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Co. Preparing for College, the Application Process and Financial Aid October 25, 2001. Presenters: Lydia Knopf Director of Community Programs and Services Julie Walker Manager of Homeschool Outreach Biola University. Take a closer look into. llege Admissions. Julie Walker.

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Preparing for College,

the Application Process and Financial Aid

October 25, 2001

Presenters: Lydia Knopf

Director of Community Programs and Services

Julie Walker

Manager of Homeschool Outreach

Biola University

Take a closer look into

llege Admissions

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Julie Walker

Manager of Homeschool Outreach

Biola University

La Mirada, California

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Lydia Knopf

Director of Community Programs and Services Biola University

La Mirada, California

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This Session:

  • What the "Typical" Admissions Counselor Looks Like

  • What Admissions Professionals & Colleges Think of Homeschooled Applicants

  • Why Homeschoolers Can Be a "Speed Bump" in the Road and What You Can Do to Help Smooth the Way

  • HSLDA’s Recommendations to Colleges and Universities

  • What Some Colleges and Universities Are Doing to Support Homeschoolers

  • How You Can Assist in Building the Bridges of Support

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The Admissions Professional

  • Events such as visitation days

  • Recruiting

    • college fairs, schools, conferences, campus visits

  • Processing Applicants

    • phone calls, letters, interviews, evaluations

  • The “expert” on the school, its major offerings, residence life, financial aid, extra-curricular programs, etc.

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  • First, Mom has each of the kids use the concordance to look up all of the scripture verses referencing both light and darkness.

  • Second, each of the children have to memorize two scripture verses pertaining to light.

  • Third, Mom takes the kids to the library to find any and all books on electricity.

  • Fourth, the kids make models of light bulbs and give oral reports on their history and manufacturing changes throughout the years.

  • Fifth, after reading a biography of Thomas Edison, the children write and then perform a skit based on his life.

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Some of Their Perceptions on Homeschooled Applicants: up all of the scripture verses referencing both light and darkness.

  • Parents have a million questions, long appointments.

  • Parents not willing to make financial sacrifices or take out student loans.

  • Often wanting to seek a way in through the “side door.” Miss deadlines. Expect exceptions.

  • Parents have a fear of the stigma of the GED.

  • Defensive about low test scores.

    • “My child doesn’t test well.”

  • Backwards socially. Student does not talk.

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More Perceptions up all of the scripture verses referencing both light and darkness.

  • Lowest GPA observed was a 3.6!

    • How can this be??

  • “How fast can I get out?”

    • Some students seem to be in a hurry to complete their education.

  • “How early can I enroll?”

    • Some students “graduate” from high school at young ages.

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Now that we’ve looked at some up all of the scripture verses referencing both light and darkness.

informal perceptions of Admissions

professionals from a focus group

setting, let’s take a look at a

nationwide survey.

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Survey of Admissions Personnel up all of the scripture verses referencing both light and darkness.

In 1997, Dr. Irene Prue, Assistant Director of Admission of Georgia Southern University, released a nationwide survey of admissions personnel’s knowledge, attitudes and experiences with home educated applicants. In general, a total of 210 (out of the 1,289 surveyed) respondents to the study reported:

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Survey Results up all of the scripture verses referencing both light and darkness.

  • Homeschoolers are academically, emotionally, and socially prepared to succeed at college.

  • Parental motivations and involvement are in the best interest of their children.

  • While documentation and evaluation of home schooled applicants is problematic, it is not insurmountable.

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  • Sixth, everyone studies the methods of lighting throughout history.

  • Seventh, Mom leads everyone in dipping their own candles.

  • Eighth, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill.

  • Ninth, on the way home from the store, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill.

  • Tenth, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light.

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Matt Osborne, history.Vice President of Enrollment Management, Spring Arbor

“[Homeschoolers are] often self-motivated, [achieve] higher test scores, and in general are better students. One weakness is that they aren’t always in sync with the ‘calendar’ for applying to college and seeking financial aid. Another issue is that they don’t all keep adequate (or orderly) records of their studies.”

Homeschooling High School, Dennis, p.145

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Why Homeschoolers Can Be a "Speed Bump" in the Road history.

and What You Can Do to Help Smooth the Way.

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Speed Bumps history.

