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Financial Aid 101. Philosophy of Financial Aid. Students and parents have the responsibility to pay for higher education expenses to the extent they are able. Philosophy of Financial Aid.

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Philosophy of Financial Aid

Students and parents have the responsibility to pay for higher education expenses to the extent they are able.


Philosophy of Financial Aid

Federal calculations strive to provide consistent and equitable evaluations of the family’s circumstances.

goals of financial aid
Goals of Financial Aid
  • Primary goal is to assist students in paying for college and is achieved by -
    • Evaluating family’s ability to pay educational costs
    • Distributing limited resources in an equitable manner
    • Financial aid awards package to meet the student’s need: gift aid and/or self-help aid, depending on the student’s eligibility

Initial Student Eligibility

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Enroll in an eligible degree or certificate program
  • Register with Selective Service (males only)
  • Sign a statement of educational purpose

Gift Aid

  • Grants
  • Scholarships

Self-help Aid

  • Work-study
  • Other employment
  • Loans


Types of Financial Aid Categories

  • Financial aid is any money given, paid or loaned to help pay for education.
gift aid federal need based
Gift Aid: Federal – Need based
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
gift aid state need based
Gift Aid: State –need based
  • Cal Grants
  • Calif. Middle Class Scholarship
  • Chafee Grants – foster youth
  • CSU - State University Grant (SUG)
  • CSU - Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • Community Colleges – Board of Governor’s Grant (BOGG)
gift aid college need or non need based
Gift Aid: College Need or Non-need based
  • Athletic scholarships
  • Academic Scholarships (gpa, test score)
  • Activity Scholarships (music, leadership, drama, athletics if not NCAA)
  • Scholarships based on college major
  • Alumni Scholarships
  • Scholarships specific to the college
  • Scholarships for dependents of college employees
gift aid private sources need or non need
Gift Aid: Private sources Need or Non-need
  • Religious affiliation
  • Ethnic background
  • Organization affiliation of family member
  • Employee’s dependents
  • Foundations
  • Clubs and organizations
self help aid
Self-Help Aid
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Stafford Loans
  • PLUS Loans – to parents
  • Private Loans
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Campus or off campus Work
consumer information
Consumer Information

FSA Social Media

College Affordability


Application Process – for $

  • When applying to an institution, a student should ask the following
    • What forms does the institution require?
    • In addition to the FAFSA, does the college require the completion of an institutional form or the CSS Profile?
    • Filing deadlines for each form?
    • What type of deadline? Receipt or Postmark?

GPA Form

Application Process

  • All institutions require the FAFSA
  • Cal Grant GPA Verification Form
  • Other applications or forms
  • Some institutions require CSS Financial Aid Profile
  • Institutional Scholarship and/or Financial Aid Application
  • BOG for Community Colleges
  • 2013 federal tax returns (along with schedules and W-2s) or other income documentation

Expected Family Contribution EFC

  • Need analysis is the consistent formula used in determining a family’s EFC by the Federal Government
  • EFC is the measure of a family’s financial strength for a given year
  • The EFC is used to determine the student/parent’s ability to contribute for a given year

Calculating Financial Aid Eligibility Cost of Attendance

Standard Allowable Costs

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation
  • Misc. personal expenses

Additional Allowable Costs

  • Dependent care
  • Study-abroad
  • Disability-related
  • Employment expenses for coop study
  • Student loan fees
cost of attendance 2013 2014
Cost of Attendance 2013-2014
  • UC $31,948-36,956 on campus
  • Private $28,000-$79,336 on campus
  • Community College $12,086-$19,288 at home.

*see handout of cost comparison


Calculating Financial Aid Eligibility Eligibility Varies Based on Cost of Attendance

Private 4-year

COA $35,001

- EFC 1,000

= Need $34,001

Public 4-year

COA $22,765

- EFC 1,000

= Need $21,765

Public 2-year

COA $13,126

- EFC 1,000

= Need $12,126


Calculating Financial Aid Eligibility Non-Need Based Aid

  • College/institutional scholarships
  • Private sector scholarships
  • Federal unsubsidized Stafford loan
  • Federal PLUS loan (to parents)
  • College/institutional employment

