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What You Need to Know about Financial Aid. This presentation was developed and provided for free by MASFAA. Overview. College Bound! Know Your Deadlines, Applications, Requirements, and Timelines About the FAFSA Types of Financial Aid Resources. Financial Aid Timelines.

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what you need to know about financial aid

What You Need to Know about Financial Aid

This presentation was developed and provided for free by MASFAA.



College Bound!

Know Your Deadlines, Applications, Requirements,

and Timelines

About the FAFSA

Types of Financial Aid


getting started

Getting Started

Application for admission may be required before aid can be awarded.

Be aware of the school’s SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) policies

Pay attention to deadlines:

Priority deadline for filing FAFSA – check with school!

Admissions application deadline

Scholarship application deadline

Award acceptance deadline

applying for different types of aid

Applying for Different Types of Aid


Grants – Free or “gift” aid

Work Study – Self- help – must be earned

Loans – Self-help – must be repaid




Follow the process at your school

what is the fafsa

What is the FAFSA?








Emphasis on the “FREE” Part

components of the fafsa

Components of the FAFSA

The Philosophy

The Form

FAFSA on the Web Worksheet and

Online FAFSA Application

The Formulas


the philosophy why is all this information needed

The Philosophy(Why Is All This Information Needed?)

Parents and students are primarily responsible for paying for higher education.

Families are evaluated in their present financial condition.

A family’s ability to pay is evaluated in an equitable and consistent manner.

Special situations can be considered

the process

Federal processor

will determine Expected

Family Contribution

Fill out and submit


School receives

FAFSA info


School determines


School creates

Financial Aid

Award Package

Student receives

Award Letter

Student responds

to Award Letter

The Process

irs data retrieval system

IRS Data Retrieval System

Retrieve federal tax data directly from IRS

Results sent to school show tax data was imported and if it was updated

Voluntary, but if you don’t use IRS data retrieval to provide your tax info, you must explain why

Not using or making changes after using may trigger selection for verification of all information on FAFSA

IRS Data tool will be available February 3, 2013

fafsa application

FAFSA Application

Available on-line at www.fafsa.gov. Use this site ONLY!

May complete the FOTW worksheet first to use as “cheat sheet” when completing the on-line application.

Students may call 1-800-433-3243 to request up to three paper applications or print the pdf at www.fafsa.gov.

pin registration

PIN Registration

PIN numbers can be obtained at the end of the FAFSA on-line process and is real time

Web site: www.pin.ed.gov

Both student and parent need a PIN

PIN is used for FAFSA, MPN, NSLDS access

NOTE: Case sensitivity has been removed on challenge questions – easier to retrieve PIN if forgotten

completing the fafsa

Completing the FAFSA

Tax information

Use 2012 federal tax information


Untaxed income – i.e. child support received, untaxed portions of IRAs, worker’s compensation

Student and Parent Information

Use correct SSNs

Use LEGAL NAME from Social Security Card

Accurate date of birth

completing the fafsa1

Completing the FAFSA

School information

On-line requires listing at least one school

Ten schools can be listed to receive FAFSA information when using the on-line application

Assets & Business Information

If required, the net worth they hold the day you complete the form should be reported.

Stocks, bonds, money market accounts, rental or recreational (second home) property, etc.

Do you include value of your family home, family farm or family business?

dependent or independent

Dependent or Independent?

Criteria to be independent:

Born before Jan. 1, 1990 (age 24)

Working on a graduate degree


Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces

Have dependents other than a spouse that you support more than 50%

dependent or independent1

Dependent or Independent?

• At any time since student turned age 13, both of student’s parents were deceased,(orphan), student was in foster care, or the student was a dependent of/ward of the court.

• As determined by student’s state of legal residence, the student is now or was upon reaching the age of majority, an emancipated minor (released from control by his or her parent or guardian).

• As determined by the student’s state of legal residence, the student is now or was upon reaching the age of majority, in legal guardianship.

special circumstances for dependency issues

Special Circumstancesfor Dependency Issues

Exceptions to dependency criteria:




Where safety of student would be compromised by contacting parents

Contact your financial aid officer for help in

these situations. Documentation is required.

what if i have other special situations

What if I have other special situations?

A special conditions appeal may be filed when your income has changed due to:

Loss of job

Death of wage earner


Unusually high medical bills

Special conditions are considered only after

initial awards have been determined.

divorced separated parents

Divorced/Separated Parents

Whose information goes on the FAFSA?

1. Who did student live with most in last 12 months?

2. If #1 is not clear, who provided the most financial support in the last 12 months?

3. If neither #1 or #2 clarifies it, choose the parent from whom the student most recently received the most support.

Stepparent’s information is ALWAYS included!

the formula

The Formula

Cost of Attendance (COA)

-Expected Family Contribution (EFC)


what is efc

What is “EFC?”

“Expected Family Contribution” – calculated using FAFSA data and a federal formula

Amount the family can reasonably be expected to contribute, but not what the family will pay the college

The same regardless of what college the student attends

Two components

Parent contribution

Student contribution

what is need

What is “Need?”

Cost of Attendance (COA)

-Expected Family Contribution (EFC)


The amount of student’s COA that can be covered with “need-based” aid

NOTE: Non-need based aid can be used to help cover EFC

need varies based on cost









Expected Family Contribution (Constant)



Cost of Attendance (Variable)

Need (Variable)

Need Varies Based on Cost

timelines for fafsa

Timelines for FAFSA

Submit as early as possible after January 1st

Estimated tax return or completed tax return?