  • Student’s failure to communicate academic and social preparation

    • classroom experience and extra-curricular involvement not listed on transcript, application or interview

  • Failure to complete traditional high school courses required by most colleges

  • Failure to consider which college is a good match, instead badgering Admissions professionals about school policies

  • Not knowing or not meeting the deadlines for admittance

  • Not revealing the fact that you are home educated

  • Inadequate Transcripts

  • Low SAT/ACT scores

  • “Us” and “them” or arrogant attitude

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Michael Farris, Former HSLDA President history.

  • Homeschoolers’ greatest strengths:

    • Initiative and willingness to “think outside the box.”

  • Homeschoolers’ greatest weakness

    • Arrogance

    • “I see that a lot…Because homeschoolers have had to defend themselves from prosecution, we’re always bent on telling people how wonderful homeschooling is and how great our kids are. Yeah, our kids are really good, but they’re arrogant…much of the time.”

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What are colleges really looking for? history.(See Handout)

  • Academic Preparedness

  • Social Preparedness

    • Demonstrated by Good Communication Skills

  • Community Involvement

  • Leadership Experiences

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  • High SAT/ACT Scores history.

    • validates a high GPA

  • College Preparatory courses that go beyond the “minimum graduation requirements”

  • Character Development

  • Financial Preparedness and Willingness to Consider Loans for Higher Education.

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What should I be looking for when considering applying for college?

  • Make sure the school matches your family’s mission, vision, and values.

    • Web search, college fairs, campus visits

  • Does the school you are considering serve homeschoolers?

  • Refer to HomeSchooling High School

    • By Jeanne Dennis

  • Refer to Guide for the College Bound

    • By Dr. Larry Linamen

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12 Questions to Ask a College Recruiter college?(See Handout)

  • Is this a teaching or research university?

  • What is the student/faculty ratio?

  • May I see a copy of your annual crime report?

  • May I have a copy of last year’s or this year’s chapel schedule?

  • What religious groups meet on campus?

  • Do you have a campus newspaper and can I subscribe in advance?

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12 Questions to Ask a College Recruiter (continued) college?

  • Can you show me the type of room I would have if I lived on campus?

  • What are the best examples of God’s presence on this campus?

  • What are the strongest majors at this college?

  • What percentage of the faculty have doctorates and how many are alumni of this university?

  • Does the school have graduate programs and if so, in what area?

  • May I have a copy of your student handbook?

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Steps you can take to be prepared for the admissions process::

  • Prepare your student by providing a college preparatory course of study. Go beyond the basic graduation requirements. (Refer to VBA’s graduation requirements.)

  • Document your courses by preparing course descriptions and transcripts. (Refer to Mary Schofield’s samples.)

  • Prepare adequately for ACT/SAT tests.

    • Retake them if necessary. Take the PSAT. Consider investing in a tutorial program.

  • Know the deadlines and plan ahead so that applications can be prepared completely and on time.

  • Prepare your student for the interview.

  • Consider allowing your student to participate in the interview without you!

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National Center for Home Education process:

Recommendations to Colleges About Admissions Policies

(A Way to Assess Homeschool Friendliness)

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NCHE Recommended College Admission Policies process:

  • 1. Home educated applicants should not be required to submit an accredited diploma or GED.

    • Accreditation does nothing to measure a student’s knowledge or what he was taught, it only reflects where he was taught.

    • In addition, GED carries with it the stigma of being a high school drop-out. Home schoolers are not drop-outs, but talented, conscientious students who have completed their high school education. They should not be treated as drop-outs by being required to obtain a GED.

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NCHE Recommended College Admission Policies process:

  • 2. If a transcript is required, colleges should have flexible guidelines for records and documentation of the basic credit hours for high school completion.

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NCHE Recommended College Admission Policies process:

  • 3. As the primary instructors, parents should be recognized as capable of evaluating their student’s academic competence in letters of recommendation. Schools frequently ask for an additional evaluation from someone outside the home.

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NCHE Recommended College Admission Policies process:

  • 4. SAT/ACT scores and portfolios or performance-based assessments provide schools with a solid basis for admission.

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NCHE Recommended College Admission Policies process:

  • 5. Mandatory SAT II testing in specific subjects is an unnecessary roadblock.

    • Requiring only home school students to take these tests, in addition to the SAT, is discriminatory.

    • Colleges will discourage home schoolers from seeking admission by holding them to this unreasonable standard. SAT/ACT testing is more than enough to indicate the academic proficiency of the student.

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NCHE Recommended College Admission Policies process:

  • 6. A bibliography of high school literature and an essay are two admission criteria which accurately evaluate a student’s life experience and thinking skills.

