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Financial Aid: An Overview…. Presented by Dave Marsteller Assistant Director, Office of Student Financial Aid, The University of Akron 330-972-7032 or 1-800-621-3748. Tonight’s Agenda…. Important Web Sites CSS Profile FAFSA? Help! The Financial Aid Timeline—Financial Aid by the Firsts
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Financial Aid: An Overview… Presented by Dave Marsteller Assistant Director, Office of Student Financial Aid, The University of Akron 330-972-7032 or 1-800-621-3748
Tonight’s Agenda… • Important Web Sites • CSS Profile • FAFSA? Help! • The Financial Aid Timeline—Financial Aid by the Firsts • What do I need to Estimate Income • How do I estimate income on FAFSA • How do I update income information on FAFSA • FAFSA on the web worksheet! • The Award Notification • Special Circumstances • Other Misc. Financial Aid
Important Web Sites • www.fafsa.gov Web site for FAFSA on the Web (FREE!!) • www.pin.ed.gov Web Site to set up parent and student PIN for electronic signatures for FAFSA • www.studentloans.gov Web site for completing Entrence Counseling for Direct Stafford Loans & Completing Master Promissory Notes & PLUS Applications • www.irs.gov Web site for tax forms & publications delineating higher education tax deductions 800-829-1040 • www.sss.gov for registering male students for selective service. • www.ohiocollegegoalsunday.org for registering to attend College Goal Sunday 2/13/11 • https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/index.jsp CSS Profile Form
CSS Profile… • Make sure you know if your school requires the CSS Profile Form and if so what it’s due date is. • Most schools do not require this form, but enough do that you need to be sure if yours does or not… • Information about this is available on their web site and through the school of your choice. • For more information, go to: https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/index.jsp Or “Google” CSS Profile
If You Want Help Completing Your FAFSA… • If you have specific questions, the federal processor may be able to answer them by phone (1-800-4-Fed Aid) • Your School Counselor can often provide assistance. • The aid office at the college of your choice will always help… • www.ohiocollegegoalsunday.org for registering to attend College Goal Sunday 2/12/12 • Or… CALL US! VISIT US! We’ll be glad to assist you!!!
Financial Aid by the Firsts… To assist your memory… I’ve created this handy way for you to remember when you are doing what…
Thanksgiving each year… (or by 12/1-ish) • Make sure you know what/where your PIN/Student’s PIN is. • Make sure You have a photocopy of last year’s tax return for reference purposes • Be sure to set aside a place for • December (end of year!) financial account statements… • All December pay stubs and/or pay stubs from previously ended jobs.
If you’ve forgotten your PIN Select the link that says “Request A Duplicate PIN”
New Year=New FAFSA 1/1= Your FAFSA will be available online after 1/1 of your Senior year in high school. File online @ www.fafsa.gov (7-10 days) Note: You can file a paper FAFSA (avaialable for printing at www.fafsa.gov) but these take 4-6 weeks for processing… not the best way to go…
February 1 Have your FAFSA Completed and into the US Department of Education no later than this date for best results (Some schools even want 1/31!) So be early… Don’t wait until your taxes are done… Estimate your income!
Screen clipping taken: 11/21/2011, 12:36 PM FAFSA on the Web Worksheet… ‘12-’13 Available to print at www.fafsa.gov
Help and Hints have question labels so that you know which question on the page they are referring to. To get help with a question on the page, simply select that question and the help and hints field will populate with instructions and help for that item. The system automatically saves the application at the end of each step. “Clear All Data” allows you to delete your data from the system anytime prior to submission. BE CAREFUL NOT TO ACCIDENTLY SELECT THIS CHOICE! FAFSA Features…
Estimating your Income To estimate your income on FAFSA, Instead of selecting “Already Filed” as your filing status, you’ll select “Will File” as your status in the “Tax information” sections. (The location of this question is marked by the “X” to the right of this text.) This will tell the US Department of Education that you are estimating your income and that you will update it at a later time. If you are not filing a tax return due to a lack of income, mark this section “Will Not File” and list any income as it is asked for in the following questions. Note IRS requires filing of returns for people who make more than certain income levels. If you are unsure as to whether you need to file contact a tax preparer or the IRS at www.irs.gov or 1-800-829-1040 Provide the financial information you have to the best of your ability and then when you do file your return you will probably need to update your information (see Step 7)
Dependent or Independent?? Students who cannot answer yes to one of the questions in Section 2 are typically dependent students—if a student is able to demonstrate a history of abandonment, abuse or estrangement between themselves and their parents we may be able to use professional judgment to allow the student to be considered independent.
School Section & School Codes • You can list up to 10 schools to receive your FAFSA information and you may add schools at any time after you have submitted the FAFSA. • UA’s school code is #003123. • In addition: • if you call UA’s Office of Financial Aid, our code is always described in our outgoing message; • it is on our web site; and • it is searchable using the code search feature at the bottom of the “School Selection” page.
March 1 If your school needs more information from you they should be requesting it during the first week of March (if you met the 2/1 deadline). If you haven’t heard from your school(s) CALL THEM!
