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  1. FINANCIAL AID The Basics and then some…… Presented by: Fran C. McKeown Meghan Petsko Higher Education Access Partner Associate Director Southeast Region Financial Assistance PHEAA-Pennsylvania School Services Villanova University

  2. Before we start…. • Begin with a positive attitude! • Involve your child/family in the admission and financial aid application process. Discuss your ability to pay for college with your child or family throughout the application process • Ask questions along the way – each school has their own unique approach to financial aid

  3. What is Financial Aid? Financial aid consists of funds provided to students and families to help pay for Postsecondary Educational expenses

  4. Types of Financial Aid • Grants • Scholarships • Loans • Student Employment

  5. Categories of Financial Aid • Merit based Aid • Need-based Aid

  6. Merit-Based Aid • Merit-Based Aid = grant assistance given to students strictly on the basis of merit • Award usually remains the same over the course of the student’s academic career • Merit may be defined in a variety of ways • Academic record (SAT, ACT, GPA, HS RANK) • Special characteristics ( ex. Leadership, Creativity) • Skills or talents ( ex. Musical, Athletic, Writing) • Involvement (ex. Community, Work)

  7. Merit-Based Aid • Amounts can vary significantly from school to school • Rule of thumb: more competitive the institution – less merit based aid • May or may not require an application, interview, submission of additional materials • May require a student to apply for admission by an earlier date • May be administered by an office other than the FA Office • May or may not be offered to transfer students

  8. Need-Based Aid • Need-Based Aid=aid awarded to students on the basis of financial need Re-evaluated each year as financial situations may change. • Need will vary based on cost of attendance of the school • Determination of need could be based on the FAFSA, CSS PROFILE or both

  9. How do you apply for need based aid? • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) • The FAFSA on the Web Worksheet (FOTW) is a great tool to help you work through the process • State Grant Form (SGF) • Required for First Year Students and may be requested for subsequent years • Check with your school if they need additional forms • Some schools have their own forms • Schools may require a copy of tax returns, and/or W-2 forms • The CSS Financial Aid PROFILE may also be required at some institutions

  10. What Is The FAFSA? • Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) • A standard application that collects financial & demographic data about the student & parent • Used to apply for federal & state aid (may be application for college aid, depending upon the school) • File one FAFSA per student (not one per college) • Need to file a FAFSA every year you seek assistance

  11. www.FAFSA.GOV • New FAFSA Entry • Renewal Application Entry • FAFSA Corrections • Providing Signatures • Continuing a Saved FAFSA • Viewing Transaction History

  12. Personal Identification Number (PIN) • Sign FAFSA electronically • Not required, but speeds processing • Website: • BOTH Student and one Parent sign electronically with PIN • Create your own PIN or have one assigned - - - - - - • Do NOT lose it. Write it down and store in a safe place • Do NOT share it with anyone • Links for PIN are within the FAFSA form too

  13. How/When to File the FAFSA? • Ways To Complete the FAFSA: • On-line at • Complete as soon as possible after January 1 at • Make sure you select the FAFSA for the school year you are planning to attend • List all the schools your child is considering attending so the results of the FAFSA get to the school Make sure you file by your school’s deadline for aid. Check with your school if you do not know the filing deadline.

  14. Completing the FAFSA • NEW Tool to assist in the completion of the FAFSA • IRS DATA Retrieval Tool • Allows family to download tax information directly from the tax return onto the FAFSA • IRS Data is available: • After 2 weeks of electronically filing federal tax return • After 8 weeks of filing a paper federal tax return • Some families may not be able to use this tool – if not they may be requested to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript

  15. IRS Data Retrieval Also in Student Section if student is filing taxes

  16. Filing The FAFSA • Based on prior calendar year tax information • Applicants for 2014-2015 academic year will use 2013 income • May use estimated income and taxes if taxes are not complete at time of filing • Students need to be encouraged to apply even if they are not sure of their attendance at a particular school • Do not wait to be accepted to college to file for financial assistance

  17. Whose Information Goes on the FAFSA • Dependent Student and Parent(s) - yes - Independent student – only their info (& Spouse) • Divorced or separated parents (provide information about the parent you lived with most in the last 12 months or the parent that provides the most financial support if you lived with each parent equally) • Stepparents - yes • Adoptive parents - yes • Foster parents - no • Legal guardians - no • Anyone else the student is living with - no

  18. Deadlines • Check each institution for their specific deadline date • State or federal deadline dates may differ so make sure you are meeting all timelines

  19. Financial Need Cost of Attendance -Expected Family Contribution Financial Need (Expected Family Contribution = EFC)

  20. Cost of Attendance Cost of Attendance typically includes: • Tuition & fees • Room & board • Books & supplies allowance • Personal expenses allowance • Transportation allowance

