Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) presented by: (Your Name) (Your Title) (Your Institution)
Tonight’s Topics • When and how to apply • Completing the FAFSA • Divorced/Separated Family Issues • Financial Aid Web sites • Special Circumstances • Student Loan Paperwork
Helpful Hints When Applying for Financial Aid • Review the college catalogue -procedures, deadlines, special circumstances • Correctly complete and submit the right forms • Know the deadline dates and meet them • Know your file will not be processed until you are ACCEPTED for admission • Respond promptly to requests and notices • Keep copies of all forms sent and received • Apply EACH year for as long as you need aid
Financial Aid Process • You fill out FORMS !!!!! -EACH college may have their own -FAFSA -CSS Profile (high cost colleges) • There are Eligibility Formulas -Federal Methodology -NJ Eligibility Index (TAG) • You provide information to EACH college - tax returns • Receive a letter (award) from college
2003-2004 Profile Registration • College Board Online - www.collegeboard.org • Apply electronically or Register for paper application • Toll free telephone registration - (800) 778-6888 • Applications received within 7 to 10 work days • Receive a “customized” application • Student Fees • -$7 phone registration, $5 for Internet -$17 reporting fee per school PROFILE fee waivers • Cards distributed in September • Covers fees for one or two Code Numbers • Can be used with PROFILE Online
What Is the FAFSA?Free Application for Federal Student Aid • A multi-purpose application form • One form to apply for all colleges • One form to apply for all aid programs • federal grants, loans and work-study • New Jersey grants • most college aid • One form each year for each student
FAFSA on the Web:www.fafsa.ed.gov • Complete and send FAFSA on the internet • Saves 7-14 days compared to paper FAFSA • Access from anywhere • No software to install • Automatically edits data as you enter it • Skip logic: asks only what you must answer
What’s a PIN?www.pin.ed.gov • Personal Identification Number • Students and parents can get PINs • Electronic signature for FAFSA on the Web • PIN delivered by mail in 7-10 days • Can also be used for: • Renewal on the Web • Corrections on the Web • National Student Loan Database
Application Processing Flowchart college # 1 college # 2 CENTRAL FAFSA STUDENT PROCESSING college SYSTEM # 3 college SEN SAR # 4 NJEI: EFC: college # 5 college Data # 6 NJ Office of base Student Assistance Match
Database Matches • Social Security match - to verify student’s SSN • Social Security match - to verify student’s claim of U.S. citizenship • Prisoner’s File match - to verify that prisoners are not receiving federal benefits • INS match - to verify eligible non-citizen status
Database Matches (cont’d) • Selective Service match - to verify registration with Selective Service • Department of Justice match - to verify that student’s eligibility for Title IV funds has not been suspended or terminated due to drug conviction • NSLDS match - to check for loan defaults or overpayments on Title IV funds
Expected Family Contribution • Formula established by the U. S. Congress • Uses information reported on your FAFSA • Index for Federal Pell Grant eligibility May be adjusted by your college due to: - Verification/correction of your FAFSA data - Special circumstances that limit ability to pay
Records You Will Need • Student’s U.S. income tax return • Parents’ U.S. income tax return • Records of untaxed income • welfare, social security, VA benefits, etc. • Current bank account statements • Records of stocks, bonds, investments • Business records Keep these records for verification!
FAFSA on the Web:www.fafsa.ed.gov • Complete and send FAFSA on the internet • What you will need... • computer with printer and modem • web browser (Netscape Navigator 3.0) • Benefits • access from anywhere • no software to install • automatically edits data as you enter it • skip logic: asks only what you must answer
When You Fill Out the FAFSA • If you use the paper FAFSA form • use black ink • print clearly in CAPITAL letters • Round off all figures to the nearest dollar • Need help? Call 1-800-4FED-AID Keep a copy of your completed FAFSA!
Student is only independent if: • 24 years old, or • a veteran, orphan, ward of the court, or • has dependent children/other dependents, or • is married, or • is a graduate student
Divorced/Separated Issues • FAFSA is to be completed by parent student is living with • If parent has remarried, step parent information must be included on FAFSA • Some higher cost schools will ask for a Divorced/Separated Supplement to be completed on other parent to determine eligibility for college programs
Unemployment or change in employment Separation or divorce Death of parent Disability of student or parent Windfall (inheritance, overtime, etc.) Loss of benefits Elementary/secondary school expenses Unreimbursed medical or dental expenses Special Circumstances? Call the Financial Aid Office
Worksheet A AND Worksheet B Includes untaxed income questions Worksheet C Collects income exclusions Includes HOPE & Lifetime Learning tax credits FAFSA Worksheets
Treatment of Assets • Dependent students • 5%-7% of parent’s assets used in calculation • 35% of student’s assets used in calculation
Asset Information • Include • cash, savings, and checking accounts • Joint or Custodial Accounts - Each holder should report 50% of the account value. Custodial accounts that parents or grandparents establish should be reported as the STUDENT’S asset. • Real Estate and Investments • trust funds, money market funds,mutual funds, CDs, stocks, bonds, securities, education IRAs, College Savings Plans. • Generally, a trust fund must be reported unless a court order restricts the fund’s assets to non-educational use. The trust must be reported as an asset even if the applicant won’t receive any proceeds or distributions of the trust during the award year. • Business • value of land, buildings, machinery, equipment, inventories.
Asset Information • Don’t Include -Value of prepaid tuition plans -Value of retirement plans - Pension Funds, Annuities, IRA, Keogh • Student Financial Aid • Personal Indebtedness (car loans, credit cards)
Student Aid Report (SAR) • CPS mails SAR to students who completed a FAFSA • Summarizes information reported on FAFSA • Contains messages related to database matches • Displays official EFC
SAR (cont’d) • Student checks accuracy of information on SAR • If corrections are needed, student makes corrections, signs, and mails SAR back to FAFSA processor or school • Student may also use Corrections on the Web (COTW) to make corrections. PIN serves as signature • FAFSA processor or school enters corrections and transmits data to CPS which recalculates EFC and sends corrected SAR to student and ISIR to school
There are two kinds of Federal Loans • Borrowed through private lender (bank, savings & loan, credit union) • Borrowed directly from government through school (Direct Loans) • School will decide which will be made available to you
NJCLASS • Lender is NJ Higher Ed Student Assistance Authority • Can borrow for Out of State College • Undergraduate or graduate students, parents, legal guardian, spouse or relative may borrow • Borrowers must be creditworthy or provide a cosigner • Loan may be up to the cost of attendance minus other aid • No restriction on income • Interest rate is fixed and depends upon payment option • Pay principal and interest monthly • Defer principal and pay interest quarterly • Defer principal and interest (interest capitalized at a higher rate) • 15 year repayment period, minimum is $50 per month
Role of the Financial Aid Office • Determine financial need of all applicants • Verify applicant data when required • Develop policies and procedures to distribute aid • “Package” aid from all available sources and send award letters. • Answer your questions.