Financial Aid Awareness Worksheet -‐ December 12, 2012 Parents/Guardians + Students: Please sign and return this worksheet no later than Wednesday, December 19th 2012. Save the Date: BHSECQ Financial Aid Night w/ Columbia U. Fin Aid Director 12/20/12 – 5:30 – 7:30 pm Dear Y2 Students and Parents, Financial Aid is the most important part of the College Applications process and all students and families need to be involved and informed in this process. We in the CTO are here to help as much as we can, however, ultimately, it is the responsibility of each student and their parents/guardians to learn as much as they can about this process, and to ensure that you meet deadlines and understand procedures and requirements (of which there are many!) To facilitate this awareness, we ask that a parent or guardian, together with their student, read the accompanying Financial Aid 101 document and initial next to each item listed below: 1. _______ I will make every attempt to attend Financial Aid Night on Thursday, December 20th 2012 -‐ 5:30 -‐7:30 pm with guest presenter, James Bogner -‐ Assistant Director of Financial Aid from Columbia University. 2. _______ I will read the Financial Aid 101 (attached) to gain a better understanding of required forms, basic terms, and timeline. 3. _______ I understand that every college publishes a ‘Net Price Calculator’ (NPC) on their website and that the CTO strongly recommends filing out obe for most of your schools. The NPC will estimate your “net price” (cost minus any aid you are eligible for) to attend a particular university. 4. _______ I am aware that all colleges require the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), that I can begin working on it the form on or after January 1st 2013. 5. _______ I know to find the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov (not fafsa.com) and that it is a free form and I should not have to pay anyone to fill it out.
6. _______ I know that I should file the FAFSA using 2011 taxes and 2012 estimates of assets and income from 2012 and not wait until I finish my taxes to complete financial aid forms. 7. _______ I know that I should attempt to file my 2012 taxes as soon as possible this year. 8. _______ I know that student’s should only file the FAFSA and TAP if I am a U.S. Citizen, Legal Permanent Resident or have legal asylee status. I know I should feel free to speak with the CTO Director with specific questions about this. 9. _______I am aware that any NY State and NYC Colleges will also require the TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) form and that I have the option to link directly to the TAP grant application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page and should plan to fill out the FAFSA and TAP at the same time. 10. _______I am aware that many private colleges also require the CSS profile (College Scholarship Service) in addition to FAFSA and TAP, that there is a fee for the CSS Profile and that it can be found at www.collegeboard.org. This form typically takes longer to fill out and can be filled out as early as October. 11. _______ I understand that it is very important that I speak to financial aid officers about any special circumstances, rather than assuming that the forms capture everything important. 12. _______ I know about the resources available to me should I have questions (FAFSA, CSS, and TAP hotlines, and financial aid offices at colleges list on the Financial Aid 101). 13. _______I understand that each college may require different fin aid forms and have different deadlines and so it is essential to check my with each of the schools fin aid websites/offices. Parent Name (printed):________________ Parent Signature: ___________________ Date: __/__/__ Student Name: ______________________ Student Signature: __________________ Date: __/__/__
Financial Aid 101 Goals of Financial Aid Process Financial Aid Forms: • Evaluate family circumstances in a consistent and equitable way • Assist the student in attaining and realizing their ability to go to 1. FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid -‐ Required by all college despite the price tag of college. colleges • Required for federal, state, and some institutional aid Financial Aid Timeline • Determines Expected Family Contribution (EFC) • File on the web at www.fafsa.gov st • December: Look up fin aid requirements & deadlines for schools • The form is only available after January 1 . st • For divorced families, non-‐custodial parent does not need to • January 1 -‐ February 1, 2013: Apply for Aid by filing the FAFSA, provide income. TAP, CSS, and any additional required forms using 2011 taxes. • Both parent and student need a pin # (www.pin.ed.gov) • January & February: Call financial aid office regarding special circumstances. 2. CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE: Required by many private colleges The CSS PROFILE is used primarily by expensive private schools to • March: Follow up financial aid offices individually. determine your true ability to pay. In addition to using the FAFSA to • April or before: Update FAFSA once taxes are complete determine an initial EFC, private schools use the PROFILE to look for supplemental sources of funding. For instance, colleges requiring the • March – April: Receive Award Letters PROFILE will ask about home equity and treat it as a legitimate source • th April: Call fin aid offices if awards are not received by the 7 . for funding college, whereas colleges requiring only the FAFSA do not. The CSS Profile also considers non-‐custodial parent income a source of • April-‐May: Follow up on any requests for additional documents funding. The FAFSA does not. However, if you have not had any contact with your non-‐custodial parent for an extended period of time, it is • May 1: National School Decision and Deposit Deadline possible to obtain a non-‐custodial waiver. • January -‐ February 2014: Re-‐apply for Aid • File online: www.collegeboard.org st • The form is available as early as October 1 • $25 application and initial report Types of Financial Aid offered by Colleges • $16 additional school report fee (The PROFILE service provides fee waivers automatically for people with low income and 1. Need-‐based assets) • Federal government need-‐based aid includes: o Pell Grants of up to $5,500, 3. New York State TAP : Required by all NY Colleges o FSEOG grants of up to $4,000 Before you begin your TAP application, you must have completed the o Stafford subsidized & unsubsidized loans FAFSA. New York State (NYS) Residents attending NYS schools will have o Perkins loans the option to link directly