1. PRESENTER USC Lancaster Kenneth T. Cole USC Director of Financial AidLANCASTER
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. It is assistance in paying your Tuition, Fees, Room, Board and other college expenses It most likely will not pay your entire bill
4. Federal Government (Grants & Loans) State (Grants & Scholarships) Institution (Grants, Scholarships & Loans) Private Agencies (Grants, Scholarships & Loans)
5. Scholarships: October 2012 Federal Aid: Before March 2013 After that, limited funds may be gone
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. 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. When should I file? ◦ Starting January 1st ◦ As soon as you/your parents have completed your 2012 Taxes ◦ Before the end of March
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Select “Apply For a PIN”.A new window will open.Follow the instructions.
18. Be sure to hit the “Submit My FAFSA Now” follow ALL instructions.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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