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Financial Aid Information James Cowles Director, Student Support Services Cumberland County College.

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Presentation on theme: "Financial Aid Information James Cowles Director, Student Support Services Cumberland County College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Financial Aid Information James Cowles Director, Student Support Services Cumberland County College

2 What if Financial Aid? Financial aid is a broad term used to describe a variety of resources students can use to pay the costs of their college education

3 Types of Aid Grants Loans Scholarships Work Study Programs Other

4 Types of Aid Merit Based Aid: Aid that is awarded based on a students accomplishments such as grades Need Based Aid: Aid that is determined by the students ability to pay for their education Examples Merit Aid: N.J. S.T.A.R.S. Examples of Need Based Aid: Pell Grant

5 Grants “Gift Aid”: Money that is given to students and does not require repayment. Examples of Grants: Federal Pell Grants N.J. TAG Grants EOF grants

6 Loans Money that is borrowed for education expenses, to be paid back, with interest. All colleges are now required to use the Federal Direct Loan Program Repayment begins six months after the student looses their half time enrollment Federal Direct Loans are not credit based

7 Loans Current interest on Direct Loans is 6.8% Students can consolidate their loans (merged into one loan with one payment to one company) Failure to repay your loans will lower your credit rating, prevent you from receiving additional financial aid, wage garnishments, tax refund garnishments, and can prevent you from obtaining certain jobs

8 Direct Loans Direct Loans come in two parts: Subsidized: Federal government pays interest for you while you attend school Unsubsidized: Interest accumulates while you are in school, although you are not require to make payments Schools will process you for Subsidized funds first Students MUST file a FAFSA application and complete any additional steps even if they are only applying for a loan

9 Direct Loans Direct Loans are limited to the following amounts: Freshman: $5500/academic year, of which no more than $3500 can be subsidized Sophomores: $6500/academic year, of which no more than $4500 can be subsidized Juniors/Seniors: $7500/academic year, of which no more than $5500 can be subsidized Lifetime loan limit: $31,000 Loans can also be capped up to the cost of attendance

10 Parent Plus Loans Loans which parents borrow to pay for their child’s college expenses Parent Plus Loans ARE credit based FAFSA application is not required

11 Private Student Loans Students are encouraged to borrow under the Federal Direct Loan Program first If necessary, students should then apply for parent plus loans or private student loans May require a co signer Are credit based Repayment terms vary from lender to lender

12 Scholarships An additional form of gift aid Can come from a variety of sources (schools, churches, private businesses, employers, civic organizations, ect.) Can be gift aid or merit based aid

13 Work Study Programs Students work on or off campus Students are paid directly in a paycheck Can be a good way to get job experience in your major Can help students meet their indirect expenses as the semester progresses Sign up as early as possible- jobs are limited

14 Other Tax Benefits: lowers the amount of taxes a student, or parent if they claim the student pays Life Time Learning Credit / Hope Credit Tuition and Fees Deduction Student Loan Interest Deduction Americorps Awards: grants given to students that complete volunteer work

15 Other Veterans Benefits: Tuition Waivers and other programs for Veterans and their dependants Most schools have a VA representative on campus that will explain possible benefits

16 How to Apply File a FAFSA Application at: List any schools you are thinking of attending Student will receive a preliminary Pell Grant figure when they complete their application Student receives a confirmation when their application is processed Check for mistakes or problems

17 Financial Aid Process Any schools listed on the FAFSA application will receive a copy of the results Most schools will not process a students application unless they have already been accepted as a student School may require additional information to finalize an award package Students are chosen at random for a process called verification where they must provide proof of the income they put on their applic.