Calculating Eligibility

Need-Based Aid—2013-2014 Federal Programs

calif need based programs
CALIF Need-Based Programs
  • Cal Grant A– tuition/fees up to $9,223 for private, $4000 for profit;$5,472 for CSU;$12,192 for UC (HS gpa 3.0 min)
  • Cal Gran B - $1473 all schools; cost of living, plus can add tuition/fees 2nd yr
  • Cal Grant C- up to $2462 non CCC; $547 CCC
  • Chafee Grant – up to $5000 (foster youth)
california programs need based
California Programs – need based
  • UC Student Aid - $100 or more
  • State Univ Grant – covers full system-wide fees
  • Child Dev Grant $1000 (CCC) or $2000 (4 YR)
  • Law Enforcemt. & Personnel Depend Grant – Up to $12,192 for up to 4yr
  • Robt Byrd – discontinued
  • CCC Bd of Gov – all enroll fees

Awarding & Packaging

  • Federal awarding guidelines
    • Pell Grant is awarded first
    • Campus-based aid awarded in any order college chooses
    • Subsidized Stafford loan eligibility is calculated before unsubsidized
  • Institutions have different awarding policies due to various program participation

Awarding & Packaging

  • Award letters may vary in composition
    • Listing of awards and amounts
    • COA, EFC, need and unmet need
    • Period of enrollment covered
    • Terms and conditions of awards
  • Response to the offer may or may not be required – look carefully, deadline, etc.

Special Circumstances

  • Presenting the case
    • File FAFSA first
    • Contact individual financial aid offices (FAO) for further guidance and additional forms
    • A detailed explanation should include
      • Student’s name and SSN (or ID#)
      • Specific financial details
      • Time period involved
      • Supporting documentation

Special Circumstances

  • Adjustments may be made to information on a case-by-case basis
  • Special circumstances may include
    • Dependency status changes
    • Income, assets, employment status
    • Child support
    • Number in household or college
    • Private elementary/secondary tuition***
    • Medical or dental expenses (not covered by insurance) Health changes of parent

Special Circumstances

  • Student should follow up with each FAO
  • FAO makes its own decision, results may vary from college to college
  • Adjustments made by college may not necessarily affect student’s eligibility for certain types of aid

Professional Judgment & Dependency Status

The Financial Aid Office has authority to make a dependent student independent if unusual circumstances exist:

  • An abusive family environment
  • Abandonment by parents
  • Inability to locate bio/adopt. parents

Professional Judgment & Dependency Status

These Do Not qualify as “unusual circumstances”

  • Parents refuse contribution towards education
  • Parents unwilling to provide information on the application or for verification
  • Parents not claiming the students as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrating total self-sufficiency

Getting Ready . . .

  • Student/parent driver’s license
  • Student/parent Alien Registration card – if no Soc Security number
  • Student and parent
    • Social Security cards
    • 2012 W-2 forms and other records of money earned
    • Records of untaxed income
    • Current bank statements
    • Business, farm and other real estate records if appropriate
    • Records of stocks, bonds and other investments
get your pin s
Get your Pin #’s
  • Student and one parent must have individual PIN numbers at www. or link on FAFSA
  • Parent uses same PIN for all their kids
  • Parent/student use their PIN throughout college yrs. Parent may need new one if not used in 2-3 yrs.
  • These serve as your “electronic signature”
  • Should have an email
  • PIN will be rejected if there is no matching social security #

Staying Organized . . .

  • Create a file
  • Keep copies of all documents and records used to complete the FAFSA
  • Keep copies of all applications and forms submitted
fafsa on the web fotw
FAFSA on the Web (FOTW)

Contact Us

  • Live “chat”
  • (800) 433-3243
youtube can help
Youtube can help!
  • This video may be helpful as you fill out the FAFSA
student information
Student Information

Check for:

  • Name matches student social security card
  • Transposed numbers
  • Incorrect data on numeric fields

Tip: Use the Help & Hints section on each page.

Simple mistakes can delay determining eligibility for aid

student information1
Student Information

Students with a high school diploma and who have never attended college must:

  • Identify their high school
  • Select Confirm to find a match.
  • Select the school from the list or select Next to continue.
student information2
Student Information
  • Are you a U.S. citizen? Mark one
    • Yes, I am a U.S. citizen (U.S. national)
    • No, but I am an eligible non-citizen
          • Alien Registration Number Required
    • No, I am not a citizen or eligible non-citizen
student information3
Student Information
  • Student’s martial status
  • Student’s state of legal residence
  • Are you male or female? If male, answer Selective Service Question
  • Student Aid Eligibility Drug Convictions
student information4
Student Information
  • Parents’ Educational Level
    • Some states and colleges offer aid based on the level of schooling parents completed
    • Indicate highest level of schooling completed by biological or adoptive parents
      • Definition of parents is unique for these two questions
      • Do not use stepparents, legal guardians, grandparents or foster parents
step 2 school college selection
Step 2 School/College Selection
  • May select up to 10 colleges to receive the FAFSA information
  • Good to Include at least 1 Calif. College
  • Put most expensive colleges first
  • Indicate on-campus housing in all but community colleges – can change decision later
school college selection
School/College Selection
  • Add a School
  • Federal School Code
  • Search by:
    • State
    • City
    • Name
  • Housing Plans
  • On campus
  • With parent
  • Off campus
school college selection1
School/College Selection
  • First Bachelor’s degree? (Yes for current high school student)
  • Beginning level? (when entering college -)
  • Which degree/certificate working toward? (BS,BA, AA, AS, certificate from Community College, etc.)
  • Expected enrollment status? (part-time, full-time)
  • Coursework for elementary and secondary college teacher?
    • Answer “Yes” to learn more about the TEACH Grant
    • Answer “Don’t know” if you are not sure but would like more information about the TEACH Grant
school college selection2
School/College Selection
  • Interest in Types of AidIndicating interest in either work-study or student loans does not obligate the student to borrow or to work, nor will it cause the student to lose grants and scholarships (best to enter all, you can change decision later)
dependency determination
Dependency Determination
  • “No” to all the questions in this section makes the student “dependent”
  • Must submit parent information
  • Note: child must be supported financially more than 50%
foster care
Foster Care
  • Select “Yes” if at any time since student turned age 13, he/she was in foster care even if no longer in foster care today due to:
  • Adoption
  • Reunification
  • Reached 18 yrs.

Documentation may be required

emancipated minors
Emancipated Minors
  • Select “Yes” if the student:
  • As of today, is emancipated minor (court determination) or
  • Was an emancipated minor immediately before turning 18

Documentation issued from court in state of legal residence may be required

legal guardianship
Legal Guardianship
  • Yes – if

You can provide court doc.that as of today you are in legal guardianship

You can provide court doc.that you were in legal guardianship before age 18

Court was in state of residency

  • No – if

You are still a minor and court decision is no longer in effect,

Or, court decision wasn’t in effect at time you became 18

homeless unaccompanied youth
Homeless, Unaccompanied Youth

Select Yes if any time after July 1, 2012, the student meets all three criteria

“Homeless” or “at risk of being homeless”

  • Lacking fixed, regular and adequate housing. Includes living in shelters, motels, cars, or temporarily living with other people because you had nowhere else to go.


  • Not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian


  • 21 years or younger
  • Still enrolled in high school at the time the FAFSA is completed
step 4 parent information
Step 4 Parent Information
  • Required for dependent students
  • Parents must answer both demographic and financial information to determine:
    • Custodial parent(s)
    • Ability to contribute to student’s educational expenses

Parent Information

  • Do not provide information on
    • Foster parent(s)
      • Student is automatically considered an independent student if they are a foster youth
    • Grandparents, other relatives or legal guardian(s)
      • Student must attempt to get biological or adoptive parental information
      • Colleges may use Professional Judgment to allow the student to file as an independent student
divorced or separated parents
Divorced or Separated Parents
  • Provide parent’s information for the parent(s) with whom the student lived most during the last 12 months
  • If the student spent equal time with both parents, use the information for the parent who provided the greatest amount of financial support for the student
student living with remarried parent
Student living with Remarried Parent**

Provide information about the parent andstepparent regardless of:

  • Agreement of “nonsupport”
  • Prenuptial agreement
  • Divorce decree designating tax filing exemptions

Note: parent claiming the studenton the tax return need not be the parent required to provide data on the FAFSA

parent information
Parent Information

For upcoming year

  • Household Size: Parent provides more than 50% financial support
  • Number in College: Student enrolled at least half-time (only count parent if full time)
parent information1
Parent Information

Dislocated Worker

  • Lost job
  • Laid off
  • Self-employed/ unemployed or underemployed
  • Displaced homemaker
displaced homemaker
Displaced homemaker
  • In general, a person who (1) is at least 30-35 yrs. old, (2) unemployed, has not worked as an employee for a number of yrs. but has worked in the home providing unpaid services for family members, (3) has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer being supported by that income, (4) has been receiving public wellfare assistance for dependent children, (5) is underemployed and finding it difficult to upgrade employment.
parent income and asset info
Parent Income and Asset Info
  • Same questions asked of students
  • Selecting a box displays additional fields to complete
  • Note: Asset filtering question
step 5 student income assets
Step 5 Student Income & Assets
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
  • Amount earned from work
  • Taxes paid
  • Exemptions
  • Cash/Investments
    • Asset Threshold
student financial information
Student Financial Information

Students are askedthe same questionsas parents.



