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FINANCIAL AID: Demystifying The Process Presentation Prepared By:

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1 FINANCIAL AID: Demystifying The Process Presentation Prepared By:

2 Financial Aid n Financial Aid = Assistance for students to fund their education in the form of:  Grants  Scholarships  Loans  Employment

3 Merit-Based Aid vs. Need-Based Aid nMerit-Based Aid = aid given to students strictly on the basis of merit. May be based on:  Academic record  Special characteristics  Skills or talents  Involvement - Does not have to be repaid; usually renewable from year to year. nNeed-Based Aid = aid awarded to students on the basis of financial need. Re-evaluated each year as financial situations may change.

4 What Is The FAFSA? nFAFSA = Free Application For Federal Student Aid nApplication for federal and state aid (may be application for college aid as well, depending upon the school)  Parent/Student Sections color-coded  File one FAFSA per year per student (not one per college)  List up to six colleges--Title IV Code or school name; schools receive info. electronically

5 Whose Information is on the FAFSA? nDependent: parental & student financial data required nIndependent: student & spouse financial data required nStudent must meet one of following criteria to be considered independent:  24 years of age  Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces  Enrolled in a graduate or professional program  Married  Orphan or ward of the court until age 18  Have legal dependents that student provides at least 50% support for

6 Whose Information is on the FAFSA? nWhen filing FAFSA, financial information of parent that student resides with for more than half of the year (if equal time, information of the parent that provides the most financial support) should be provided nIf re-married, the financial data of new spouse must be included

7 How/When to File the FAFSA? Available in most guidance offices or on the Internet; college/university may mail to student as well; PHEAA mails to PA SAT takers Ways To Complete the FAFSA:  On-line at  Mail paper FAFSA to Federal Student Aid Programs  Complete as soon as possible after January 1, or file electronically at beginning January 2 prior to the fall for which student seeks

8 FAFSA On The Web If filing over the Internet, 2 choices:  Parent and student mail signature page in or  Parent and student apply for PIN # at  PIN # serves as e-signature  PIN # will be mailed or e-mailed ahead of time to student Use PIN # to submit info. and make corrections over Internet at

9 Filing The FAFSA  Based on prior calendar year tax information  May use estimated income and taxes  Don’t wait to be accepted to college to complete  PA residents must file by May 1 for state grant consideration for following fall term; state will follow up with student  MAKE COPIES OF EVERY FORM!

10 Financial Need Cost of Attendance -Expected Family Contribution Financial Need n Cost of Attendance typically includes tuition, fees, room & board, books & supplies, personal expenses and a transportation allowance

11 What Is The EFC? n Basis of financial aid package n EFC=determined by a federal formula that calculates need via the FAFSA n EFC & Financial Need are guidelines used by schools to determine aid package n EFC not necessarily = to out-of-pocket cost of family

12 How Is The EFC Calculated? Primary Factors Looked At:  Taxable Income: AGI (wages earned+interest dividends+other taxable income)  Untaxed income & benefits  Number in family  Number of dependent children in college  Assets

13 Institutional Methodology n Some schools may require CSS Profile Form  Primarily private schools  Collects supplemental data (i.e.-home equity, financial data of non-custodial parent, value of retirement plans, etc.)  Calculates IM (Institutional Methodology)  Basis for awarding institutional need- based aid only  Register to complete form at www.collegeboard.  Fee $5 plus $18 per school

14 Help! Sources of Aid n Federal n State n The College/University n Outside Organizations  Civic organizations (ex.-local Rotary Club), parent’s employer, high school

15 Federal nMust:  Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen  Have h.s. diploma or equivalent  Be matriculating in a degree/certificate program at accredited Title IV school  Be registered with Selective Service if a male between ages of 18 and 25  Free of drug possession or sale conviction nPell Grant (need-based):  $4,050 max/year for 2004-2005 year

16 Federal Campus-Based Aid nSEOG Grant-exceptional need - $100-4,000/year (typically have to receive Pell) nPerkins Loan-exceptional need - $100-4,000/year; 5% interest rate nFederal Work Study nColleges have set allocations - (student may receive award from one school & not another!)

