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Top 10 Things to Know About Financial Aid for College Jerry Cebrzynski Director of Financial Aid, Lake Forest College.

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Presentation on theme: "Top 10 Things to Know About Financial Aid for College Jerry Cebrzynski Director of Financial Aid, Lake Forest College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Top 10 Things to Know About Financial Aid for College Jerry Cebrzynski Director of Financial Aid, Lake Forest College

2  College cost “planning”  What exactly is financial aid  The financial aid “ language ”  Application process in a nutshell  How eligibility is determined  How a College can help  Timeline  Your next step

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4 Choosing a College Best Fit ► Program ► Location ► Size ► Mix of Students ► Academics ► Extracurricular ► Facilities ► Financial Considerations

5 In the News

6 Current College Costs  Average Tuition, Fees, Room, Board 4 Year Public: $17,000 4 Year Public: $17,000 4 Year Private: $35,000 4 Year Private: $35,000  Average personal expenses [clothing, laundry, toiletries, recreation, entertainment] = $2,000  Books = $700 - $1,000 per year

7 Direct costs vs. Indirect Costs ► ► Direct costs = on tuition invoice   Tuition, fees, housing, meal plan ► ► Indirect costs = related educational expenses   Books, supplies, transportation, laundry, … ► ► COA should reflect direct and indirect expenses

8 1. Cost of attendance (COA) should not be a mystery

9 Sticker Price vs. After Financial Aid/Scholarship Price Net Price Calculator New!

10 Net Price Calculators ► ► Online, College-specific estimator ► ► Average grant/scholarship available to a family like yours ► ► Average student loan and work-study eligibility ► ► Estimated award is not a promise, a guarantee, or an actual aid offer

11 ► To the extent they are able, parents have primary responsibility to pay for their dependent children’s education ► Students also have a responsibility to contribute to their educational costs ► Families should be evaluated in their appropriate financial condition ► A family’s ability to pay for educational costs must be evaluated in an equitable and consistent manner, recognizing that special circumstances can and do affect its ability to pay 2. Financial Aid is “A Partnership”

12 ► Committed to removing financial barriers ► an advocate for the student at all levels ► Educates students and families through quality consumer information ► Provides services that do not discriminate ► Maintains the highest level of professionalism The Financial Aid Office

13 3. What is Financial Aid? ► Scholarships ► Grants ► Student Loans ► Work-Study

14 Four major sources of funding College Private Organizations Private Organizations Federal State

15 Two Categories of Financial Aid   From College as well as from foundations, etc.   Specific criteria eligibility   Solely based on student’s credentials   Calculated from FAFSA and other aid applications   Sources can be federal, state, institutional   Types include grants, student loans, work-study Merit-based Need-based

16 4. Everyone should apply for aid ► Many types and sources of aid are available ► On the fence?  67% of all students receive aid [88% at private colleges  Sometimes being rejected for federal aid is a prerequisite for receiving private awards

17 So... how does the process begin?

18 The FAFSA collects basic financial data is used to determine the student’s eligibility by calculating an “index” # 5. To apply for all federal and state aid, families must complete the...

19 Overview of the FAFSA ► available January 1, 2012 ► FAFSA.GOV ► 7 Steps ► Signed and submitted electronically

20 FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) English or Spanish English or Spanish Skip logic and online editing Skip logic and online editing Electronic signature Electronic signature notification notification 19 million (99%) FOTWs processed 11/12 so far 19 million (99%) FOTWs processed 11/12 so far

21 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet 4-page booklet containing: ► Instructions ► 24 questions in 4 sections

22 FAQs ► ► Estimate 2011 income on FAFSA; adjust later ► ► Divorced, separated, single parents ► ► Assets included   Savings, stocks, other real estate   529 Plans ► ► Assets not included   Home equity   Retirement accounts   Insurance policies, annuities ► ► One FAFSA per student ► ► Renewal of Aid

23 Option to Access IRS Information 23

24 IRS Data Retrieval

25 Supplemental Financial Aid Applications ► The College Scholarship Service Financial Aid PROFILE ► A College’s own application for financial aid

26 6. Special Circumstances Matter ► ► When the numbers don’t tell the whole story ► ► When the situation is expected to change (or has) ► ► Must be able to document ► consideration will vary from school to school

27 Special Situations Examples of items not on the FAFSA: ► income change (work, child support, SSBs, etc) ► large healthcare costs ► some educational costs ► support of extended family ► significant non-elective home repairs ► consideration will vary from school to school ► check with financial aid office for “how to” ► provide #s and explanation, and daytime phone

28 Cost of Attendance Cost of Attendance Family’s Contribution Family’s Contribution Financial Need Financial Need -= How much aid can a student receive? Financial Need

29 The Financial Aid Award Letter 7. The Financial Aid Award Letter (or “package” ) Will contain a combination of scholarship, grant, loan and work-study funds scholarship, grant, loan and work-study funds Why might “packages” be different? cost of attendance cost of attendance scholarship criteria and availability scholarship criteria and availability institutional philosophy and funding institutional philosophy and funding federal funding levels federal funding levels

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31 Decoding the Award Letter Compare ► ► COA ► ► Total amount of aid ► ► Types and sources Ask questions ► Is aid renewable? ► Terms for renewing? ► Will aid change from year to year? ► Will costs increase? ► Is more aid available if EFC decreases?

32 8. Appeals ► ► Can request change in aid if there is a valid reason ► ► Will it make a difference?   Is need already fully met?   Is more aid available? ► ► Valid reasons   Special circumstances

33 9. Deadlines are essential

34 Timeline ► Complete FAFSA after January 1 ► Receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) hours later ► Review SAR for correctness ► Check if other additional application required or beneficial ► Receive Financial Aid Award Letter before May 1

35 10. Ask for Right here at LZHS Right here at LZHS A College’s Financial Aid Office A College’s Financial Aid Office The Internet The Internet College Web Sites College Web Sites

36 Scholarship and Financial Aid Search Services ► Beware of scholarship scams (consultants, seminars) ► Same goes for Financial Aid “Advisors” ► FAFSA.com not the same as FAFSA.gov ► ► Never pay for a service you can do yourself, and for free!

37 Financial Aid Questions to Ask a College ACM.EDU

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