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FAFSA Workshop 2015-16. Overview The financial aid equation Who gets the money? Types of financial aid – Grants Scholarships Work Loans How to apply for.

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Presentation on theme: "FAFSA Workshop 2015-16. Overview The financial aid equation Who gets the money? Types of financial aid – Grants Scholarships Work Loans How to apply for."— Presentation transcript:

1 FAFSA Workshop

2 Overview The financial aid equation Who gets the money? Types of financial aid – Grants Scholarships Work Loans How to apply for financial aid Free scholarship searches

3 What Financial Aid Offers Access to funds to help pay for 4-year public and independent colleges and universities Community colleges Private career colleges Choice among schools Choose the best academic, career, cultural, and social fit rather than the least expensive program

4 Applications Federal – FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) State – FAFSA and GPA Verification Form Institutional – Various forms may include the CSS Profile.

5 What is the FAFSA? FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid not Used to determine how much need a family has by looking at income, assets and family size. Need is determined by the EFC – Expected Family Contribution. The FAFSA uses federal methodology to calculate each family’s EFC. Each school you list is electronically sent the results of the application so they can determine your eligible aid.

6 Determining Need Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution Financial Need* *Financial “need” determines aid eligibility

7 Types of Aid Grants –Gift aid based on income and circumstances Scholarships/Merit Awards –Gift aid based on grades and achievement Loans –Aid to be repaid Work Study –Work to earn programs that can be used to help with the costs

8 Sources of Aid Federal Government –Grants, Loans and Work Study State Government –Cal Grant and Chafee Grant Institutions –Grants, Scholarships, Loans and Work Study Private foundations/organizations –Scholarships and Loans

9 Federal Application FAFSA became available January 1, 2015 File early, but no later than March 2, 2015 Use 2014 income information if taxes are not complete at time of FAFSA submission to estimate Student and at least one parent must complete and sign the FAFSA Best to complete the form electronically.

10 Federal Application Before starting the FAFSA, gather: –Student driver’s license –Student Alien Registration Card –Student and Parent  Social Security cards  2014 W-2 Forms and other records of money earned  2014 federal income tax form  Records of untaxed income  Current bank statements  Business, farm and other real estate records  Records of stocks, bonds and other investments Create a file for copies of all financial aid documents submitted

11 Federal Application Access –You can contact the Department of Education by: Phone: FEDAID or Live Help (chat): available on website

12 Early Estimates FAFSA4Caster –Allows you to get an estimate if you are not ready or able to complete the FAFSA –Saves information and imports it to your actual FAFSA when available –Prepares you for the questions and offers additional assistance –Available at

13 Net Price Calculator New regulations state that every US school must have a standardized calculator to give families an idea how much it will cost to attend. Different schools = different calculators –Some schools use a generic calculator –Some schools have broad ranges –Some schools use the lowest estimate Output is only as accurate as the information entered

14 FAFSA Make sure you use the student’s demographic information and not parent information when setting up the FAFSA

15 FAFSA Be sure to select ! Request a duplicate PIN or a new one

16 FAFSA PIN serves as the electronic signature Both student and at least one custodial parent need PIN to sign the FAFSA electronically May be used to: –Check on FAFSA status –Verify and correct FAFSA data –Add additional schools to receive FAFSA data –Change home and addresses If you select your “four number” PIN, it is automatically activated Apply for a PIN at:

17 Student Information Use your proper name Use student SSN and DOB Use student to ensure that the report is sent to you as the student If male, Selective Service is required to receive federal aid

18 Student Information Smart form You must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen for federal aid Be careful with stating what degree you will be working on Consider marking yes to work study

19 Student Information Enter the name, city, and state of the high school where you received or will receive your high school diploma.

20 Student Information – Drug Abuse If convicted of drug use, possession or sale, the student is not eligible for federal student aid. Schools may offer a means to rehabilitate this status.

21 Student Information – Schools List a California college or university first (for Cal Grant consideration) It’s important that you get your FAFSA information to the right schools. You can select up to 10 schools & after this submission, can substitute the original schools for additional schools.

22 Student Information – Housing Status Select a housing status Can be updated directly on FAFSA or with school

23 Student Information - Dependency These questions determine if a student is independent Age: 24 versus 18 Claiming a student on a tax return Foster youth Emancipated minors Legal guardianship does not include biological parents

24 Dependency Status Results For dependent students, a special circumstance is a situation that exists between the student applicant and his or her parent(s) which prevents the student from providing parental information. Select I will provide parental information to continue to Parent Demographics. Select I am unable to provide parental information to get additional information about special circumstances.

