Guide to College Funding
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Guide to College Funding



Teach students about the types of financial aid, the application process, how colleges award financial aid, and how to complete the FAFSA.

Teach students about the types of financial aid, the application process, how colleges award financial aid, and how to complete the FAFSA.



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  • Explain set costs vs. costs that vary. Make sure to direct families to the handbook to give an idea of what costs are for each of these areas.
  • **This slide can be moved to a different point in the presentation (personal preference). Preparing for college might mean shifting expenses and making choices (ex: downgrade to a cheaper car, shift other bills). Be realistic with yourself and your student! Talk to your student about what you can afford! (Ask how many people have had a conversation with their student about what they can realistically afford to pay toward college.)(Percentages roughly based on IFAP parent income protection allowance.)
  • Meant to be an overview slide of the types of money available to students. Give generalities of each program (ie. Grants are money that do not need to be repaid) as you will only be discussing scholarships in detail during the presentation.
  • [Animations – 3 clicks: 1=merit/need, 2=leadership/community service, 3=talents/athletics/drama/music]Explain a little bit about the different types of scholarships. Many scholarships require a mix of all the above categories. Obviously these are some of the main types – there are others out there, ex: religion, ethnicity, military, etc.
  • is hyperlinked if during your presentation you have time to clink on the link. This is optional based on time allowed.
  • Beware of anything asking for money or very personal information (i.e. SSN, mother’s maiden name, bank account numbers, etc.). You should never pay for a scholarship.
  • Make sure not to say “free money.” (It’s not technically free, it’s someone’s tax dollars.) Instead, use “money you don’t repay,” or “gift money.”
  • [Animations – 6 clicks: 1=need-based, 2=no, 3=Perkins loan/Subsidized Stafford loan, 4=non-need-based, 5=yes, 6=Unsubsidized Stafford loan/Parent PLUS loan]Have them refer to handbook (pg. 15) while discussing this slide. Explain in general the main differences between the types of loans (ex: borrow money from school vs. government, in student name vs. parent name), but keep in mind they can read about the details (i.e. interest rate, repayment terms, grace period) in the handbook. Not talking about loan limits here.
  • [Animations – 1 click=Note]Don’t need to explain difference between dependent & independent here (will do so later). Main point of this slide is to bring attention to the fact that there are limits on the federal Stafford loans, and students won’t be able to borrow as much as they may want in order to cover costs. Point out that as an independent student, they can borrow a bit more, but most high schools students will be considered dependent (click to bring up Note as explaining this).
  • [Animations – 2 clicks: 1=all scholarship application bubbles, 2=FAFSA screenshot]This slide is meant to be a quick visual/explanation to point out that students will fill out multiple applications for scholarships, and just one application (FAFSA) for grants, work-study, and loans. May mention some colleges require other paperwork (ex: CSS profile) or other institutional forms.(Obviously, to actually get loans disbursed they will have to complete MPN, but don’t need to discuss that here.)
  • This is just a brief overview of the FAFSA – don’t need to take more than a minute on this slide. Much of it will be discussed on the following slides.
  • [Animations – 5 clicks: 1=arrow/FAFSA, 2=arrow/Processor, 3=diagonal arrows/SAR/College/Student, 4=arrow pointing right/Award Letter, 5=arrow pointing left/Award Letter]Give a general overview of each step here; most of them will be discussed in greater detail in the proceeding slides. However, this is the only slide that mentions the Central Processing System. Also, highlight the Student Aid Report (SAR) here. Talk about receiving it either in the postal mail or electronically, a confirmation summary for students, may need it for certain scholarships.
  • Green bullet point: If a parent already has a PIN (maybe they have an older child, or are a student themselves), they do not have to get a new one for a different child.Purple bullet points: the point of showing all these is not to go into great depth about what they are (MPN, NSLDS), but more to highlight that the PIN is very important and is used for multiple things (so don’t forget it!!). Just mention that the MPN is part of the loan process, and NSLDS is a website where students can track their loans. Do not need to go into more detail than that.
