Financial Aid: An Overview… Presented by Dave Marsteller Assistant Director, Financial Aid The University of Akron
Tonight’s Agenda… • Your Friend the FAFSA… • What it is? • Why should I file? • Can I make too much to file? • Important Web Sites • FAFSA Help • The Financial Aid Timeline—Financial Aid by the Firsts • What do I need to Estimate Income
Important Web Sites • www.fafsa.gov Web site for FAFSA on the Web (FREE!!) • www.pin.ed.gov Web Site to set up parent and student PIN for electronic signatures for FAFSA • www.studentloans.gov Web site for completing Entrence Counseling for Direct Stafford Loans & Completing Master Promissory Notes & PLUS Applications • www.irs.gov Web site for tax forms & publications delineating higher education tax deductions • www.sss.gov for registering male students for selective service. • www.ohiocollegegoalsunday.org for registering to attend College Goal Sunday 2/13/11
If You Want Help Completing Your FAFSA… • If you have specific questions, the federal processor may be able to answer them by phone (1-800-4-Fed Aid) • Your School Counselor can often provide assistance. • The college of your choice will always be glad to help… • www.ohiocollegegoalsunday.org for registering to attend College Goal Sunday 2/13/11 • Or… CALL US! VISIT US! We’ll be glad to assist you!!!
Advantages to Online Filing… • Speed—7-10 business days in processing versus 3-4 weeks. • FREE—www.fafsa.ed.gov • Instantly signed with PIN www.pin.ed.gov • Accuracy the paper fafsa data is entered into the computer using optical character recognition—in the online version you leave no doubts as to your 7’s and your 9’s… • Prevents errors by not allowing conflicting information to be entered without prompting you to clarify. • Disadvantages • Discomfort with computers can cause folks to put off filing. • Lack of access to secure computer networks may prevent electronic filing.
Financial Aid Timeline… • ASAP Senior year… Make sure you know if your school requires the CSS Profile Form and if so what it’s due date is. • For more information, go to: https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/index.jsp
New Year=New FAFSA 1/1= Your FAFSA will be available online after 1/1 of your Senior year in high school.
February 1 Have your FAFSA Completed and into the FEDS no later than this date for best results (Some schools even want 1/31!) So be early… Don’t wait until your taxes are done… Estimate your income!
March 1 If your school needs more information from you they should be requesting it during the first week of March (if you met the 2/1 deadline). If you haven’t heard from your school(s) CALL THEM!
“You have been selected in a process known as verification…” NOTE: 33% of students will be RANDOMLYselected BY THE US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION for verification of other information, including Income, Selective Service Status, and Citizenship. If you are selected you will be notified by a letter from our office which will be accompanied by forms, and directions on how to complete them! DO NOT PUT THESE ON THE COFFEE TABLE AND FORGET THEM! Please return these forms quickly, and provide the information requested. We are unable to process aid for you without them! • IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT COMPLETING THESE FORMS—Or ABOUT THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION…Call your school for help!
April 1… You should be receiving your Award Notification from the school during the first week of April. If you have not… Contact the school to see where the problem is. READ EVERYTHING THAT COMES WITH YOUR AWARD NOTIFICATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Award Notification This paper describes the amount of aid a student will receive during the next academic year.
May 1-through June 1 Decisions, Decisions! Now is when you are finalizing your school choice… Make sure the school knows you are coming and that you want the money they offered you!!! Contact them! You should know how much aid you have, and what you need to do to get it! (e.g. forms, etc.) READ EVERYTHING that comes with your Award Notification and follow the directions carefully so you do not lose aid by missing deadlines.
June 1 onward… • You should know what aid you’re getting and know how much more money you need to pay for your school. • If you don’t know this at this point be in close contact with the school for assistance!
Special Circumstances Contact the Financial Aid Office if there is: • Loss or reduction in parent or student income or assets • Death or serious illness in family that is effecting income or causing unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance • Natural disaster affecting parent income or assets • Reduction in child support or other untaxed benefits • Financial responsibility for elderly grandparents • Private K-12 tuition for younger students in household • A parent attending college or other post-secondary training • Any other unusual circumstances that affect a family’s ability to contribute to higher education
College Cost Savers… • Use community colleges/lower cost public schools for general ed. courses • Commute to school! • Use AP/CBE/CLEP to obtain credit for knowledge earned from an excellent h.s. education. • Take advantage of College/Education tax deductions (e.g. Hope Scholarship; Lifelong learning Credit etc.) • Use School payment plans to help finance cash-flow issues to avoid credit card or loan use when possible.
Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation If you student, have a condition, disability, (physical, emotional or learning issue) The BVR is a state agency that may be able to provide financial support to allow a student to pursue preparation for a profession or trade that will accommodate a student’s condition. Phone numbers are available for each and every county in the state. You can find listings for your county by doing a web search using the terms “Ohio BVR”
Military Service Army ROTC Air Force ROTC Navy ROTC Ohio National Guard Benefits provided by any armed service. All of these options are available to you with all the rights, responsibilities and risks of military service. Contact your local recruiter(s) for details.
ETV Funds (Children in Foster Care System) The Ohio Education and Training Voucher Program offers funds to foster youth and former foster youth to enable them to attend colleges, universities and vocational training institutions. Students may receive up to $5000 a year for four years as they pursue higher education. The funds may be used for tuition, books or qualified living expenses. Web site www.statevoucher.org Click on OHIO on the map to obtain information.
AVOID Scholarship Scams… • NEVER pay anyone to assist you in searching for scholarships—you may do so yourself for free online, through books at your local public library or with the help of your school counselor. • Never pay an “entry fee” “application fee” or “membership fee” with a scholarship “application.”