“You have been selected in a process known as verification…” NOTE: 33% of students will be RANDOMLYselected BY THE US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION for verification of other information, including Income, Selective Service Status, and Citizenship. If you are selected you will be notified by a letter from our office which will be accompanied by forms, and directions on how to complete them! DO NOT PUT THESE ON THE COFFEE TABLE AND FORGET THEM! Please return these forms quickly, and provide the information requested. We are unable to process aid for you without them! • IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT COMPLETING THESE FORMS—Or ABOUT THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION…Call your school for help! • You can verify income by updating your status from “will file” to “already filed”
FAFSA & Your Tax Returns • Do NOT wait to file your FAFSA until your taxes are done—estimate your income! • DO file your tax return as early as you are able to accurately do so. • WHENEVER you file your tax return—DO file electronically! To verify tax information you are now required to submit a tax transcript for verification rather than a photocopy of your taxes! • 10-14 business days after filing your tax return, update your FAFSA using the IRS Data retrieval tool to verify your information.
Reminder: You do not have to wait until your taxes are complete to file the FAFSA—in fact—if your taxes won’t be completed by 2/1, you should estimate your income (see Step 6 for information on how to help!) AND …use the information in this section to update your information once you have completed your FAFSA!
If you have already completed the tax return requested by FAFSA… • …you may be able to import your required federal tax information into your FAFSA DIRECTLY from your tax return! • Electronically filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site in 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed. • Data from paper tax returns will be available 6-8 weeks after filing. • This process will be available for families filing their initial FAFSA applications. • Families who file their initial FAFSA with "estimated income" can use this process to update their original FAFSA data once their tax forms have been completed.
Updating Tax Information in FAFSA • Login to your FAFSA using your PIN at www.fafsa.gov. • Click on the link in the middle of the page "Make FAFSA Corrections."
How does it work? Update the answer to the question, “Have you/your parents completed your/their IRS income tax return or another tax return?” with the status “Already completed.” Directions on how to utilize this option will appear and offer you an opportunity to choose it. You (or your parents) must actively choose to utilize the data retrieval tool. If you choose to do so, you will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service web site.
Getting the Info from IRS… When a family selects the option to import the information, a confirmation window will open—select “OK” to continue to the IRS web site. Note: The FAFSA on the web site will stay open in a window separate from the newly opened window—don’t close the original window or you will have to log into FAFSA on the web again!
Getting the Info from IRS… (cont’d) Applicants will need to authenticate their identity before any personal information is displayed. Information provided MUST match that on the tax return—or the information will not be allowed to be transferred!
Getting the Info from IRS… • Tax data will be presented and you will have the option to “Transfer” the tax information to the FAFSA. • Remember, • Electronically filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site in 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed. • Data from paper tax returns will be available in 6-8 weeks.
Remember: you must re-sign the FAFSA… • When/if you update your tax information (or make any other correction/update to your FAFSA) you (and your parent if you are a dependent student) will need to re-sign the FAFSA with your PIN!
April 1… You should be receiving your Award Notification from the school during the first week of April. If you have not… Contact the school to see where the problem is. READ EVERYTHING THAT COMES WITH YOUR AWARD NOTIFICATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Award Notification This paper describes the amount of aid a student will receive during the next academic year.
May 1-through June 1 Decisions, Decisions! Now is when you are finalizing your school choice… Make sure the school knows you are coming and that you want the money they offered you!!! Contact them! You should know how much aid you have, and what you need to do to get it! (e.g. forms, etc.) READ EVERYTHING that comes with your Award Notification and follow the directions carefully so you do not lose aid by missing deadlines.
June 1 onward… • You should know what aid you’re getting and know how much more money you need to pay for your school. • If you don’t know this at this point be in close contact with the school for assistance!
Special Circumstances Contact the Financial Aid Office if there is: • Loss or reduction in parent or student income or assets • Death or serious illness in family that is effecting income or causing unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance • Natural disaster affecting parent income or assets • Reduction in child support or other untaxed benefits • Financial responsibility for elderly grandparents • Private K-12 tuition for younger students in household • A parent attending college or other post-secondary training • Any other unusual circumstances that affect a family’s ability to contribute to higher education
College Cost Savers… • Use community colleges/lower cost public schools for general ed. courses • Commute to school! • Use AP/CBE/CLEP to obtain credit for knowledge earned from an excellent h.s. education. • Take advantage of College/Education tax deductions (e.g. Hope Scholarship; Lifelong learning Credit etc.) • Use School payment plans to help finance cash-flow issues to avoid credit card or loan use when possible.
Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation If you student, have a condition, disability, (physical, emotional or learning issue) The BVR is a state agency that may be able to provide financial support to allow a student to pursue preparation for a profession or trade that will accommodate a student’s condition. Phone numbers are available for each and every county in the state. You can find listings for your county by doing a web search using the terms “Ohio BVR”
Military Service Army ROTC Air Force ROTC Navy ROTC Ohio National Guard Benefits provided by any armed service. All of these options are available to you with all the rights, responsibilities and risks of military service. Contact your local recruiter(s) for details.
ETV Funds (Children in Foster Care System) The Ohio Education and Training Voucher Program offers funds to foster youth and former foster youth to enable them to attend colleges, universities and vocational training institutions. Students may receive up to $5000 a year for four years as they pursue higher education. The funds may be used for tuition, books or qualified living expenses. Web site www.statevoucher.org Click on OHIO on the map to obtain information.
AVOID Scholarship Scams… • NEVER pay anyone to assist you in searching for scholarships—you may do so yourself for free online, through books at your local public library or with the help of your school counselor. • Never pay an “entry fee” “application fee” or “membership fee” with a scholarship “application.”