25 Dependency Status Results

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27 Student Information - Dependency If found to be a dependent student, you must provide parent information. You can skip this step if you are a dependent student that should be considered a special circumstance. Documentation will be required.

28 Parent Information Provide Information on: –Biological or adoptive parent(s) –Stepparent (regardless of any prenuptial agreements) Do not provide information on: –Foster parent(s), student is automatically considered an independent student –Legal guardian(s) or grandparent(s) or other relative(s) unless they have legally adopted you. Student may request a dependency override in certain circumstances, contact a Financial Aid Office for more information

29 Parent Information You must select the answer that describes your parents' marital status as of today. Can not be left blank Use parent SSN and DOB List your –Schools may use to communicate Legal residence –Cal Grant eligibility Household size –Children, parents, anyone else supported > 50% Number in college –Parents in college

30 Parent Information Undocumented Do not use your Federal Tax Payer ID Number as a social security number. When asked to provide your social security number, enter all zeroes. When asked if you have filed taxes for 2014, answer “not going to file.” You will not be able to apply for a pin number to sign the FAFSA. You will need to print a signature page and mail it immediately.

31 Parent Information – Marital Status What is your parent’s marital status as of today? When did your parents get married or remarried? 1516 FAFSA will allow marriage update for parent and student. –Up to each school to approve each request If your custodial parent is not married, this “smart form” will ask for which parent you are completing the form. –The parent that provides more than 50% of the support over the past 6 months will list financial information and sign with PIN.

32 Parent Information Don’t wait until your taxes have been completed to file your FAFSA!

33 Parent Information If you select “Already Completed”, you will be prompted to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This allows you to automatically sync your FAFSA with IRS data. Meets verification requirements.

34 Parent Information

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37 You can estimate using the income estimator if needed Hints on the side help you locate AGI and wages based on 1040 or W-2

38 Parent Information – Work Status Is the Parent a Dislocated Worker? A person may be considered a dislocated worker if he / she: –is receiving unemployment benefits due to being laid off or losing a job and is unlikely to return to a previous occupation; –has been laid off or received a lay-off notice from a job; –was self-employed but is now unemployed due to economic conditions or natural disaster; or –is a displaced homemaker. Note: If you answer Yes, the financial aid administrator at your college may require proof that your parent is a dislocated worker.

39 Parent Information How much did your parents pay in income tax? –Line 55 of IRS 1040 federal tax return Taxes paid is not the amount withheld on the W-2 Form! It is: amount withheld plus any check sent with the tax return or the amount withheld minus any refund.

40 Parent Information Enter the number of tax exemptions your parents will claim for –IRS Form 1040 – Use Line: 6d This does not need to match the household size (but it often does). The student does not need to be claimed on the tax return of the custodial parent

41 Parent Information Some untaxed income information is found on your 1040 tax return, other items are not. If you answer yes to the asset question, you will provide: –Current cash balance –Investment net worth –Business net worth (100 or more employees)

42 Student Tax Information The directions to complete the student section are the same as those outlined for the parents.

43 Student Assets It is better for 529 assets to be reported under the parent(s)’ name if possible. Any other asset in the student’s name must be reported.

44 Signing the FAFSA It is recommended that you sign the FAFSA electronically with a PIN number for the student and the parent. Must have a SSN to receive a PIN. Families can also mail signature pages.

45 Confirming Submission

46 Scholarship Opportunities Outside Resources Community: Rotary, YMCA, Elks Parent’s Employer Web Sites: Time spent on searches… Worthwhile? Outside Scholarships can replace loans/work Tips Be Cautious Limit Dependency Do your Homework Refer to institutional resources on the web

47 Special Circumstances Contact the Financial Aid Office if: Loss or reduction in parent or student income or assets Death or serious illness Unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance Reduction in child support, social security benefits or other untaxed benefit Financial responsibility for elderly grandparents Any other unusual circumstances that affect a family’s ability to contribute to higher education

48 Summary of the Financial Aid Process Submit all required forms, including FAFSA, by each college’s published deadlines (but no later than March 2) By March 2 submit a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form Keep a copy of all forms submitted Review the electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) Acknowledgement or the paper SAR sent to the student Review the California Aid Report (CAR) Watch for financial aid award notifications from colleges to which the student has been admitted Be sure to apply for financial aid this year and every year as soon as possible after January 1 to receive the best financial aid award possible ASK QUESTIONS!

49 Thank You! Questions?


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