18 FAFSA Students basic info: name, social security number, citizenship, status, date of birth, ect Household Income: Taxed income (on tax return); untaxed income (social security, child support, pensions, etc.) Savings/Investments Household size

19 FAFSA Students must provide their biological parents information unless: They are 24 or older Married Have children or legal dependants that they provide more than 50% of the support for Emancipated from both parents, orphan/ward of the State, in Legal Guardianship by a nonparent Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces

20 Recent FAFSA Changes Untaxed portions of social security benefits, TANF, earned income tax credits, and additional child tax credits are no longer considered forms of income on the FAFSA application NJ HESAA will still require students provide untaxed portions of social security benefits and earned income tax credit for state TAG grants

21 Recent FAFSA Changes The formula used to calculate a students EFC has been adjusted to allow for more moderate income families to receive Pell Grants

22 Recent FAFSA Changes Schools can not long accept an actual 1040 Tax Return for verification purposes Students and/or parents must obtain an IRS 1040 transcript which can be done online

23 Financial Aid Process FAFSA results are also sent to New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) for processing on the N.J. TAG grant and any other state aid Beginning June 2010 all students are required to provide additional information that is not on the FAFSA to HESAA HESAA has reached out to students by mailings, s, and phone calls Non compliance = no TAG grant

24 Financial Aid Process After students return any information or resolve any issues that their Financial Aid Office requires they will be sent an official Award Letter May require acceptance of awards Students requiring a student loan should check with their schools loan processes Must fill out the MPN and Entrance Counseling

25 Financial Aid Process FAFSA application will determine the students EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC) Financial Aid Offices use the EFC as an index number to determine the students eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant and any additional federal aid programs (TEACH GRANTS, FWS) Every school has an estimate cost of attendance (a budgeting figure that takes into account living expenses, food, supplies, ect)

26 Financial Aid Process Students may borrow loan funds, from the various programs, up to the Direct Loan cap or the schools cost of attendance (which ever is lower).

27 Direct College Expenses Tuition and Fees Books and Supplies Room and Board Meal Plans Parking Permits

28 How does Financial Aid Pay? Students carry a credit with the college that gets applied to their account Tuition and fees are charged to their account Most schools allow students to use any remaining funds for the purchase of books and supplies from their school store

29 What is a Stipend Check? A stipend check is a check issued to the student if they have any grant funds left after their tuition, fees, books, and supplies have been paid Stipend Checks are issued before the end of the semester Stipend Checks help students pay for their indirect expenses They can also be used to pay for summer/winter courses

30 Loan Disbursements Loan funds, in excess of tuition, fees, books, and supplies charges are issued to students no earlier than 30 days after the semester starts Excess funds can help pay for winter/summer courses and indirect college expenses Excess loan funds can be denied and returned to the lender

31 Indirect College Expenses Transportation Food Study Aids Trips Supplies Computers Other necessities

32 What do I do with a Stipend? Use to pay for Winter/Summer courses Save away for your indirect college expenses Invest Savings for emergencies

33 Satisfactory Academic Progress All schools are required to maintain a satisfactory academic progress guideline for returning students Guidelines vary from school to school Federal government is enforcing schools to adopt strict policies Students that fail to meet these guidelines are ineligible for aid Many schools have appeal procedures

34 Need Help with a Course? Always speak with your professor first The Success Center offers FREE tutoring services Learning Disabilities/Physical Disabilities and accommodations- Contact Meredith Vicente Contact your Academic Advisor for counseling Speak with Financial Aid Staff BEFORE making a decision to withdraw

35 Withdrawing from Classes Withdrawing from classes, not showing up for class, and being removed from a course by the instructor will have an adverse affect on your financial aid Your financial aid may be reduced and/or canceled Taking a class twice means paying for a course twice Your time is valuable

36 Deadlines All students must file a new FAFSA application annually Every school establishes their own deadlines Many schools have deadlines as early as February Students that apply after this date are not guaranteed their aid will be in place in time for payment Some schools will not even look at a late application until after the appropriate semester begins

37 Where To Go For Help FEDAID (FAFSA Processing) (NJ HESAA for state aid) You schools Financial Aid Office

38 SCHOLARSHIPS FederalStudentAid.ed.gov/scholarship collegeboard.com Fastweb.com Check with each college you are applying to

39 Remember… Plan Ahead Apply Early Keep copies of important documents Budget and spend wisely Do not be afraid to ask questions- Today, Tomorrow, Next Month- Next Year


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