Financial Aid & the FAFSA

DEFINITIONS

EFC - The FAFSA determines your Expected Family Contribution for post-secondary expenses (the minimum that the federal governments expects you to contribute to pay for your education).

 

DN or FN - Your Demonstrated or Financial Need is the difference between the cost of school and your EFC.  Your need is your financial aid eligibility.

 

COA - The Cost of Attendancevaries from school to school. It includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses and transportation.

 

SAR - After your FAFSA is process you will receive a Student Aid Report with the results of your FAFSA.

 

DRN - The Data Release Numberwill be located on your SAR. It is your code to give to colleges to access your information electronically.

FINANCIAL AID - it is not impossible!

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE and it isn't impossible!  The student (and family) are considered primarily responsible for education costs. Colleges based their finanical packages, more or less, on the FAFSA. Financial aid packages can vary dramatically from school to school as each interprets needs differently.  

 

TWO TYPES OF AID

  1. Need
  2. Non-need (based on anything but financials).

BASIC COLLEGE COSTS INCLUDE

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Room & Board
  • Books & Supplies
  • Personal Expenses
  • Transportation

7 WAYS TO PAY FOR YOUR EDUCATION

  1. You & your family's cash and savings
  2. You & your family's assets
  3. Student or parent loans
  4. Federal & state grants
  5. Scholarships
  6. Federal work study
  7. Military or community service 
 

ESTIMATE YOUR COSTS

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.  

Try the FAFSA 4caster

 

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.

Try College Board's Net Price Calculator

 

THE FAFSA

FAFSATo be eligible for federal aid and some institutional aid, every student must submit the online Federal 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 five funding factors:

  1. 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.
  2. Income
  3. Household size
  4. Number of students in college 
  5. Age of oldest parent

A 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.  Apply for FAFSA PIN now!

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!

FEDERAL & STATE GRANTS

FEDERAL GRANTS

Federal grant availability is based on financial need per the FAFSA and the cost of attendance.  Grants don't need to be repaid.

  1. Pell Grant
  2. Academic Competitiveness
  3. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education
  4. Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership and Special LEAP
  5. National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent

 

STATE GRANTS

State grants are money given generally to resident students who are attending in-state schools.

 

More about Federal Grants and Scholarships

Idaho State Department of Education Grants

 

LOANS

If you are offered a loan, you don't have to take it. BUT if you do, you need to know the specifics to make wise choices.

  • Subsidized Loans - no payments due until after a student isn't enrolled full-time for a specified time.
  • Unsubsidized Loans - interest begins to accrue the day the money is disbursed.

FEDERAL DIRECT LOANS

  1. Subsidized direct loans
  2. Unsubsidized direct loans
  3. PLUS loans for parents and graduate or professional degree students and federal loan consolidations

PERKINS AND STAFFORD LOANS

These federal, subsidized loans are offered to students demonstrating the greatest financial need. Awards are based on a student's need and a student's available funding.

PRIVATE LOANS

Private loans, like from a bank or credit union, typically have higher interest rates than federal loans, and are generally unsubsidized.

KNOW YOUR LOAN!

  • Loan terms
  • Interest rate
  • Repayment start date
  • Total loan amount after graduation
  • Monthly payment the first year and all years after

More about Student Loans

More about Federal Loans

 

FEDERAL WORK STUDY

Work Study programs provide part-time employment for students. Work Study can't be applied to a student account, so don't plan on using these funds direcly for tuition or deferred tuition payment plans.Most students use Work Study earnings for their personal expenses during school or to help pay off loans.

Work Study will affect your taxes, but WON'T affect your FAFSA application for aid.

 

More about Work Study

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