I have had the privilege of speaking about financial aid and the FAFSA to parents at several of our high schools and wanted to make my power point accessible to all our parents. To view the power point, go to my website at http://www.shelbyed.k12.al.us/gifted.html and click on Making Cents of Financial Aid under the section Paying for College. Let me know if you have any questions.
Thought ya’ll might enjoy this article from CNNMoney.com as you work on your FAFSA’s. http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/06/pf/college/student_loans_fasfa.moneymag/index.htm?utm_source=feedburner . Don’t forget colleges’ financial aid offices are a great resource.
Hopefully, your college admissions applications are completed and you have been investigating scholarships, both private (visit “Scholarships” under my Blogrolls) and through each college. It’s now time for seniors and their parents to be seriously thinking about financial aid and completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which becomes available Jan. 1, 2014. This information sheet has lots of helpful hints –http://www.shelbyed.k12.al.us/studentresources/GRC/handouts/FAFSA_2012.pdf .
As you work through the process, you will see lots of terms and abbreviations. Here are some key financial aid terms with explanations:
Aid package ― A combination of aid (possibly including a scholarship, grant, loan or work) determined by a college financial aid office.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) ― The amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education which is determined from the information you complete on the FAFSA and is then used to determine eligibility for federal student aid.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ― The application required for students to be considered for federal student financial aid; electronic filing is the easiest method. The FAFSA is processed free of charge and will be sent to the colleges you list when completing the FAFSA.
Grants ― Awards, usually based on financial need, which do not require repayment. Grants are available through the federal government, state agencies and educational institutions.
Scholarships ― Awards to students based on merit or merit plus need that do not have to be repaid.
Student Aid Report (SAR) ― A report that summarizes all the information you provided on your FAFSA. Your SAR will usually contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number used in determining your eligibility for federal student aid. You will receive your SAR by e-mail within 3–5 days after your FAFSA has been processed, if you provided an e-mail address when you applied. This e-mail will contain a secure link so you can access your SAR online. Your data will also be sent electronically to the schools you listed on your FAFSA application at no cost.
Unfortunately, many families do not complete the FAFSA form either because they do not know how, they assume they won’t qualify for financial aid, they don’t need it, or they are unwilling to do the work. Please don’t assume anything. There are many people willing to be of assistance to make college happen for all our students. Also, remember the college financial aid offices are experts and are always happy to chat with you. Have your questions ready before you call them, though, as they are extremely busy and appreciate your organization!