Financial Aid 101De-Mystifying the Process John Iacovelli Dean of Enrollment Management Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Goal of Financial Aid Primary goal is to assist students in paying for college and is achieved by: • Evaluating family’s ability to pay for educational costs • Distributing limited resources in an equitable manner • Providing a balance of gift aid and self-help aid
Sources of Aid • Federal • State • The University/College • Private • Civic organizations (i.e., local Rotary Club, parent’s employer, high school awards, etc.)
Types of Financial Aid • Scholarships • Grants • Loans • Employment Opportunities
Merit-Based Aid vs. Need-Based Aid • Merit-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; may be renewable from year to year. • Need-Based Aid - aid awarded to students on the basis of financial need. Re-evaluated each year as financial situations may change.
Need-Based Aid • Gift Aid • Grants • Self-help • Loans • Employment
Grants • Federal • PELL • SEOG • State • TAG • EOF • Institutional • Private Grants and Scholarships
Loans • Federal Perkins Loan • Federal Direct Loan Program • Subsidized Loan (6.80%) • Unsubsidized Loan (6.80%) • PLUS (7.9%) • Loan Limits: • First-year students – $3,500 • Second-year student – $4,500 • All other grade levels remain at $5,500 • All students eligible for additional $2000 of unsubsidized loan.
NJ Class Loan • NJ Class Supplemental Loan Program • Low fixed interest rates beginning with: • 10 Year Repayment Loan of 6.15% • Immediate Repayment of Principal & Interest Only • 15 Year Repayment Loan(s) of 7.05% • Immediate Repayment of Principal & Interest Only • Immediate Repayment of Interest Only, while in school • 20 Year Repayment Loan of 8.05% • Full deferment until out of school
NJ STARS • Eligibility Requirements • Must graduate in the top 15% of class • Must file FAFSA within established State guidelines • Students may be eligible to receive STARS award for up to five semesters • STARS covers tuition only • To be eligible for STARS II, you must graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher
Application Process • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to the college’s deadline • To ensure maximum consideration for federal, state, and institutional aid, check information from each college to determine: • Required application materials • Application deadlines
Free Application for Student Aid(FAFSA) • FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.gov • Collects family’s personal and financial information used to calculate the student’s EFC
Common Mistakes Madeon the FAFSA • Correct name, social security #, birth date • Number of people in the household • Divorced/remarried households • Taxes paid vs. taxes withheld • Parental and student assets • Worth of a second home • “Zero is a number” Please note: 2013-14 FAFSA expands definition for independent student (emancipated minor).
Definition of Need Cost of Attendance (COA) – Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need
What is EFC? • Basis of financial aid package • EFC is determined by a federal formula that calculates need via the FAFSA • EFC & Financial Need are guidelines used by schools to determine a financial aid package • EFC not necessarily equal to the out-of-pocket cost of the family
Cost of Attendance • Tuition and fees • Room and board • Books and supplies, equipment, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses • Study abroad costs • Dependent care expenses • Expenses related to a disability • Expenses for cooperative education program
1 X 2 Y 3 Z EFC EFC Cost of Attendance (Variable) Expected Family Contribution (Constant) Need (Variable) Need Varies Based on Cost
The Cycle of Financial Aid Jan-March • Student /Parents complete FAFSA March-April • School sends award letter June-July • School sends Fall semester bill
CAUTION! • Avoid being charged a fee to file the FAFSA • Completing and processing the FAFSA is FREE • When filing FAFSA, make sure you go directly to: www.fafsa.gov • Contact the financial aid office if you need help in completing the FAFSA
HESAA Services • Web Site • www.hesaa.org • Financial Aid Hotline • 800-792-8670 8:00 am – 8:00 pm Monday thru Thursday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Friday • NJBEST
Additional Resources • Services and Forms: Fin Aid! “The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid” www.finaid.org USDE Publications www.studentaid.ed.gov/students/publications/FYE/index.html FastWebwww.fastweb.com FAFSA on the Web www.fafsa.gov U.S. Department of Education PIN www.pin.ed.gov
Net Price Calculator • The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 required all post-secondary schools that receive Title IV funding to disclose the actual net price a student would pay to attend an institution. • Provision was designed to increase awareness of the actual cost of college attendance. • Students, families, and consumers are able to view this information on individual institution websites.