Financial Aid Workshop Heritage High School December 13, 2011
Admissions & Financial Aid Timeline • August-November……………..College Search • November-February……....College Applications • December-March……….Admissions Decisions • January-February…..Financial Aid Applications • February-April…………Financial Aid Decisions • December-May 1st……………..College Choice
Topics We Will Discuss Tonight • What is financial aid • Cost of Attendance (COA) • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) • What is financial need • Categories, types, and sources of financial aid • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) • CSS Profile • Special circumstances
Cost of College Average college total cost, 2011-2012 Private 4 year: $38,590 (with grants/scholarships: $23,000) Public 4 year: $17,030 (with grants/scholarships: $11,380) Public 2 year: $6,600 - $10,370 NOVA: $137.75/credit ($4,959/36 hrs)
Median Earnings by Educational Level -2010 • Dropout: $23,088 • High School Graduate: $32,552 • Some college but no degree: $37,024 • Associate’s degree: $39,884 • Bachelor’s Degree: $53,976 • Master’s Degree: $66,144 • Doctorate: $80,600 • Professional degree: $83,720
Myths About Paying for college • College is too expensive • There is less aid available now • My family’s income is too high • My parents saved for college so we won’t qualify for aid • I’m not a straight “A” student • If I apply for a loan, I have to take it • Working will hurt my academic success • Millions of scholarship dollars go unused • My parents will have to sell their house • Private schools are out of reach
Some Interesting Statistics courtesy of Mark Kantrowitz of FinAid and FastWeb • 65.6% of bachelor degree students graduate with an average of $25,250 in educational debt • In 2007-2008, 2.3 million Pell Grant eligible students did not apply for federal aid, and 1.1 million would have qualified for a full Pell Grant ($5,500/free money). • 40% of undergraduates do not submit the FAFSA, and of these, about 27% would qualify for a Pell Grant (free money). • Of students who borrowed private student loans (at presumably higher interest rates) but not federal loans, 60% did not submit the FAFSA. • If you do not qualify one year, it does not mean you will not qualify the next. Apply every year.
What is Financial Aid? Financial aid is funds provided to students and families to help pay for postsecondary educational expenses
What is Cost of Attendance (COA) • Direct costs: Tuition, fees, room & board (Paid directly to college) • Indirect costs: Books, computers, transportation (gas), off-campus housing, personal expenses (entertainment, clothing, laundry), other costs (lab fees) • Direct and indirect costs combine into cost of attendance • Varies widely from college to college
What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC, figured by the FAFSA) • Amount family can reasonably be expected to contribute (but not what will actually pay due to possible added college aid) • Stays the same regardless of college • Two components • Parent contribution • Student contribution • Calculated using data from a federal application form and a federal formula
What is Financial Need Cost of Attendance –Expected Family Contribution = Demonstrated Financial Need
Categories of Financial Aid • Need-based Awarded based on family’s ability to pay Must file financial aid application(s) Based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) • Non-need-based aid (merit based) Academic, athletic, talent, leadership scholarships based strictly on student’s achievements Allows schools to “shape” their student body
Types of Financial Aid • Scholarships • Grants • Loans • Employment / Work Study
Scholarships • Money that does not have to be paid back • Awarded on the basis of merit, skill, or unique characteristic
Grants • Money thatdoes not have to be paid back • Usually awarded on the basis of financial need (e.g. Pell Grants)
Loans • Money students and parents borrow to help pay college expenses • Repayment usually begins after education is finished • Only borrow what is really needed • Look at loans as an investment in the future
Employment / Work Study Allows student to earn money to help pay educational costs • A paycheck; or • Non-monetary compensation, such as room and board • Research says that students who enroll part-time and work full time are more likely to drop out of college.
Sources of Financial Aid • Federal government • States • Private sources • Civic organizations and churches • Employers
Federal Government • Largest source of financial aid • Aid awarded primarily on the basis of financial need • Must apply every year using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Federal Pell Grant: Can qualify for a second grant if in summer school and graduating early Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Federal Perkins Loan Federal Work-Study Stafford Loans PLUS Loans Common Federal Aid Programs
States • Residency requirements State residents often qualify for lower in-state tuition rates and state education grants The average surcharge for full-time out-of-state students at public 4-year institutions is $11,990 (www.collegeboard.com) • Award aid on the basis of both merit and need • Use information from the FAFSA
Virginia State Aid • Tuition Assistance Grant - $2650 in 2011-2012 • College Scholarship Assistance Program - $400 - $5,000 • Commonwealth Award – varies by school • Virginia Part-Time Assistance Program for community colleges – amount varies • National Science and Math Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART): for years 3 and 4 for math & science talent • Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program – Up to the cost of tuition, fees, and books • Additional information available at www.schev.edu
Private Sources • Foundations, businesses, charitable organizations • Deadlines and application procedures vary widely • Begin researching private aid sources early
Civic Organizations and Churches • Research what is available in community • To what organizations and churches do student and family belong? • Application process usually spring of senior year • Small scholarships add up!
