Financial Aid / FAFSA
Affording A Post-Secondary Education Isn't Impossible
A student and family are considered primarily responsible for education costs. Colleges base their financial packages, more or less, on the FAFSA. Financial aid packages can vary dramatically from school to school as each can interpret needs differently. It can be confusing, but the more you know, the easier it can be. Don't give up; it isn't impossible! You must look for your best fit educational opportunities along with cost and leave no stone unturned looking for finanicial support.
Seven Ways To Pay
Federal and state grants
Federal Work Study
Military or commmunity service
You and your family's cash and savings
You and your family's assets
Money With A Cost
Student and/or parent loans
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To be eligible for federal aid and some institutional aid, every student must submit the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It opens the doors to a variety of financial aid options.
Some schools require the FAFSA for Admissions, so you must submit it even if you don't think you will qualify for any federal aid. Ignoring the form could cost you thousands of dollars of aid money. FAFSA Website
It is filed annually and based on a few funding factors:
Assets - cash, stocks, bonds, CD's, mutual funds, annuities, trusts, inheritances, 529 plans, prepaid tuition, real estate. (Your primary residence and retirement accounts are not included.)
Income - student and his/her parents must both apply for a FAFSA PIN. Do this late fall of a student's senior year. Parents can use the same PIN for multiple children.
The FAFSA doesn't become available to complete until January 1st of the year you will be attending school in the Fall.
Because aid is first come, first serve, you should file your FAFSA as close to the January 1st opening date as possible. If you don't know your exact tax form numbers, give an educated guess. You can correct those numbers after you have filed your taxes, but you will still benefit from getting it in earlier. Start your FAFSA!
By using the net price calculators on a college's website or FAFSA4caster, a family will get a more realistic idea of what a college will truly cost them before a student applies.
A Net Price Calculator considers a student's GPA, test scores, class rank, as well as family income and other financial information. Your net price is an estimate of what you will pay after scholarships or need-based grants are deducted from the cost. Many college and college search website offer a Net Price Calculator.
Financial Aid Types
Non-need (anything but financials)
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): To be eligible for federal aid and some institutional aid, every student must submit the FAFSA.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The FAFSA determines your EFC for post-secondary expenses (the minimum that the federal governments expects you to contribute to pay for your education).
Demonstrated Need or Financial Need (DN or FN): Your DN or FN is the difference between the cost of school and your EFC - your financial aid eligibility.
Cost of Attendance (COA): The COA varies from school to school. It includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses and transportation.
Student Aid Report (SAR): After your FAFSA is processed, you will receive a SAR with FAFSA results.
Data Release Number (DRN): The DNR will be located on your SAR. It is your code to give to colleges to access your information electronically.