17 Federal Stafford Loan nIn student’s name/no credit check nAvailable to all students, regardless of need nRepayment begins 6 months following graduation or withdrawal nCompetitive interest rate  8.25 % cap rate  Interest rate reset each July 1 st  Amount varies by class $2,625 for freshman $3,500 for second year students $5,500 for third year and beyond (undergrads)

18 Federal Plus Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)  Loan in parent’s name  Interest cap of 9%  Repayment begins 60 days after 2 nd disbursement  Credit check involved  Borrow up to cost of attendance minus other financial aid student is receiving  Add’l. unsub available to students whose parent(s) are denied on PLUS Loan due to poor credit

19 State Pennsylvania State Grant (for PA Residents): $3,300 max/year for 2004-05 for students attending a PA school  Eligibility based on need and family’s unique circumstances  PHEAA has their own adjusted family income cutoff  Max PHEAA Grant that can transfer out-of-state, $600, to: CT, DE, MA, ME, OH, RI, VT, DC, WV  $400 maximum transfers to other states, except NJ, MD and NY--$0 transfers there (some exceptions)  Student must file FAFSA by May 1 for upcoming fall term  PHEAA sends student status notice beginning mid- May; student must complete and return to PHEAA

20 College/University Investigate Sources of Aid  Determine deadlines and criteria  Complete college/university application for aid  Private schools may require CSS Profile (fee charged-$5 to register; $18 per school report); register at  For 2005-2006 you cannot complete a paper Profile

21 College/University n Factors that may influence institutional aid, particularly merit-based aid: AcademicsAthletic Ability* SAT’sGeographic Diversity AP CoursesLegacy (child of Activities alumni) Academic TrackTalent Gender/EthnicityH.S. Attended Class Rank *Athletic awards only offered by NCAA Division I and Division II schools only.

22 Outside Sources n Private sources of scholarship funds include:  Service/Fraternal Organizations  Employers/Business  Churches/Religious Groups n Sources of Information  Internet: see for helpful  Books: Peterson’s Guide, Barron’s Guide to Colleges, “Don’t Miss Out” (Octameron Assoc.)  Guidance Office Computer Programs

23 Comparing Aid Offers School A School B School C Cost$5,500 $15,800 $35,200 EFC $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 Need $2,500 $12,800 $32,200 Pkg. #1: $2,500 Grants $6,000 Grants $26,200 Grants $6,800 Loans $4,000 Loans $2,000 Work Pkg. #2 $1,500 Grants $5,500 Grants $17,000 Grants $1,000 Loans $5,000 Loans $ 8,000 Loans $1,000 Work $ 1,500 Work Pkg. #3 $500 Grants $4,000 Grants $11,200 Grants $1,500 Loans $4,000 Loans $9,000 Loans $500 Work $1,500 Work

24 Comparing Aid Offers nDon’t assume that more expensive schools will necessarily cost you more! nLook at same “bottom line” for each school. Compare “apples” to “apples.”  What is amount of loan in package vs. amount of grant?  What is amount of work study?  Are grants/scholarships automatically renewable? If so, what are criteria?

25 Comparing Aid Offers nWill package change if outside scholarships are received? nWhat factors will cause change? (i.e.- number in college, income increase) nIs there room for movement? Check with the F.A. Office—there might be but it’s not “Let’s Make A Deal!”

26 Don’t Forget! nResearch Outside Scholarships (see for websites) nComplete the FAFSA form as soon as possible after January 1 of senior year. nRemember to keep copies of every financial aid form that you complete! nCheck with each college/university to see what add’l. forms they require. nDon’t be afraid to call the financial aid office at the school(s) you are interested in!

27 Thank You for Coming! Visit for additional

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