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Paying for College: Merit and Need Based Scholarships

Paying for College: Merit and Need Based Scholarships. Financial Aid Presentation. Tom Benza Assistant Director of Financial Aid Wake Forest University. Website: www.wfu.edu/finaid Email: financial-aid@wfu.edu Phone: (336) 758-5154. Topics We Will Discuss Today. What is financial aid?

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Paying for College: Merit and Need Based Scholarships

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  1. Paying for College: Merit and Need Based Scholarships Financial Aid Presentation Winston-Salem, NC | October 20, 2011

  2. Tom BenzaAssistant Director of Financial AidWake Forest University Website: www.wfu.edu/finaid Email: financial-aid@wfu.edu Phone: (336) 758-5154

  3. Topics We Will Discuss Today • What is financial aid? • Cost of attendance (COA) • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) • What is financial need • Categories, types, and sources of financial aid • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) • Special Circumstances

  4. What is Financial Aid? • Financial aid is funds provided to students and families to help pay for postsecondary educational expenses • ‘Financial aid’ generally refers to what is known as ‘need-based aid.’ However, at most Universities there are 3 classifications of ‘financial aid’ • Athletic • Merit • Need Based

  5. Merit Scholarships • In addition to need-based aid, colleges and universities have special endowed merit scholarship programs: • Varying Criteria • Academic achievement • Public service • Artistic talent • Athletic ability • Highly Competitive • Application process can vary: Umbrella application vs. individual applications

  6. Need-based aid:Who is eligible? • Not dependent upon ability • ANY student is potentially eligible • Strictly based upon a family’s ‘demonstrated need,’ as calculated by the financial aid application(s)

  7. What is “Financial Need” • Cost of Attendance • –Expected Family Contribution • = Financial Need

  8. What is Cost of Attendance (COA) • Direct costs • Indirect costs • Direct and indirect costs combined into cost of attendance • Vary widely from college to college

  9. Cost of Attendance Direct Costs Indirect Costs Transportation Personal Expenses Loan Fees Study Abroad Costs • Tuition • Required Fees • Room • Meals • Books and Supplies

  10. What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) • Amount family can reasonably be expected to contribute • Stays the same regardless of college • Two components • Parent contribution • Student contribution • Calculated using FAFSA data and the federal need analysis formula

  11. Categories of Financial Aid • Need-based • Non need-based

  12. Types of Financial Aid • Scholarships • Grants • Loans • Employment

  13. Scholarships • Money that does not have to be paid back • Awarded on the basis of merit, skill, demonstrated need, or a unique characteristic

  14. Grants • Money thatdoes not have to be paid back • Usually awarded on the basis of financial need

  15. Loans • Money students and parents borrow to help pay educational expenses • Repayment usually begins after education is finished • Only borrow what is really needed • Look at loans as an investment in the future

  16. Employment • Allows student to earn money to help pay educational costs • A paycheck • Non-monetary compensation, such as room and board

  17. Where’s the money? • Offers to help get aid are everywhere: • In the mail • Over the Internet • In newspapers • In magazines • Over the phone

  18. Offers may be: • Legitimate offers of information and assistance • Example: CFNC.org and FAFSA Day • Misleading offers from individuals or companies trying to make money off of unsuspecting parents and students

  19. What to avoid? • How do you identify offers that should be avoided? • Organizations that say they can help you locate more aid and then charge you a fee • Anyone who charges you a fee: • for information about financial aid • to complete the FAFSA • to apply/receive a scholarship

  20. Scam Examples: • “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.” • No one can guarantee your scholarship before it is awarded. • “Come to our seminar and we’ll show you how to get more financial aid.” • This is a sales pitch. Don’t pay for information that you can get elsewhere for free.

  21. Other Misleading Offers • “The scholarship requires a small fee.” Never pay a fee to get a scholarship. • “You are a finalist” for an award you never applied for. • If you did not apply, it is not a • legitimate offer. • “You can’t get this information anywhere else.” • Everyone has access to the same information.

  22. So What’s Legit? • Where can you find truly free information about financial aid? • Contact College Foundation of North Carolina at CFNC.org or toll free at 866-866-CFNC • Service of the State of North Carolina • Talk to the financial aid administrator at the college of choice • Ask your high school counselor or visit the local library • Apply for federal financial aid at FAFSA.ed.gov • (notice it is not FAFSA.com!)