  • [Animation is automatic – no clicks necessary. (Red circle, underline, and arrows.)]Both parent and student need one
  • Apparently answers are not case sensitive any more. Maybe point out some of the “better” choices for challenge questions/answers (ex: something that will never change, answers that are one word).
  • Talk about what makes a student dependent vs. independent. After that, talk about “who is a parent?” Divorced parents, step parents – whose information is needed.
  • Do not read list – people can read for themselves. There are few different things to talk about with this slide. Identify that they will use the current year taxes and W2s. May want to talk about the Philosophy of Federal Aid here. Also, explain that the items on the list will be needed for both students and parents, except if a student is independent. NEXT SLIDE
  • This is a good break after explaining quite a few things about the FAFSA. Let people know there is help out there for them. They can come in to an EducationQuest College Planning center, or call EducationQuest Foundation or check out all the tools on the website. Or they can talk to their high school counselor or the college they are interested in. They don’t have to do it all on their own, and it’s not as scary as it seems. Don’t listen to the horror stories. 
  • [Animations – 2 clicks: 1=EFC/Financial Need arrows, 2=last bullet point (“college uses…”)]Explain a bit about what the EFC is, the range, how it correlates to financial need, and how the colleges use the EFC.
  • Showing how income affects the EFC
  • Showing how assets affect the EFC
  • [Animations – 2 clicks: 1=minus sign/EFC bubble/green arrow/green box, 2=equals sign/Financial Need bubble/orange arrow/orange box]Main point of slide is to explain the formula. The boxes under each section are a description of that part of the formula. The COE part is mostly review since we already went over that earlier. The green box is some review and some new information, but not much more detail is needed to explain it. The orange box will probably need the most explanation.
  • Verification: the school may request more documentation from families. It is nothing to be worried or stressed about. It’s a standard process, and students may have to go through it each year of school. Contact EducationQuest Foundation for assistance with verification, or talk to the high school counselor or the college.
  • Award letter: school receives FAFSA information then packages an financial aid award for the student. This is an example of an online award letter. [click 1] lists name and types of aid. [click 2] lists amount offered, then gives option to accept a different amount. Most common choice for accepting a different amount is in loans. [click 3] must accept or decline all aid offered. Often, the grants and scholarships are automatically accepted on the online awards.
  • Example of paper award letter. [click 1] This one has a date to return the award letter. [click 2] Also explains the cost of attendance so the student knows exactly what they will owe (did not have this on the online award letter). [click 3] This letter categorizes the awards, but uses some different terminology than the online award letter. [click 4] Gives the subtotal – note: this includes student loans!. Then shows how much more the student/parents need to come up with to meet the direct costs. At this point, talk about other funding options: PLUS loan, payment plans, alternative loans, home equity line of credit, military, savings, 529 plan, living at home, attending a more affordable college, etc…
  • [Animation is automatic – delay of one second after slide comes up. (Purple arrow)]If student (or parent) is going to take out student (or PLUS) loans, they will need to complete entrance counseling and sign the Master Promissory Note at this website – Must sign in to do this, need PIN, cannot disburse loan money until this step is completed.This slide is more to mention the last step when borrowing loans, not to go into detail of the process (way too far in advance for details).
  • [Animations – 5 clicks: 1=resources box, 2=calculators, 3=college funding estimator, 4=FAFSA checklist 2013-14**, 5=FAFSA tools]Calculators: Award letter comparisonCollege Funding Estimator: estimate results of the FAFSA any time with current tax infoFAFSA tools: demo, tutorial, video, podcasts, steps to renew**Once the checklist for the 2013-14 school year is available we will add that to the resource list and update this slide