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NCHE Recommended College Admission Policies process:

  • 7. Interviews and a review of extracurricular activities are two ways to determine overall student proficiency and leadership qualities

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Survey of Admission Policies process:

In 1996 the National Center for Home Education conducted a nationwide college survey:

a sampling of the home school admission policies in all 50 states. National Center’s liberal definition of “policy” includes colleges that take into account home schoolers’ unique capabilities and circumstances.

Only 44% of the responding colleges had verbal or written policies for home school applicants.

Course descriptions or portfolios are accepted in lieu of an accredited diploma or GED by 93% of the schools polled.

Nevertheless, 96% of the colleges polled had at least one and sometimes over 200 home educated students enrolled at their college.

Several colleges had home schoolers excelling in their honors programs.

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“We look at them in their own individual situations,” was the welcoming attitude expressed by a director of admissions in New Jersey. “We just try to be open minded.”

Copyright 1996, 1999, 2000 National Center for Home Education.

Reprint permission granted.

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HSLDA’s Tier Rating System was the welcoming attitude expressed by a director of admissions in New Jersey. “We just try to be open minded.”

  • The National Center sent letters to 971 colleges, requesting information on their home school admission policies. A total of 513 institutions (52.8%) responded with complete information, and these usable responses were ranked in the following three groups:

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Tier I was the welcoming attitude expressed by a director of admissions in New Jersey. “We just try to be open minded.”

  • Admission policies similar to NCHE’s Recommendations

  • A majority of the respondents (349 or 68%) had admission policies similar to the National Center’s recommended policies. These colleges typically required a parent’s transcript, general standardized achievement testing, and/or the review of a portfolio of the potential student’s materials in place of an accredited diploma.

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Tier II was the welcoming attitude expressed by a director of admissions in New Jersey. “We just try to be open minded.”

  • GED required in place of, or in addition to, any of the Tier I requirements:

  • Nearly a third of the respondents (144 or 28.1%) required a GED for home school admission.

    • Many of these colleges based this admission criterion of a GED on a federal requirement for financial aid in the Ability to Benefit.

    • However, this federal requirement no longer applies since the passage of our home school amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1998.

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Tier III was the welcoming attitude expressed by a director of admissions in New Jersey. “We just try to be open minded.”

  • Standardized achievement test scores (i.e. SAT II) required from home school, but not traditional high school, graduates:

  • Three and one-half percent of the respondents (18) asked home schoolers to take extra standardized exams. Also contained in Tier III were colleges requiring home schooled students to score higher than traditionally schooled students on standardized achievement tests or entrance exams. Only two respondents (.03%) did not accept home school graduates.

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College ranking: was the welcoming attitude expressed by a director of admissions in New Jersey. “We just try to be open minded.”

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Would you like to have a part in building the bridges between homeschoolers and colleges?

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Building the Bridges of Support between homeschoolers and colleges?

  • Invite college admissions personnel to your support group meetings. (Good Job!  )

  • Plan a visitation day with your high school families.

  • Attend college fairs and introduce yourself as a homeschooling family.

  • Make appointments with admissions counselors EARLY in your student’s high school years and begin to prepare your student for college

  • Attend events at the university.

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Insights From between homeschoolers and colleges?Reputable Colleges

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Wheaton College between homeschoolers and colleges?

Wheaton’s 1999-2000 freshman class had 104 (out of 550) students who had been homeschooled at least one year.

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Harvard University between homeschoolers and colleges?

Most of their home educated students “have done very well. They usually are very motivated in what they do.”

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Boston University between homeschoolers and colleges?

“We believe students educated at home possess the passion for knowledge, the independence, and the self reliance that enable them to excel in our intellectually challenging programs of study.”

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Stanford University between homeschoolers and colleges?

“Homeschoolers bring certain skills - motivation, curiosity, the capacity to be responsible for their education - that high schools don’t induce very well.”

Jon Reider

Senior Associate Director of Admissions

Wall Street Journal

Feb. 11, 2000

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Why did Biola choose to actively recruit homeschooled students?

  • Most home educators are Christians

  • The fastest growing educational trend

    • An estimated 1.7 million students are homeschooling

    • This is an increase from 1.2 million in 1996.

  • Academic achievements

  • Mission and Values Match

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In Summary: students?

  • Admissions people care about assisting you in the application process.

  • There are things you can do to prepare your student for the admissions process.

  • HSDLA is working with colleges to help make the process “more fair” for homeschool applicants

  • Many Colleges and Universities are actively recruiting homeschoolers.

