Applying for fiancial aid

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Applying for fiancial aid

  1. 1. PRESENTER USC Lancaster Kenneth T. Cole USC Director of Financial AidLANCASTER
  2. 2.  What is Financial Aid Sources of Financial Aid When to Apply How to Apply Scholarships Filing the FAFSA (FAFSA Walk-thru) What does the FAFSA tell us After the FAFSA Verification The Financial Aid Office Special Circumstances CSS Profile Important Dates
  3. 3.  It is assistance in paying your Tuition, Fees, Room, Board and other college expenses It most likely will not pay your entire bill
  4. 4.  Federal Government (Grants & Loans) State (Grants & Scholarships) Institution (Grants, Scholarships & Loans) Private Agencies (Grants, Scholarships & Loans)
  5. 5.  Scholarships: October 2012 Federal Aid: Before March 2013 After that, limited funds may be gone
  6. 6.  Institutional Scholarships: ◦ Contact the admissions office ◦ Contact the financial aid office ◦ Contact the department of your major Private Agencies: ◦ Contact them directly ◦ Check with your High School Guidance Counselor ◦ Search on-line: fastweb.com schoolsoup.com Federal and State Aid: ◦ FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid ◦ www.fafsa.gov (not .com) ◦ Applying is FREE (there is no fee)
  7. 7.  Common Requirements: ◦ 3.0+ GPA ◦ 1000+ SAT (Math+Verbal) or 22+ ACT Applications: ◦ Essay ◦ Letters of Recommendation ◦ Hi-light your extracurricular activities ◦ Explain how your experiences will lead to your educational goals Search Engines: ◦ Fastweb.com ◦ Schoolsoup.com When to apply? ◦ Start: October-January of your Senior Year
  8. 8.  When should I file? ◦ Starting January 1st ◦ As soon as you/your parents have completed your 2012 Taxes ◦ Before the end of March
  9. 9.  Must have a high school diploma or GED. Must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. Must be a US citizen or eligibile non-citizen. Must have a valid Social Security Number. Must be registered with the Selective Service, if required. There are other eligibility criteria, but rarely an issue.
  10. 10.  What will I need to file my FAFSA? ◦ Your Federal Taxes (2012) ◦ Your Parents’ Federal Taxes (2012) ◦ Order Tax Return Transcripts from www.IRS.gov ◦ You can use the “IRS Datamatch” to download the tax information. To do so, the student and/or parent must wait at least 2 weeks after filing taxes. ◦ Your PIN. (Personal Identification Number)  A 4 digit number chosen by you.  Done within the FAFSA  You will need your SSN, DOB, Full Correct Name and Address  Must match the SSN Card.
  11. 11. 1. Get Ready: 2012 Taxes, SSNs, Dates of Birth2. Log on to www.fafsa.gov3. Select the “2012-2013” tab4. Click on “Start new FAFSA”5. Answer questions about yourself6. Choose schools to send FAFSA to7. Answer “Dependency Status” questions8. Answer questions about your parents9. Answer income information10. Create a PIN for yourself, and sign11. Create a PIN for your parents’ and sign12. Submit the FAFSA, and print Confirmation
  12. 12.  Order a “Tax Return Transcript” The FAFSA is filed by the Student, not the parent. Make sure you have the correct SSN. Use the IRS datamatch if you can. Make sure you sign it with a PIN Make sure your parents sign it with a PIN Check with the school 2 weeks later After you have submitted the application, you can go back and make changes so long as you have your PIN.
  13. 13.  Am I Independent?: ◦ Over 23 years old? ◦ Veteran or on Active Duty? ◦ Parents Deceased and not adopted? ◦ Married? ◦ Children or other dependents for whom you –the student- provide 50% of their support? ◦ Foster youth, emancipated minor, in legal guardianship, or unaccompanied youth who are homeless. ◦ Note: Living on your own doesn’t qualify you as Independent (you will need your parents’ taxes)
  14. 14.  My grandparents/aunt/uncle/friend raised me but did not adopt me, can I put their information on the FAFSA? ◦ No, you must have your parents info ◦ If you can not reach your parents, put zeroes in their section ◦ Ask for a “Dependency Override” from the school. I am in Legal Custody, do I put my Custodian’s information here? ◦ No, you should be Independent. My parents are Divorced, whose information do I use? ◦ Custodial Parent and Step-Parent (if remarried)
  15. 15.  Do my parents’ need to File Taxes? Yes, if… ◦ their total income is more than $9350 ◦ their taxable unearned income more than $950 ◦ they’re Self employed earning more than $400
