarries after application date –Alimony payments that are not deductible on the tax return –Change in income due to retirement –Parent called to active duty in the armed forces –Child care costs –Any other unusual circumstances that affect ability to contribute to higher education The information you provide should be in writing, and the college may require completion of special forms and supporting documentation
101 Special Circumstances If you have a special circumstance, notify the financial aid office at each school to which you are making application. –Before filing the FAFSA (and Profile form if required) learn the procedure for notifying the school about the special circumstance. Some schools prefer to have the information before making their financial aid decisions; others will ask you to wait until you receive their award letter. –Respond promptly to any requests for additional information. –Do not be concerned if you send information at a time different from when it is desired or if the information is incomplete. Financial aid administrators want to take your situation into account and will work with you.
102 Requesting Revision of a Financial Aid Award Over 85% of students receive adequate financial aid awards by doing nothing more than submitting a FAFSA and other application materials. If you are awarded and need more assistance, consider using this strategy when contacting the financial aid office: Establish a relationship. If possible, meet with a financial aid counselor or at least speak with one by telephone so that your situation can be fully understood. Make a written statement with supporting documentation. A written statement will be needed in order to meet audit and other requirements. Some schools may require the statement prior to the meeting with the aid administrator; others will ask you to submit one at your earliest convenience after the meeting. If you write before the meeting, make a supplemental statement after the meeting expressing appreciation for the meeting and summarizing your understanding of the discussion. If more information is needed, be sure to include it. When writing, include documents that verify your situation. For instance, if you have lost your job, include a copy of the termination notice and unemployment benefits.
103 Requesting Revision of a Financial Aid Award Work the people, not the system. Financial aid administrators are dedicated to making higher education affordable and are sympathetic to students who sincerely want to attend college. They are also well trained in the literally thousands of pages of regulations designed to assure proper stewardship of governmental and institutional moneys. Arguments about being entitled to additional funds because of some governmental rule are seldom successful because financial aid professionals know all the rules and have a sound rationale for the decision that was made. Entitlement arguments also take the discussion away from the needs of the student and into the realm of technical, regulatory knowledge. Instead, express your concerns about your award, establish a sympathetic relationship (which is easy since financial aid administrators want to help), and let the financial aid administrators work the system.
104 Requesting Revision of a Financial Aid Award Lets Make a Deal. You can mention that another college has made a larger offer and ask for additional consideration on that basis. The answer will always be No at public institutions. Most independent colleges also will advise you that they have made their best possible offer based on the information they have about your circumstances, but a small number of independent schools may wish to match or exceed a competitors offer. Be Forthright. Financial aid administrators understand that some people are so desperate that they will be untruthful, but you lose sympathy when you lose credibility.
105 Requesting Revision of a Financial Aid Award Know how much additional money is required. The financial aid administrator will first need to know what is needed in order to work with you effectively. Be prepared with a rationale for your determination about needing additional money. Provide your estimate of the costs, your estimate of what family and student can provide, any non-family resources, and the level of financial aid. Explain how you arrived at the numbers. You will likely be asked about special circumstances, data provided on the FAFSA, and tax returns, etc. Stay relevant. Explain the essential elements of your financial situation and why additional moneys are needed. Answer questions completely but do not volunteer additional information. Be courteous. Financial aid administrators understand that money can be of considerable concern and will work with everyone who needs assistance. Nevertheless, it is always advantageous to have people work with you because they want to, not because it is part of their job.
106 Requesting Revision of a Financial Aid Award Show sincerity. Explain how important attending college X is and how appreciative you are about the assistance you have already been offered. Explain the financial sacrifices you will be making, such as a parent working overtime or taking a second job. A student can work after school and in the summer to save money for college. It may be possible to reduce family expenses in order to afford college. (Please note: It is never helpful to undertake high spending and then claim there is no money left for education. A new car, extravagant vacation, etc. will indicate education is a low priority. Financial aid funds are limited, and schools will give the highest priority to students and families who demonstrate they believe higher education is of paramount importance.) Be willing to borrow.
Contact Information Greg Ball Assistant Vice Chancellor Brandman University Laguna Canyon Road Irvine, CA (949) (Direct Line with Voice Mail) (949) (Brandman University Financial Aid Office) For immediate assistance, telephoning the office is recommended. 107
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