to the TAP application from the FAFSA • Need-‐based state aid: submission confirmation page. If you exited the FAFSA before selecting o NY TAP award of up to $5,000 annually for students this option, you can complete the application after the NYS Higher attending college in NY State. Education Services Corporation (HESC) receives your FAFSA data (three • Institutional (college) need-‐based aid availability varies. days). HESC will send you an email or postcard notifying you to complete the TAP application online www.hesc.ny.gov. 2. Merit-‐based (non-‐need-‐based) Aid based on your grades, test scores, community service, hobbies and 4. Additional Financial Aid Forms special talents (artistic/athletic, etc.). Often selective and moderately Be sure to check each school’s financial aid website. Some may have selective colleges will offer merit scholarships to increase their additional required forms. enrollment of excellent students. In contrast, the most highly selective colleges typically do not typically offer merit awards, Resources Have more questions? Here’s where you can go for help: What About Scholarships? • Check with employers, high school counselors, libraries, clubs, 1. College Financial Aid Offices: Do not forget that the financial aid churches, corporations, Naviance, CTO emails offices for each of your colleges are one of your most valuable • Use the web: www.finaid.org, www.fastweb.com, resources. These colleges really do want to help you and it is comforting www.wiredscholar.com, www.thewashboard.org to get help from the people behind the forms. • Turn in high quality attractive applications • Beware of Scams. Never PAY for a scholarship search. 2. FAFSA hotline: 1-‐800-‐433-‐3243 Mon – Fri. 8am – 10pm FederalStudentAidCustomerService@ed.gov Comparing Aid Packages • Make sure you consider ALL costs (direct and non-‐direct) 3. CSS hotline: 1-‐305-‐829-‐9793 Mon – Fri. 8am – 10pm • Review types, amounts, and renew-‐ability of gift aid (free money) email@example.com • Compare types and amounts of self-‐help aid (loans, work study) • Determine amount needed in addition to what is offered (also 4. TAP Application www.tapweb.org Call: 1-‐888-‐NYSHESC (1-‐888-‐697-‐ known as a “gap”) 4372) toll free 8:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. ET Mon -‐-‐ Fri. Updated 12/2012
Financial Aid 101 Tips on completing Financial Aid Forms Make it a family affair. The more parents can help with the financial aid process, the better – from researching deadlines and required forms, to actually filing out the forms. If you, the student, must manage the process yourself, please see your CTO advisor. • Gather records o Student Social Security Card o W-‐2, last pay stub, and most recent income taxes o Bank/Investment statements • Heads Up: o On the FAFSA you will only be able to enter 10 schools initially. After 5 days however, the FAFSA will have processed your application and you can safely delete schools and add new ones. o On the FAFSA, do not leave blanks (unless instructed to) o On the FAFSA, once you have completed your tax forms, make the corrections to your FAFSA using the IRS Tax Transfer FAQs about the FAFSA Q: Should I wait to complete the FAFSA until my taxes are done? A: No. If you are facing a deadline and want to get the application in as soon as possible, you may estimate your tax amounts for now Q: If my parents are separated or divorced which parent reports information on the FAFSA? A: An answer to this question is in the Glossary section below, under non custodial parent. Q: Should I file the FAFSA if I am not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident (LPR)? A: No. Only file the FAFSA if you, the student, are a U.S. Citizen or LPR. If you are a citizen/LPR, but your parents are non-‐citizens, they should enter nine zeroes for their social security number (000-‐00-‐0000) Comparing Aid Packages • Make sure you consider ALL costs (direct and non-‐direct) for each school • Review types, amounts, and renew-‐ability of gift aid (free money) • Compare types and amounts of self-‐help aid (loans, work study, etc) • Determine amount needed in addition to what is offered (also known as a “gap”) Financial Aid Glossary Cost of Attendance Expected Family Contribution (EFC) • Varies from school to school and usually includes: • This is the number determined by the FAFSA o Tuition and Fees • Income o Room and Board • Asset Equity o Books and Supplies • Family Size o Transportation • Number of Family Members in College o Miscellaneous Personal Expenses/Other • Age of Parents Non Custodial Parent (EFC) (From Finaid.org) The custodial parent for federal student aid purposes is the parent with whom you lived the most during the past 12 months. (The twelve month period is the twelve month period ending on the FAFSA application date, not the previous calendar year.) Note that this is not necessarily the same as the parent who has legal custody. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, the parent who provided you with the most financial support during the past twelve months should fill out the FAFSA. This is probably the parent who claimed you as a dependent on their tax return. The CSS Profile does require non custodial parent income and asset information. The FAFSA does not require non custodial parent information. Subsidized vs. Unsubsized Loans (adapted from Finaid.org) Federal loans come in two forms, subsidized and unsubsidized. An easy way to remember the difference is to think of subsidized as supported. Subsidized loans have lower interest rates (3.4% for subsidized Stafford versus 6.8% for unsubsidized Stafford), and the interest on the subsidized Stafford loan is paid by the federal government while the student is in school and during the first 6 months after graduation. Note on Maximum Amount of Loans: Undergraduates may borrow up to $31,000 ($5,500 during the freshman year, $6,500 during the sophomore year and $7,500 during the third, fourth and fifth years) no more than a total of $23,000 of which may be subsidized. Appeal A formal request to have a financial aid administrator review your aid eligibility and possibly use Professional Judgment to adjust the figures. For example, if you believe the financial information on your financial aid application does not reflect your familys current ability to pay (e.g., because of death of a parent, unemployment or other unusual circumstances), you should definitely make an appeal. The financial aid administrator may require documentation of the special circumstances or of other information listed on your financial aid application. Updated 12/2012