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    Financial Aid

     

    Applying for financial aid is often a confusing and cumbersome process.  It is designed to help prospective students and their families pay for the cost of college tuition.  Financial aid is available through federal and state government, colleges, state and national scholarship programs, local scholarship programs and in the form of loans, from banks. 

     

    In most cases financial aid is awarded based on need.  In other cases it may be awarded for merit based (academic excellence,) athletic, special talent (musical, artistic etc.,) or other specialized skill (majoring in communications, engineering.)

     

    The calculation of need is based on applying a formula (congressional methodology) to a parent and student’s asset (salary, savings, trust funds, investments, etc.)  Once a FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid) is completed and submitted an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is calculated.  This EFC and the subsequent “need” that it establishes will vary from college to college according to the cost of attending that school.  Need is not a set dollar amount, it is calculated in proportion to the cost.

     

    The FAFSA form may not be the only required financial information requested of the prospective student.  Depending on the college, a CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile may be required.  This provides additional financial information to the individual colleges that required it in order to dispense their own aid.  Still other colleges may require their own institutional financial aid forms be filed with an application. 

     

    It is recommended that the FAFSA be completed online.  If necessary, paper forms can be requested by calling 1-800-4FEDAID.  In early October, the Office of Student Services hosts an evening informational program, which focuses on the financial aid process.  We encourage all college bound students and their parents to attend that program.  

     

    The CSS profile is available in September in the office of student services.  Students should check college requirements or ask their school counselor early in the school year whether or not it is required to submit a CSS profile.  There is an added registration and processing cost to the student for those institutions.

     

    Institutional financial aid forms are sent automatically with a request for an admissions application from the colleges that utilize this format. 

     

    It is important to submit an FAFSA form even if you don’t feel you may be eligible for need based money.  By having the FAFSA process you will be considered for loan eligibility.

     

     

  • Financial Aid Hotline

    1-800-442-1171

     

    Federal Student Information Center

    1-800-4FEDAID

    (Assistance with general questions regarding the FAFSA)

     

    College Scholarship Service (CSS)

    609-771-7725

    (Provides information about the processing of a submitted PROFILE)

     

  • Calendar for Financial Aid Process

     September   

    • Request CSS profile for colleges that require it.  Register with CSS paying appropriate registration fee ($25.00 each) and an additional reporting fee ($16.00) for each additional college. On-line registration is required for the CSS profile at www.collegeboard.com. 
    • Create an FSA ID at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

    October         

    • The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov or by calling 1-800-4FEDAID if you are unable to apply online. 
    • In early October, attend Financial Aid Night at the high school.  The Office of Student Services sponsors the program and focuses on reviewing the financial aid process and answering any questions students/parents have.
    • Submit the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov as soon as possible after October 1st. Forms submitted before this date will not be processed and may delay your award package.  You may begin by submitting for one college and add others at a later date.
    • Fill out any institutional forms that are part of the regular application.
    • You will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) 3 days to 3 weeks after submitting your FAFSA.  Make any necessary corrections. You may see a note on your SAR saying you have been selected for verification.  Verification is the process your college uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate.  Some colleges select individuals randomly, while others verify all FAFSAs.  

     April             

    • Receive financial aid award package from schools to which student is accepted.

     

    While reviewing your Financial Aid Package, be careful to note what part is merit, need, and grant money (that which does not have to be paid back). Also make note of loan money (that which will have to be paid back and work-study (part time employment offered by the college to help with tuition costs.)