  23. Sources of Financial Aid • Federal government • States • Private sources • Civic organizations and churches • Employers

  24. Federal Government • Largest source of financial aid • Aid awarded primarily on the basis of financial need • Must apply every year using the FAFSA

  25. Common Federal Aid Programs • Federal Pell Grant • Academic Competitiveness Grant and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant • Federal Perkins Loan • Federal Work-Study • Stafford Loans • PLUS Loans

  26. States • Residency requirements • Award aid on the basis of both merit and need • Use information from the FAFSA • Deadlines vary; check College Foundation of North Carolina’s website: • www.cfnc.org

  27. NC State Grants • Need-based Grants • State contractual scholarship • Applicants with demonstrated need • Combined with institutional and federal funds to meet full need • Incentive grant (NCSIG) • Only the most needy of NC residents • Entitlement Grant (NCLTG) • Legislative tuition grant ($1,850 per year) • Residents attending a private institution in NC • North Carolina Educational Lottery Scholarship • NC Community College Grants, Teacher Scholarships and Loans, • Nurse Scholarship and Loans • North Carolina Learn and Earn Program • Visit www.cfnc.org for full details and descriptions

  28. Private Sources • Foundations, businesses, charitable organizations • Deadlines and application procedures vary widely • Begin researching private aid sources early

  29. Civic Organizations and Churches • Research what is available in community • To what organizations and churches does student and family belong? • Application process usually spring of senior year • Small scholarships add up!

  30. Employers • Companies may have scholarships available to the children of employees • Companies may have educational benefits for their employees

  31. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) • A standard form that collects demographic and financial information about the student and family • Information used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution or EFC • The amount of money a student and his or her family may reasonably be expected to contribute towards the cost of the student’s education for an academic year • Colleges use EFC to award financial aid

  32. FAFSA on the Web Web site: www.fafsa.ed.gov 2012-13 FAFSA on the Web available on January 1, 2012

  33. FAFSA on the Web • Good reasons to file electronically: • Built-in edits to prevent costly errors • Skip-logic allows student and/or parent to skip unnecessary questions • More timely submission of original application and any necessary corrections • More detailed instructions and “help” for common questions • Ability to check application status on-line • Simplified renewal application process

  34. Student Financial Aid (SFA) PIN • Web site: www.pin.ed.gov • Sign FAFSA electronically • Can request PIN before January 1, 2012 • Not required, but speeds processing • May be used by students and parents throughout aid process, including subsequent school years

  35. Frequent FAFSA Errors • Social Security Numbers • Divorced/remarried parental information • Income earned by parents/stepparents • Untaxed income • U.S. income taxes paid • Household size • Number of household members in college • Real estate and investment net worth

  36. FAFSA Processing Results • Central Processing System (CPS) notifies student of FAFSA processing results by: • Paper Student Aid Report (SAR) if paper FAFSA was filed and student’s e-mail address was not provided • SAR Acknowledgement if filed FAFSA on the Web and student’s e-mail address was not provided

  37. FAFSA Processing Results • CPS notifies student of FAFSA processing results by: • E-mail notification containing a direct link to student’s on-line SAR if student’s e-mail was provided on paper or electronic FAFSA • Student with PIN may view SAR on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov

  38. FAFSA Processing Results • Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) sent to colleges listed on FAFSA approximately 10 to 14 days after FAFSA submitted • College reviews ISIR • May request additional documentation, such as copies of federal tax returns

  39. FAFSA Processing Results • VERIFICATION • Tax returns / W-2 forms • Untaxed income • Assets • Family size • Family members attending college

  40. Making Corrections • If necessary, corrections to FAFSA data may be made by: • Using FAFSA on the Web (www.fafsa.ed.gov) if student has a PIN; • Updating paper SAR (SAR Information Acknowledgement cannot be used to make corrections); or • Submitting documentation to college’s financial aid office

  41. What if my tax information doesn’t reflect my true circumstances? SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES/Appeal Process • Unemployment of parent • Death in family • Change in parents’ marital status • Medical expenses not covered by insurance • Make direct contact with the financial aid office of each school to which you are applying. • Be prepared to document changes.

  42. Special Circumstances • Cannot report on FAFSA • Send explanation to financial aid office at each college • College will review special circumstances • Request additional documentation • Decisions are final and cannot be appealed to U.S. Department of Education

  43. Advice! • Meet Earliest Deadlines • Complete Applications Accurately • Copy student’s SSN from SS card • Estimate If Necessary • Don’t Wait To File • Keep Photocopies of All Documents

  44. Advice! • Don’t let ‘sticker shock’ deter you, but DO pay attention to the amount of loan debt included in your financial aid award • Maximize your eligibility: complete a general Merit Scholarship application AND financial aid application (combination funds) • Be prepared to submit your U.S. tax returns to schools upon request: some will require Verification (federal or otherwise) • Follow up with university’s financial aid office • Potential missing documents • Ensures timely award

  45. Advice • Know that financial aid application is not a one time process; it is a yearly application process • Be wary of anything requiring you to ‘pay’ for help • FAFSA • Scholarship scams

  46. Additional Information • The Financial Aid Information Page www.finaid.org • FAST Web Scholarship Search www.fastweb.com • The College Board www.collegeboard.com • College Foundation of North Carolina www.cfnc.org

  47. Additional Information • Dept. of Ed. Student Financial Assistance www.ed.gov/finaid.html • VA Benefits www.gibill.va.gov • FAFSA on the Web www.fafsa.ed.gov • CSS PROFILE Online http://profileonline.collegeboard.com

  48. Tom BenzaAssistant Director of Financial AidWake Forest University (336) 758-5154 www.wfu.edu/finaid (336) 758-4924 financial-aid@wfu.edu

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