  21. What Is The Expected Family Contribution (EFC)? • EFC is determined by a formula that considers a student and parents’ financial situation • Amount a family can reasonably be expected to contribute to the student’s education during the school year • EFC & Financial Need are guidelines used by schools to determine aid package • Formula used by the FAFSA is the Federal Methodology (FM) • Formula used by the PROFILE is Institutional Methodology (IM)

  22. How Is The EFC Calculated? Primary Factors Considered: • Taxable Income: AGI (wages earned + interest dividends + other taxable income) • Untaxed income & benefits • Number in family • Number of dependent children in college • Assets (Primary residence and Retirement accounts are not considered on FAFSA)

  23. How Is The EFC Calculated? For more detailed information on how the EFC is calculated visit: Select Financial aid calculators

  24. Institutional Methodology • Some schools may require the CSS Financial Aid PROFILE • Primarily used by private schools • Collects supplemental data (home equity, financial data of non-custodial parent, etc.) • Basis for awarding institutional need-based aid only • Register to complete form at • There is a fee associated with the completion of the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE • Some PROFILE Schools require documents such as tax returns to go to a service called IDOC

  25. Sources of Aid • Federal • State • School/College/University • Private/Outside Organizations • Civic organizations (ex.-local Rotary Club, parent’s employer, churches)

  26. Federal Grant Aid • Federal Pell Grant • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant SEOG • Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education Grant (TEACH)

  27. Federal Work and Loan Aid • Federal Work Study • Federal Perkins Loan • Federal Nursing Student Loan • Federal Direct Loan – subsidized and unsubsidized • Federal Direct PLUS Loan (parent’s loan)

  28. State Aid • Awards may be merit or need based • May require some type of residency requirement • Deadlines for applying for state aid may vary from state to state • Contact your state higher education assistance agency for specific details on their programs of aid

  29. PA State Grant Program • PA State Grant* • Full-time, in PA….....up to $4,362 • Part time, in PA………up to $2,181 • Out of state….. Up to $600 in DE, MA, OH, RI, VT, WV, and DC • All other states….up to $500 (NJ, NY, and MD = $0) • Amount determined in part by the cost of the school * Must be at least half-time to be eligible

  30. Other State Programs Page 20; PA Student Guide • State Work-Study - job related to major • Educational Assistance Grant (EAP) – National Guard • Chafee Education and Training Grant – administered by the Department of Public Welfare • Blind or Deaf Beneficiary Grant • Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program (PEGP) • Partnerships for Access to Higher Education (PATH) • Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program (PA –TIP) For details visit www.pheaa.orgor refer to the PA Student Guide

  31. College/University • Many schools offer their own sources of aid. Understand that funding varies from school to school therefore aid packages may vary significantly • Funds may be merit or need based aid or both • Check with each school you are interested in about their policies, application forms, process & deadlines

  32. Outside Sources • Private sources of scholarship funds include: • Service/Fraternal Organizations • Employers/Business • Churches/Religious Groups The web is an excellent resource for parents, students and counselors to seek free scholarship assistance

  33. Comparing Aid Offers

  34. Comparing Aid Offers

  35. The Financial Aid Gap The Financial Aid Gap is the difference between demonstrated financial need and the amount of financial aid actually awarded. Possible Ways to Close the Financial Aid Gap: • Private scholarships • Summer employment • Part-time employment on campus • Campus tuition payment plans

  36. Comparing Aid Offers • Will the aid package change if outside scholarships are received? • What factors can cause changes to my eligibility in the future? (i.e.- how will my package change if there is a change in the number in college, what if my income increases) • Is there room for movement in my financial aid award? • Can I appeal the award?

  37. Comparing Aid Offers • Look at the Bottom line for each school carefully comparing grants, loans and work opportunities as well as merit versus need based programs • Consider possible changes in your family situation over the next four years & consider how that can affect your ability to pay not only in the next four years but over the years all your children are in college

  38. Additional things to consider • If you have unusual circumstances let the school about your situation • Follow up with all requests for additional information from your school or federal or state agency • You need to reapply for need based aid every year • If your family financial situation changes your need based aid package may also change each year • Contact the Financial Aid Office with your questions or concerns regarding the financial aid process

  39. Net Price Calculators (NPC) • NPC is a tool schools must have to assist you in knowing what federal aid you may be entitled to. Many schools will also allow you to determine school based aid on the NPC as well. • It is a tool – it is not the final award letter • Carefully read the things the school considers when it calculates aid on the NPC

  40. Timeline • September – start to apply for private aid • January/February – file FAFSA and/or PROFILE and any other forms school requests • March/April – schools will send financial aid award letter to you

  41. Timeline continued • April – review financial aid awards and determine which package is best for you and your family • May 1 – Deposit deadline for admission NOTE: Students applying Early Action or Early Decision may have earlier deadlines

  42. Questions?Thank you for your attention and GOOD LUCK