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Student Financial Aid: What You Need to Know! Spring/Summer 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Financial Aid: What You Need to Know! Spring/Summer 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Financial Aid: What You Need to Know! Spring/Summer 2015

2 2 What is Financial Aid? –Financial aid helps pay the cost of attending college –Some financial aid is based on need –Some financial aid is awarded based on other criteria, such as grades or talent

3 3 Types of Financial Aid –Scholarships – free money –Grants – free money –Work Study –Loans

4 4 Sources of Financial Aid –Federal government –New York State –Colleges (Institutional Aid) –Private sources

5 5 Common Financial Aid Applications FAFSA – for federal student aid, the most commonly filed aid application New York State TAP application – for aid at colleges in New York State CSS Profile – institutional aid application required by some colleges Scholarship Applications – private, institutional or state programs

6 6 What is the FAFSA? Free Application for Federal Student Aid Used to determine need-based aid eligibility Calculates the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Apply starting January 1 st of senior year Check with each college for due dates Available online at FAFSA.GOV Be careful of scam websites!


8 8 FAFSA4caster @

9 9 FAFSA: Student Sections Student Information & Eligibility –Basic info: address, email, name of high school, citizenship status College Information –Up to 10 colleges may be listed; can be updated by correction Dependency Determination –Questions that will determine student’s dependency status

10 10 FAFSA: Parent, Income, & Signature Sections Parent Information & Income –Marital status, name, date of birth, SSN, state of residence –Household size, Number in college –Income from most recent tax return, untaxed income, asset information Student Income Signature Section –Sign using the student and parent’s FSA ID

11 11 Common Questions: FAFSA If we don’t think we qualify for need-based financial aid, do we still file the FAFSA? –Many families mistakenly believe they do not qualify –Consult with colleges, FAFSA may be needed for merit-based aid

12 12 Common Questions: Assets Do you report your home value or retirement accounts on the FAFSA as an asset? –No, your primary residence and tax deferred retirement accounts are excluded from FAFSA How are 529 college savings plans treated? –The value of 529 Plans, for all children, need to be reported as a parent investment on the FAFSA

13 13 Tips for Maximizing FAFSA Eligibility Students applying to the FAFSA should have zero income and assets, if possible –Avoid UGMA/UTMA custodial accounts or trust funds Tax-deferred retirement accounts (IRAs, 401Ks, etc.) are the best place to shift assets Lower savings account value by paying down debts or prepaying mortgages Don’t be afraid of 529 accounts!

14 14 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Amount family can reasonably be expected to contribute toward student’s college expenses Used to determine eligibility for federal grants, need-based aid at college Based on your responses to the FAFSA questions Stays the same across colleges

15 15 Determining Need-based Aid Eligibility Cost of Attendance (COA) – Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need

16 16 Cost of Attendance (COA) –Tuition & Fees –Room & Board –Books, Supplies –Transportation –Miscellaneous Personal Expenses

17 17 Examples of Financial Need CollegeACollegeBCollegeC COA COA $ 11,000 $30,000$60,000 - EFC 5,000 5,000 = Financial Need $ 6,000 $ 25,000 $55,000

18 18 Financial Aid Programs

19 19 Federal Student Aid Programs Pell Grant Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Work-Study Perkins Loan Direct Stafford Loan Direct PLUS Loan

20 20

21 21 NYS Student Aid Programs Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) –Need-based, up to $5,165/year –For New York State residents only –Full or part-time study at approved school in New York State –Based on NYS Income Tax information

22 22 Apply for New York State Aid

23 23 Other NYS Student Aid Programs NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence NYS Achievement and Investment in Merit Scholarship (NYS-AIMS) NYS Masters in Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship Program NYS Math & Science Teaching Incentive Program

24 24 Visit for more info

25 25 Applying for Institutional Aid Depends on funding and eligibility criteria at each college –Is the college need-blind or need-sensitive in admissions? –Does the college meet full need for low-income applicants? –Are there any merit-based opportunities for families that don’t qualify for need-based financial aid? May require more applications than the FAFSA –Is the CSS Profile required?

26 26 The CSS Profile Private application used by some colleges for awarding institutional aid Collects more income, asset, expense info than FAFSA –Non-custodial parent income, retirement account, home values, etc. Application is not free, fee waivers are available Apply starting October 1 st of senior year online at

27 27 CSS Profile @

28 28 Tip: Use Net Price Calculators

29 29 SUNY Net Price Calculator

30 30 Other Sources: Outside Aid Private scholarship programs are widely available –sponsored by charity, business, religious, civic and minority organizations Each have their own application process, eligibility criteria, and deadlines Inquire with each college about impact on financial aid package Be organized and start applying early!

31 31 Scholarship Searching Online scholarship search websites – – – Check your local library, employer or union Avoid scholarship scams –Unnecessary fees, ID theft

32 32 Questions?

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