  16. 16.  Do I need to File Taxes? Yes, if… ◦ your total income is more than $5700 ◦ your unearned income more than $950 ◦ you’re Self employed earning more than $400 Can I, the student, work and still be eligible for Financial Aid? ◦ Yes, up to $3750 a year is ignored ◦ Anything over that reduces your eligibility
  17. 17. Select “Apply For a PIN”.A new window will open.Follow the instructions.
  18. 18.  Be sure to hit the “Submit My FAFSA Now” follow ALL instructions.
  19. 19. 1600
  20. 20.  What does the FAFSA tell me? ◦ It determines the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) ◦ It determines eligibility for Federal and State Grants ◦ It replaces a credit check for Federal Student Loans What is the EFC? ◦ What your family could contribute towards the total cost of living and paying for college What is the “Cost of Attendance”? ◦ Estimate of ALL costs to attend college ◦ Usually based on 9 months living expenses ◦ Tuition, Fees, Books, Supplies, Room, Board, Transportation ◦ Other miscellaneous expenses How do you calculate the “Need”? ◦ Need Formula: COA-EFC = NEED ◦ Need limits “need based aid”  Grants  Subsidized Loans
  21. 21.  Make changes with your PIN. Update your Tax Info ◦ Do the “IRS Data Match” as soon as possible ◦ If you Amend your taxes, update your FAFSA ◦ You can’t use the IRS Data Match if you amended taxes The FAFSA will be sent to the colleges you listed ◦ They will receive an electronic copy ◦ Check with the college 2 weeks later ◦ You may be selected for Verification You will receive a Student Aid Report ◦ By e-mail (secure link) or by mail (paper form) You may be selected for “Verification”
  22. 22.  What is Verification? ◦ A review and correction of your application information ◦ Applications are randomly selected ◦ The schools will notify you ◦ Each school will need to verify you What will you need to do? ◦ Complete, sign and return the “Verification Worksheet”; ◦ Complete IRS data-matching (student and parent) OR provide a Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript ◦ The college may be require you to send copies of other forms: W-2s,1099-R, 1099-G, tax schedules, etc… ◦ You must do this promptlyorder a TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT You may from the Internal Revenue Service online at www.irs.gov or by phone at 1-800-908-9946.
  23. 23.  The FAFSA is available to the college in 2-3 business days. It may take 2 weeks for the Financial Aid Office to process the application. They will notify you if you need to provide more information (ie verification) Once your application is complete with the college, they can award you financial aid. Every college has their own process, learn it! You may be required to set up an online account to access your information. If you have a “Special Circumstance” contact a Financial Aid Counselor at the college.
  24. 24.  Any circumstance that could change your eligibility for financial aid ◦ Change in income ◦ Change in living expenses/housing ◦ Change in dependency status Each college has their own policies and procedures Contact the Financial Aid Counselor at your college Be prepared to provide evidence No college is required to approve such a request
  25. 25.  A supplemental Financial Aid Application Not required for Federal or State Aid Used by many private colleges For Institutional Scholarships and Grants. Application fee of $9, plus $16 per college Some fee waivers are granted Administered by the College Board The Financial Aid Office will inform you if they want you to complete this.
  26. 26.  October: Apply for Scholarships November: Schools begin admitting January: Scholarships awarded January 1 FAFSA available February 23rd College Goal SC -USCL March Have FAFSA filed April Schools begin awarding April 15th Tax Filing Deadline June 30th SC Tuition Grant Deadline June Award Letters sent August 1st After this date, FAFSA is late August Bills due, School begins
  27. 27.  You must reapply for financial aid each year by renewing your FAFSA If you change schools: ◦ Add the School Code on the FAFSA ◦ Contact their Financial Aid Office to get it started ◦ You will lose out on “First Come, First Serve awards” ◦ You will keep Pell, Loans and private scholarships (in most cases) There are many other sources of Aid. ◦ Search for scholarships in your community. ◦ Search the Web ◦ Don’t pay for a scholarship or grant application
  28. 28. Thank you for your attention! Contact Us!USC LancasterKenneth Cole BY MAIL: PO Box 889 Lancaster, SC 29721 BY PHONE: (803) 313-7068 Visit Us: 127 Starr Hall, Hubbard Drive BY WEB: http://usclancaster.sc.edu/A presentation like this is available at the USC Lancaster Financial Aid Office Website

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