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2014.financial.aid.101.slidedeck

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Financial Aid 101, brought to you by the Washington Student Achievement Council and ReadySetGrad.org

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2014.financial.aid.101.slidedeck

  1. 1. Financial Aid 101
  2. 2. What is Financial Aid? Financial aid is money that helps students and their families pay for a college education.  There are different types of aid available and the money can come from various sources.  Different types of aid have different rules (called “eligibility criteria”) that are used to determine who may receive the aid.
  3. 3. Types of Financial Aid GRANTS SCHOLARSHIPS WORK STUDY STUDENT LOANS
  4. 4. Types of Financial Aid GRANTS Grants provide free money for college that you do not have to repay. Grants generally come from one of three main sources: • Federal government • State government • Institutions (your college or university) While some grants require students to meet specific criteria in order to receive them, most grants offered by the state or federal government are awarded based solely on financial need.
  5. 5. Types of Financial Aid SCHOLARSHIPS Like grants, repayment is not required for scholarships. Eligibility for scholarship awards can vary. Depending on the scholarship, awards may be based on need, student merit (academic achievement, leadership potential, artistic talents, athletic ability, career plans, field of study, special hobbies or interests, etc.), a student’s individual characteristics (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.) or a combination of factors.
  6. 6. Types of Financial Aid WORK STUDY Work-Study programs provide part-time jobs to undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. As a work-study student, you earn money to help pay your education expenses while gaining experience in jobs related to your course of study. If you are interested in work-study options, be sure to indicate that information on your FAFSA.
  7. 7. Types of Financial Aid STUDENT LOANS Loans are borrowed money that you must pay back. There are several types of loans available to students. Loans are offered by Washington State, the federal government, and private entities (like banks). It important to note that while financial aid offices may offer you loans in your financial aid award letter, you are not obligated to accept all the funds offered. Borrow only what you need for school.
  8. 8. How Do I Apply? To apply for federal financial aid and most state aid programs, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after January 1st as possible each year. Scholarships typically require a separate application, so you need do your research!
  9. 9. How does the college know how much aid I need?
  10. 10.  Once you have completed your financial aid application and have been admitted to a college, the financial aid office at your school will begin considering you for aid. This is called ‘packaging.’
  11. 11.  The college may start the packaging process by asking you to complete financial aid forms specific to the college and different than the FAFSA.  Fill them out! If you do not, or if you turn them in late, your financial aid can be at risk.
  12. 12. Determining Need: FAFSA • Students file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid every year, as close to January 1 as possible. EFC • The US Department of Education uses your FAFSA data to compute your Expected Family Contribution. COA • Your college determines their own Cost of Attendance —that is, an estimate of how much your tuition, fees, & living expenses will cost for one academic year.
  13. 13. Financial Need Is: Cost of Attendance (COA) Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Financial Need Your financial need will vary between schools, but your EFC will remain the same.
  14. 14. Here is another way to look at financial need. These costs are just estimates, but you can see how financial need varies by school, depending on the school’s COA. EXAMPLE COA $17,600 $25,100 $46,600 EFC $3,500 $3,500 $3,500 Financial Need $14,100 $21,600 $43,100 Private 4-Year University Public 4-Year University Community College
  15. 15. When will my college tell me about my financial aid award?
  16. 16.  After you file your FAFSA and complete any additional forms required by your college, the college’s Financial Aid Office will create your personalized financial aid package.  The college will document your financial aid package in a financial aid award letter.  The financial aid award letter will list all aid from all sources, as well as your expected family contribution (EFC).
  17. 17.  The Financial Aid Award Letter may be sent to you electronically or by mail.  It is your responsibility to review it and compare it to award letters from the other colleges you are interested in attending.  You can decide whether to accept, decline, or modify your award.
  18. 18. Sample Award Letter
  19. 19. Let’s Take a Closer Look:  This is the college’s best estimate of how much it will cost for one academic year.  Keep in mind that you have some control over these figures. For example, if your living expenses are not going to be as high as the amount estimated, you could choose to request a lower loan amount.
  20. 20.  This section lists all of the aid available to you at this time. If you have earned a scholarship that is not shown here, notify the financial aid office.  Remember, you do not need to accept all of the aid offered to you. Do not accept more loans than you need—you will need to pay them back after graduation!
  21. 21. Decision Time  To accept an award, read and follow the directions in the award letter. If you accept a loan, you may have some additional steps to take. Check with your financial aid office to be sure.  Need more information about how to decide? Check out the Federal Student Aid page about accepting your college aid at http://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa/next- steps/accept-aid
  22. 22. Learn more about… State Need Grant Work Study Programs Scholarships Student Loans

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