  • YOU can be a bridge builder to better relationships with the college of your choice.

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Part Two students?

  • The Application Process

  • Applying for Financial Aid

  • Preparing for College Expenses NOW!

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Admissions Application Process students?

Take the SAT/ACT

Decide which colleges you will apply to

Submit Application (hard copy or on-line)

The fall semester of senior year

$45 Average Fee


Pastor’s Reference & Teacher’s Reference

Prefer an additional reference outside of the family

Submit SAT/ACT scores

Possible Admissions Interview(in person or via phone)

High School & College Transcripts (if applicable)

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Introducing the “Language” students?

  • FAFSA-Free Application for Federal Student Aid

  • UAA

    • University Aid Application Form

  • National Enrollment Deposit Deadline

    • Must submit enrollment deposit money by a certain date

  • SURGE-Students of Under Represented Groups of Ethnicity

  • AGI-Adjusted Gross Income

  • EFC-Estimated Family Contribution

  • CSS-Community Service Scholarship

  • GPA Verification Form

    • For California Residents and Cal Grant Applicants

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Admissions Timeline students?

Apply the fall semester of senior year!

MARCH 2nd, FAFSA, GPA Verification Form, UAA Deadline (best to apply in early January)

MARCH 15th, Deadline for CSS, SURGE,

(Must be accepted to the college by this date)

MAY 1st, Last day to update information for academic scholarships

MAY 1st, National Enrollment Deposit Deadline

JUNE 1st, Admissions Application Deadline

JULY 15th, Orientation Information is mailed out

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Admissions Timeline Cont… students?

AUGUST 19th, Orientation Opening Day

AUGUST 21st - 23rd, Fall Registration

AUGUST 24th, First Day of Classes

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  • “According to the American College Institute … among persons with 10 years work experience, males and females with college degrees earned 86% and 59% more than males and females with only a high school diploma. A college education is still one of the best investments a person can make.”

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  • You should view financial aid as a large national system of tuition discounts, some given according to a student’s ability and talent, others based on what a student’s family can afford to pay.

  • There are many sources of non-need based aid available to anyone of any means.


    • First, you could be wrong;

    • Second, your child may be eligible for non-need based aid

  • Families that are the most knowledgeable of the aid process generally get the most aid.

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Financial Aid tuition discounts, some given according to a student’s ability and talent, others based on what a student’s family can afford to pay.

  • COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS: “We won’t qualify for financial aid.” In 1995-96 there was $52 billion in financial aid and almost every family will qualify for some form of assistance.

  • A family that makes over $75,000 a year, owns their own home, and has substantial assets would certainly qualify for aid. Even a family with $2,000,000 in assets could qualify.

  • A family that makes $20,000 a year, rents their home, and has no assets could send their child to a private university.

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Consider the Costs of Attending Four or More Years of College

Tuition and Fee estimates based upon 1998-99 system-wide and average campus-based fees. Living costs estimates based upon 1998-99 California Student Aid Commission student expenses budget. Income estimates based upon 1996 Bureau of the Census data.

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Student’s Planning Strategies College

  • • Start looking for outside scholarships now.

  • • Improve your overall GPA/SAT scores. Retake SAT.

  • • Accelerate your college graduation date.

    • Determine a major early

    • Take as many units as you can handle.

    • Take courses for college credit while in high school.

    • Begin looking into college options now. Go visit.

    • Go to summer school, it’s usually cheaper.

  • • Be sure to get reliable financial aid information.

  • Don’t rely too heavily on scholarship search programs.

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Parent’s/Family Planning Strategies College

  • • Plan your family finances now. Reduce unnecessary expenses and save.

  • • Income Advice

    • If you can, file a 1040A or 1040EZ. Assets are not used if you qualify for the Simple Needs Test.

    • Capital gains and non-rollovers will increase your AGI and will hurt your financial need.

  • • Asset Advice

    • Shift as much assets as possible to home equity. The Government does not use home equity to determine financial aid eligibility, OR

    • Transfer assets to your retirement plan.

  • • Business Assets are not counted at face value.

  • • Make any substantial educational expenses before you complete your financial aid forms.