Guide to College Funding Guide to College Funding Presentation Transcript

  • Welcome to College Funding Presented by EducationQuest Foundation
  • ABOUT EducationQuest We are a private, nonprofit organization with a mission to improve access to higher education in Nebraska We provide: Free college planning services  Need-based scholarships  Grants that help high schools increase their college- going rate  Outreach services for community agencies statewide 2
  • AT OUR LOCATIONS, WE OFFER THESE FREE SERVICES… Computer-based services and resource materials to help you:  explore careers  find scholarships  select a college One-on-one help with college planning* Completion of the FAFSA* *Appointment required 3
  • WE WILL COVER… The cost of education The types of financial aid available How to apply for financial aid 4
  • Direct Costs Indirect Costs • Tuition & Fees • Room & Board • Books & Supplies • Personal • Transportation
  • KNOW YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION Cars Household Bills Other Debt Savings Other 7
  • TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID Scholarships Grants* Work-Study* Loans* *Based on FAFSA Results (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Common scholarship criteria Financial Need Ethnicity ACT/SAT score Field of study Leadership College choice Community Service Employer First generation student Talents Activities Disability State of residence Gender GPA Military service
  • SEARCHING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS  Begin research early  Colleges  School counselor  Private organizations  ScholarshipQuest at 11
  • WARNING! 12
  • GRANTS Money you don’t repay Based on financial need Federal Pell Grant (range $605-$5645) SEOG State Nebraska Opportunity Grant College-based 13
  • WORK-STUDY Must show financial need Part-time job, typically on campus Flexible schedule Money not available up-front 14
  • TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS Collegebound Nebraska  UNO, UNL, UNK, or UNMC  NE resident, full-time student, Pell eligible  Must complete FAFSA by April1st Advantage (Nebraska State College System)  Wayne, Peru, Chadron If you meet these criteria, tuition is COVERED!  NE resident, full-time student, Pell eligible  Must complete FAFSA by June1st 15
  • STUDENT LOANS Type Need-based Non-needbased Interest accruing while in school? No Yes Name Perkins loan Direct Subsidized loan Direct Unsubsidized loan Parent PLUS loan
  • ANNUAL STAFFORD LOAN LIMITS Freshman: $5,500 Sophomore: $6,500 Junior: $7,500 Senior: $7,500 Note If a student is independent, add $4,000 each year. Most high school students are considered dependent when applying for financial aid.
  • APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID Scholarships Grants, work-study, loans 19
  • ABOUT THE FAFSA  Free Application for Federal Student Aid  Apply online at  Complete after January 1 of senior year  Use parent and student tax information  Renew yearly 20
  • FINANCIAL AID PROCESS PIN FAFSA Processor SAR College Student Verification? Award Letter
  • PIN.ED.GOV  PINs never change  Use to:  sign FAFSA  correct the FAFSA  retrieve IRS data  sign Master Promissory Note  log in to National Student Loan Data System 22
  • PIN.ED.GOV Both parent and student need one
  • PIN.ED.GOV Pick a challenge question If you forget your PIN, retrieve it by answering your challenge question.
  • Am I considered a dependent student? Born before Jan. 1, 1991? Married? # On active duty or a veteran of the US Armed Forces? Have children or dependents you are providing more than half the support for? Have a legal guardian or emancipated by the court? An unaccompanied youth who is homeless or in danger of becoming homeless? # Working on a master’s or professional program? An orphan, ward of the court, or in foster care at any time since age 13? If you cannot answer YES to at least ONE question, you will be considered dependent
  • Items needed to complete the FAFSA Taxes and W-2s PINs Untaxed Income (child support, Worker’s Compensation) Value of Savings and Checking Accounts Value of Investments (excluding retirement accounts) # Birthdates # Social Security Numbers Review the FAFSA Checklist at for a complete list of necessary items.
  • I am so stressed trying to figure out the FAFSA! Mary said it took her 4 hours to complete and it was still wrong! Where can I get help? 27
  • FAFSA RESULTS EFC = Expected Family Contribution Lower EFC = Greater Financial Need College uses EFC to determine the type and amount of aid to award the student 28
  • INCOME IMPACT ON EFC – FAMILY SIZE 4 Income increases, assets remain level Family A Family B Family C $50,000 $100,000 $150,000 (excluding retirement-specific accounts) $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 EFC $2,487 $18,031 $36,912 Income Assets
  • ASSET IMPACT ON EFC – FAMILY SIZE 4 Assets increase, income remains level Family A Family B Family C $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 (excluding retirement-specific accounts) $0 $75,000 $100,000 EFC $2,196 $3,147 $3,867 Income Assets
  • FINANCIAL AID FORMULA Cost of Education EFC Financial Need Tuition & Fees Room & Board Books Personal Transportation Parent Income/Assets Student Income/Assets Parent’s Age # in Household # in College The amount of money the college will try to give you in financial aid
  • What is this letter from the college saying we were selected for verification? We did the FAFSA, so why do they want more information? This is giving me a headache! 32
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