Employers • Companies may have scholarships available to the children of employees • Companies may have educational benefits for their employees
Protect Yourself from Scholarship Scams Rules of Thumb: If you must pay money to get money, it might be a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Nobody can guarantee that you will win a scholarship Make certain you are on the correct FAFSA website.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) • A standard form that collects demographic and financial information about the student and family • May be filed electronically or using paper form • Available in English and Spanish
FAFSA • Information used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution or EFC (EFC is a guess for the parent but is specific for the financial aid administrator) • 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
FAFSA • May be filed at any time during an academic year, but no earlier than the January 1st prior to the academic year for which the student requests aid • For the 2012–13 academic year, the FAFSA may be filed beginning January 1, 2012 • Colleges may set FAFSA filing deadlines by which students must have filed the FAFSA if students wish to be guaranteed consideration for financial aid. • Examples: George Mason’s is March 1 Old Dominion’s is February 15
FAFSA on the Web • Website: www.fafsa.gov (Using another website can cost $80-$100; using private financial aid advisors can cost $400-$500.) • 2012–13 FAFSA on the Web available on January 1, 2012 • FAFSA on the Web Worksheet: • Used as “pre-application” worksheet • Questions follow order of FAFSA on the Web
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 application process in the future
IRS Data Retrieval Tool • While completing FOTW (FAFSA on the Web), applicant may submit real-time request to IRS for tax data • IRS will authenticate taxpayer’s identity • If match found, IRS sends real-time results to applicant in new window • Applicant chooses whether or not to transfer data to FOTW
IRS Data Retrieval Tool • Available late January 2011 for 2011–12 processing cycle • Participation is voluntary • Could reduce documents requested by financial aid office • Cannot use if both parents have filed separately
Federal Student Aid Personal Identification Number (FSA PIN) • Website: www.pin.ed.gov • Sign FAFSA electronically • Not required, but speeds processing • May be used by students and parents throughout aid process, including subsequent school years
FAFSA Pin Numbers Student needs a pin, AND One parent needs a pin You should get these now!
FAFSA on the Web Worksheet • 2012-13 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet: Four page booklet containing: • Instructions • 24 questions in 4 sections
FOTW Worksheet: Section 1(This is not the actual FAFSA application.) General Student Information: • Social Security Number • Citizenship Status • Marital Status • Selective Service registration (males 18-25) • Drug convictions • Parent education
FOTW Worksheet: Section 2 Student’s dependency status: - If “No” to all responses, student is dependent - If “Yes” to any question, student is independent
Dependency Status • Students are considered dependent unless they answer yes to any of the following: Born before January 1, 1989? Married? Working on a master’s or doctorate program? Serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Forces? Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? Have children and provide more than half their support? Since I turned 13, both parents deceased? Since I turned 13, I have been In foster care? Have dependents (other than children or my spouse) who live with them and student provides more than half their support? Dependent or ward of the court since turning 13? Emancipated minor? Currently are or were in legal guardianship after age 13? Homeless or at risk of being homeless? (If abused, abandoned, neglected, or cannot contact the parent, can tell college financial aid office and they will make the determination,)
Undocumented Students • Financial aid is generally not available for undocumented students. The majority of all student aid, including Federal student aid, requires the recipient to be a US citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) or an eligible non-citizen. • Undocumented students will pay out-of-state tuition rates. • There are several private scholarships available to undocumented students.
FOTW Worksheet: Section 3 Information about the parents of dependent students: • Tax, income, & other financial information • Dislocated worker status • Assets (Note: FAFSA is more focused on income than assets.)
Additional Information • College and housing information
Understanding Who They Mean When They Say Parents • If parents are both living and married to each other, answer the question for both of them. • If parents are separated, divorced, or were never married, answer the questions only about the parent with whom the student lived with most during the past 12 months. If time was spent equally with both parents, give answers about the parent who provided the most financial support (not necessarily who claims the student on their tax return). • If parents are remarried, you must also include information about the stepparent. (Pre-nuptial agreements between the parent and a step-parent will not eliminate the step-parent.) • If student has a legal guardian, answer the questionsabout the guardian.
FOTW Worksheet: Section 4 Information about the student (and spouse) • Tax, income, and other financial information • Dislocated worker status • Assets(What they are worth at the time you apply. Not expected to constantly readjust as the stock market goes up and down. Assets are a small part of the EFC. Not trying to take retirement funds. Will look at second home.)