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Family Contribution College



College Education

College Resources

Student Contribution

The Financial Aid Partnership

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Federal and State Financial Aid Collegefrom Uncle Sam

  • Federal Grants

    • Pell Grant, Up to $3,750

    • SEOG Grant, Amount varies

  • State Grants from Minnesota

    • Must be a state resident

    • Must take 15 credits per term

    • Ranges from $100-$7536

  • Federal and Institutional Loans

    • Perkins Loans

      • Amount varies

    • Subsidized Stafford Loan

      • Amount varies per grade level

    • Additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

    • PLUS (Parent) Loan

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Grants and Scholarships College

  • Merit Scholarships

    • Academic Scholarships

      • Based on un-weighted GPA, SAT or ACT, and Class Ranking

    • Community Service Scholarship

    • SURGE Scholarship

      • (Students of Underrepresented Groups of Ethnicity)

  • Departmental Scholarships

    • Athletics and Music

  • University Award

  • Outside Options.....

    • Hume Lake Scholarship

    • Christian Worker Dependent Scholarship

    • Cal Plus Grant


    • Church Matching Scholarship

    • Internet,, Outside Private Scholarships

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E Collegexpected Family Contribution?VS.What is my financial need?

  • Your EFC is determined by:

    • Prior year student and parent income

    • Net value of assets as of the date you file

    • Family size and number in college

  • Your “need” is determined by:

    • Cost of Attendance - EFC = Financial Need

    • See next slide for example……

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Gap to fill: =$6,744 =$4,214 =$5,214 College

Add in EFC: +$2,550 +$2,550 +$2,550

Out of Pocket: =$9,294 =$6,764 =$7,764

COE(Cost of Education)- EFC(Expected Family Contribution)= Your Aid Eligibility

Minus Financial Aid

Cal Grant A -$1,506 -$9,036 -$9,036

Pell Grant -$575 -$575 -$575

Scholarship -$1,000 -$9,000 -$4,000

Stafford Loan -$2,625 -$2,625 -$2,625

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Financial Aid Applications College


Free Application for Federal Student Aid

GPA Verification Form

For California Residents and Cal Grant Applicants


University Aid Application Form

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The student College















Federal Student


Aid Programs





ward Of



SAR Changes

Acknowledgement Letter






The student


Financial Aid Process

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1. Apply for Aid After January 1st. College


March 2nd Deadline



2. Receive your


Estimated Award



August--first day

of classes.


3. Send in the

requested forms.

5. Register for school;

pay down payment.

4. Receive your

Confirmed Award Letter.

Financial Aid Timeline

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General Financial Planning CollegeStrategies for College Funding by Craig Watanabe and John Egan

  • “Most people view college funding as strictly part of an investment program.

  • College funding should be an integral part of an overall financial plan since all areas of personal finance are interrelated.”

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Some Tips College

  • Take advantage of any qualified retirement plans available. This is the single best tax savings and investment vehicle available. In addition, retirement assets are not counted in the calculation of your EFC.

  • Eliminate high interest, nondeductible debt such as credit card debt, auto loans, and personal loans. These debts are not subtracted from assets in calculating your EFC.

  • Make sure you have a will and durable powers of attorney. One of the most important considerations in estate planning is naming guardians for your children.

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Make sure you have adequate and economical insurance. College

  • If uninsured, a catastrophic event can derail a family’s finances.

  • Life Insurance – If you are under 40 years of age, term life insurance is the most economical. A needs analysis will help determine the proper amount of coverage. Life insurance is often sold as a college funding vehicle, but these are inferior investment vehicles.

  • Health Insurance

  • Disability Insurance

  • Auto Insurance

  • Homeowner’s Insurance

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In Whose Name Should You Invest? College

  • If you have any hope of getting financial aid, DON’T PUT ASSETS IN YOUR CHILD’S NAME. In calculating your EFC your child’s assets are assessed at 35%. Parent’s assets are assessed at a maximum of 5.64% after several exclusions. The loss of financial aid will far outweigh the income tax advantages.

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  • If you are absolutely certain you will not qualify for aid, then there are definite income tax advantages for putting assets in the child’s name through a UTMA account.

    • The first $650 in annual income is nontaxable

    • The next $650 is taxed at the child’s tax rate

    • If your child is under 14, any amount over $1,300/yr is taxed at the parent’s rate. This is called the "kiddie tax.”

    • New laws allow for greater tax deferred contributions to educational savings accounts.

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To Summarize: child is in school. They will hurt your chances for aid and the money can be used after graduation to pay back loans.

  • Prepare your student during high school years academically and socially

  • Investigate before you apply

    • Become familiar with admissions’ timelines and financial aid

  • Be strategic with your finances now.

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Thank you for coming! child is in school. They will hurt your chances for aid and the money can be used after graduation to pay back loans.

Please feel free to stay and ask questions.