Processing Times

1 – 3 days if submitted electronically

4 – 6 weeks if paper FAFSA is mailed

School processing times vary

Print and keep your confirmation page showing your FAFSA was electronically submitted.

student aid report

Student Aid Report

A formatted report of the information supplied when completing the FAFSA

If e-mail is provided, SAR is sent electronically to student

Otherwise, a paper SAR is sent

If you haven’t received any information within 4 weeks, contact the financial aid office or Federal Processor at 1.800.4.FEDAID (1.800.433.3243) or check your application on-line atwww.fafsa.gov.

available grants

Available Grants

No payback required!

Free money!

Federal Pell Grant

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Montana Higher Education Grant (MHEG) (State grant)

Baker Grant (State Grant)

Acce$$ Grant (Private Grant)

federal state work study

Federal & State Work Study

Can be need or non-need based

On or off campus

Earnings do not count as income on next year’s FAFSA

Amount awarded is not guaranteed to be earned – why?

If you did not receive a work-study award,

most schools have a waiting list.

types of educational loans

Types of Educational Loans

Federal Loans

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized


Graduate Plus

Parent Plus

Private Loans

federal loan eligibility

Federal Loan Eligibility

Loans are a type of financial aid

Need and non-need based

Enrolled at least half time

federal perkins loan

Federal Perkins Loan

Need based

Interest rate: 5% fixed

Nine-month grace period

Deferment & cancellation provisions

Limited funding – apply early

federal direct loans

Federal Direct Loans

Direct Subsidized Loan

Need based

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Non-need based

Parent Plus

Graduate Plus

direct loan annual limits

Direct Loan Annual Limits

Dependent Undergraduate Students

  • Base loan = may be Subsidized if eligible, Unsubsidized, or a combination
  • Students may qualify for lesser amounts of loan if other aid meets their cost of attendance
direct loan annual limits1

Direct Loan Annual Limits

Independent Undergraduate Students

  • If the Federal PLUS loan for a dependent student is denied, then the dependent student is eligible for the independent loan limits.
direct loans

Direct Loans

Interest Rates

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans: 6.8%, effective July 1, 2013


1.0% of loan amount deducted prior to disbursement

Fee determined and retained by Department of Ed, not the school

federal direct loans1

Federal Direct Loans


No credit check performed/no creditworthiness needed for students

No Payments due while student is enrolled at least half-time

Six-month grace period after student leaves school before payments begin

10-year repayment term – longer for higher loan balances

Deferment/cancellation provisions

direct parent plus loan

Direct Parent Plus Loan

Interest Rate: 7.9% fixed

Borrowers are parents of dependent undergraduate

students – credit check is performed

Fees: 4% - deducted prior to loan disbursement

Fee is determined and retained by Department of Ed, not the school.

Loan limits:

Cost of attendance less other aid received

Can cover EFC for student

No aggregate limit

direct parent plus loan1

Direct Parent Plus Loan

Repayment begins 60 days after fully disbursed

Ten year repayment term

Four repayment options available to parent borrowers:

Level repayment

Interest Only

Monthly payment based on percentage of income

Delayed repayment

Parents can request an In-school deferment and six month grace period

graduate plus private student loans

Graduate Plus & Private Student Loans

Graduate Plus (Federal)

Interest Rate 7.9% fixed

For graduate/professional students only

Private Student Loans

Also called “Alternative” loans

Interest and terms vary; often require co-signer

Cannot be combined with federal student loans in a federal consolidation – always a separate payment

Use as a “Last Resort” – exhaust all federal eligibility first

scholarship types

Scholarship Types

Merit (Honors)




governor s best and brightest

Governor’s Best and Brightest

Divided into three scholarships - all administered in different ways


Application available online

One award per high school

High School official selects recipient


Application available online

Includes heavily weighted essay section

– encourage your student to submit written essay

even if not the “top student”

Both Merit and Merit-at-Large use same application as MUS Honors scholarship - available at www.scholarship.mt.gov

Visit http://www.mgslp.state.mt.us for details

governor s best and brightest continued

Governor’s Best and Brightest - Continued

Divided into three scholarships - all administered in different ways


No application needed

Financial aid office selects recipient

Based solely on need

Visit http://www.mgslp.state.mt.us for details

scholarship searches

Scholarship Searches

Colleges – 92% of scholarships awarded will come from the college your student attends

High School guidance counselors

Internet searches

SmartAboutCollege.org - follow “MCIS” link




Avoid scams - Free, Free, Free!

other resources

Other Resources

Health & Human Services

Veteran’s benefits

Military Service Scholarship (ROTC)

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Grants

Tribal assistance

American Indian Tuition Waiver

Vocational rehabilitation

taxpayer relief act

Taxpayer Relief Act

American Opportunity/Lifetime Learning Tax Credits

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Education IRA

College Savings Plans

financial aid mistakes to avoid

Financial Aid Mistakes to Avoid

Four Most Common Mistakes:

Not submitting the FAFSA


Paying for scholarship searches, FAFSA filing

Assuming that financial aid is for someone else




Kalie Porter, GM Campus Outreach Eastern MT

Student Assistance Foudation



thank you for your time and attention

Thank you for your time and attention!

Your Montana Financial Aid Officers

Student Assistance Foundaiton