Student Sign and Submit

  • Select Signature Method
  • PIN or printed signature page
  • Terms of Agreement
  • $$$ for education expenses only
  • Not in default on a federal student loan
  • Not owe money
  • Receive one Pell Grant from one college at a time

Step 7: Confirmation Page

  • Confirmation #
  • DRN
  • Optional feature: transfer FAFSA data (can transfer info to syblings’ FAFSA)
  • Eligibility info (college based)
  • College information
  • Next steps


2012 income and assets
2012 Income and Assets

IRS Data Transfer

  • Transfer information directly from the IRS
    • Requires PIN
    • Available January 31st
    • After filing tax return
income reporting and verification
Income Reporting and Verification

Selected students and parents must submit income and asset documentation

  • Using IRS Data Transfer (unchanged) meets verification requirements for some income information
  • Otherwise only an IRS Tax Return Transcript will meet verification requirements
frequent fafsa errors
Frequent FAFSA Errors
  • Social Security numbers
  • Divorced/remarried parental information
  • Income earned by parents/stepparents
  • Untaxed income
  • U.S. income taxes paid
  • Household size
  • Number of household members in college
  • Real estate and investment net worth
contact college financial aid offices
Contact College Financial Aid Offices
  • To explain special circumstances
  • To request information on any college/institutional scholarships, employment, need and non-need based financial aid.
  • For help with the FAFSA if the FAFSA phone/web help isn’t enough
student aid report sar
Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Received by email or mail (check junk & spam folders – mark, as safe)
  • Summarizes FAFSA information
  • Displays EFC and DRN (upper right-hand portion on the SAR)
  • EFC – Expected Family Contribution -used to determine eligibility for federal aid
  • DRN – Data Release Number – used to send SAR to additional schools. (can be done by phone)
student aid report sar1
Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Electronically within 3-5 days of online submission of FAFSA with a valid email address
  • Email from “Federal Student Aid”, Subject line in email: “FAFSA Results”

Postal mail within 3 weeks if FAFSA had no valid email address


Types of Financial Aid College and Private

  • Provider decides on
    • Awarding criteria
    • Application deadline
    • Forms or applications
  • Awards may be
    • Merit-based
    • Need-based
    • Combination of the two

College /



Types of Financial Aid – GIFT Federal Pell Grant


  • Entitlement
    • First source of aid
  • Undergraduate students only
  • Amount based on
    • Cost of Attendance (COA)
    • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
    • Enrollment status
  • Up to $5,550

Types of Financial Aid – GIFT Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant


  • Campus-based aid
  • Undergraduate students only
  • Priority given to students with exceptional need
    • Pell Grant recipients
  • $100 to $4,000 yr
    • Funding levels vary at each institution
  • Need-based
types of financial aid gift iraq afghanistan service grant
Types of Financial Aid – GiftIraq & Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Student not eligible for Pell
  • Parent died in military service in Iraq or Afghanistan
  • Student was under 24 yrs of age at time of parent’s death or were at least part-time student in college.
types of financial aid gift teacher ed teach grant
Types of Financial Aid – Gift Teacher Ed (TEACH) Grant
  • Up to $4,000/yr ;

$16,000 undergraduate max.

  • Agreement to Serve – will teach full-time in shortage area for 4 yrs at school serving low-income families.
  • Graduate students $8,000 max

Types of Financial Aid – GIFT Cal Grants A, B and C


  • Student must meet
  • All federal and state eligibility criteria
  • Income and asset limits
  • GPA requirement
  • Amount determined by
  • Grant program and college segment
  • Renewal is based on program participation
cal grant income ceilings 2013 2014 for depen students
Cal Grant Income Ceilings 2013-2014 for Depen. Students

Cal Grant A & C

Cal Grant B






Fam. of 6 or more: $96,100

Five: $89,100

Four: $83,100

Three: $76,500

Two: $74,700

Assets ceiling: $64,300 – not including home

cal grant a
Cal Grant A
  • Low to middle income students who:

Meet income and asset ceilings

Have financial need

  • 3.00 High School GPA minimum
  • Associates or Bachelors programs only
  • Maximum annual award amounts
  • Used for tuition and/or fees only
  • Held in reserve while attending CC
cal grant b
Cal Grant B
  • Low income students who:

Meet income and asset ceilings

  • 2.00 minimum gpa
  • Associates, Bachelors, & Certificate programs
  • Annual Awards

$1,473 first yr; Fees/Tuition plus $1,473 on yrs 2-4

cal grant c
Cal Grant C
  • Low and middle income students who:
  • Enroll in vocational courses
  • Associates and Certificate programs only
  • Can be used for any school expenses including tuition and fees
  • Eligibility determined only after full Cal Grant A and B consideration
cal grant c1
Cal Grant C
  • Priority given based on occupational goal
  • Meeting 2 of the 3: high employment need, high employment growth, high wage

Automotive service tech & mech; Carpenters, Cooks,

Restaurant;Computer Spec; support, etc.

Fire Fighters; Fitness trainers; LP and LVN; Med Sec; RN

Paralegal/Legal Assist; Police/Sheriff; Pre-school teachers


Types of Financial Aid – GIFT College Grants


  • Community College Board of Governor’s (BOG) Fee Waiver
    • Waives enrollment fees, FAFSA may be required
  • CSU State University Grant (SUG)
    • Amounts vary, FAFSA is required
    • or
  • UC Grant
    • Amounts and application process vary
  • Independent College Grants
    • Amounts and application process vary
    • or

Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP Federal Work-Study


  • Campus-based aid
  • Must be earned through work
    • Job may be on- or off-campus
  • Undergraduate and graduate students
  • No annual maximum
    • funding levels vary at each institution
  • Need-based

Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP Federal Perkins Loan


  • Campus-based aid
  • College serves as lender
  • Undergraduate and graduate students
    • Undergraduate: Annual = $5,500 Aggregate = $27,500
    • Graduate: Annual = $8,000 Aggregate = $60,000
      • Funding levels vary at each institution
  • Need-based
  • Priority given to those with exceptional need
    • Eligibility for Federal Pell Grant is determined first

Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP  Federal Perkins Loan


  • Fixed interest rate
  • 9-month grace period
  • Repayment 10-year maximum
  • Deferment and cancellation provisions
    • Teaching
    • Nursing
    • Law enforcement
    • Childcare

Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP Federal Family Education Loan Program


  • Includes
    • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
    • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
    • Federal PLUS Loan
    • Consolidation Loan
  • Money comes from lending institutions
  • Borrowers have somewhat different repayment options depending upon the lender

Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program


  • Includes
    • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
    • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
    • Federal PLUS Loan
    • Consolidation Loan
  • Money comes directly from the U.S. Department of Education (ED)
  • Repayment options may differ slightly from FFEL program

Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP  Federal Stafford Loan


  • College determines program
    • FFEL or Direct
  • Subsidized
    • Need-based
  • Unsubsidized
    • Not need-based
  • Annual and aggregate loan limits apply
  • 6-month grace period

Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP  Federal Stafford Loan

  • Fixed interest rate – rates determined at time of loan.
  • Origination fee paid to the U.S. Department of Education
  • Insurance premium paid to the guarantor



Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP  Federal PLUS Loan Program


  • Parents of undergraduates
  • Graduate/professional students
  • Approval subject to credit status check
  • Loan limits
    • Annual: COA less all other aid
    • Aggregate: None
  • Not need-based

Parent - biological or adoptive parent

  • Both parents - eligible for PLUS loan, total aidcannot exceed the COA
  • Stepparent - if income and assets considered on FAFSA
  • Legal guardian - not eligible for PLUS loan
  • Parent - same citizenship requirements as student
  • Parent - no overpayment or default on Title IV aid
  • Parent - if denied, see financial aid office

Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP  Federal PLUS Loan Program


Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP  Federal PLUS Loan Program

  • Fixed interest rate
  • Repayment usually begins within 60 days after final disbursement
  • Now parents can align repayment with student’s 6-month grace period



Types of Financial Aid – SELF-HELP  Private Loans

  • Check with financial aid office
  • Last resort - exhaust all options
  • Not Title IV aid
  • Also known as ‘alternative’ loans
  • Credit and income-based loan
    • May require a co-signer
  • Loan fees & interest rate usually higher than Stafford or PLUS loan
    • Lender assumes the risk of default