PRESERVE THE POCKETS

Brief Synopsis of Financial Aid

What is the FAFSA? 


FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is the form that colleges and universities will use to determine how much money to offer you for your education based on your expected family contribution. Your family expected contribution is determined after you have submitted your FAFSA. The EFC is calculated based on income, assets, and other household information that you will be asked to provide on the FAFSA. Note  this however. Just because you have might have a specific expected family contribution that is determined by FAFSA that doesn't mean a school will completely cover the rest of the costs. Loans and other types of aid may be used to cover it. 


Every family is unique, so there may be a particular way that you will have to submit your FAFSA, specifically if your a dependent. (Information below pertaining to complex family situations is from prepscholar.org)


  • A "Parent" refers to a biological or adoptive parent or a person determined by the state to be a parent (for example, if the parent is listed on the birth certificate).
  • Grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older siblings, and uncles or aunts are not considered parents on the FAFSA unless they have legally adopted you.
  • If your legal parents are living and married to each other, answer the questions on the FAFSA about both of them.
  • If your legal parents are not married and live together, answer the questions about both of them.
  • In case of divorce or separation, give information about the parent you lived with most in the last 12 months.
  • If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give information about the parent who provided you the most financial support during the last 12 months or during the most recent year you received support.
  • If your divorced or widowed parent has remarried, also provide information about your stepparent.

REMEMBER! FAFSA OPENS ON OCTOBER 1ST EVERY YEAR! CHECK YOUR PARTICULAR SCHOOL OF INTEREST TO SEE THERE SPECIFIC DEADLINE FOR THE FAFSA BEING SUBMITTED.


What is the CSS Profile?


The CSS Profile is similar to the FAFSA because your family's income and assets to determine your family's expected contribution. However, while the FAFSA determines the amount of Federal Aid (money from government) you are eligible to receive, the CSS Profile determines the amount of institutional aid you are eligible to receive. 


Click on the Link Below to see if your desired institution requires you to submit a CSS profile since not all schools do. 


https://profile.collegeboard.org/profile/ppi/participatingInstitutions.aspx

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HOW TO APPROACH FINANCIAL AID

Paying for college is no easy feat. However, it should not prevent you from applying to college. There are a variety of ways to fund your post-secondary education. Look below for a pointers that will help you have the "money talk" with your parent or guardian.


It is extremely crucial for a student to walk out of an undergraduate program with as little debt possible. You don’t want to be drowning in debt and have to pay it back for the rest of your adult life. There are many ways to determine if a school is affordable. 


Cost of Attendance: Can your family pay out of pocket for you to attend this institution?


Financial Aid policy: Does this institution offer a financial aid package that would allow your family to afford the institution? (Be careful for financial aid packages that include loans!). Many prestigious universities offer the best financial packages since they will meet 100% of your family’s demonstrated need. Check your school’s NPC (Net price calculator) to estimate the amount of financial aid they can provide you based on your family’s finances. 


Merit Aid Opportunities: Merit aid is financial aid granted to you based on your academic achievement and leadership throughout your academic career. Financial Need is rarely a factor when determining how much “merit” aid a person will receive. 


Outside scholarship programs: Are there outside scholarship programs that will finance your education? Programs such as Questbridge College Match and Tom Joyner would finance your entire education to attend a specific school.


IF AN INSTITUTION DOES NOT PROVIDE YOU WITH ANY REASONABLE OPPORTUNITIES TO HAVE YOUR EDUCATION FINANCED, THAT INSITUTION IS SIMPLY UNAFFORDABLE! THERE IS ALWAYS GRADUATE SCHOOL!

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