New: Check out information about SUNY Merit Scholarships
New: StudentAid.gov is a new website that provides straightfoward and easy to understand information about planning and paying for college. They also offer a full collection of financial aid videos at www.youtube.com/federalstudentaid
NEW for 2012-2013 FAFSA Application
Beginning February 1, 2012, students and parents who have completed their 2011 IRS tax return will be able to Link to the IRS and transfer their Tax Return information to their FAFSA. This is a fast easy way to apply for financial aid and will satisfy most of the student financial aid verification requirements. College Financial Aid Offices highly recommend the use of IRS Data Retrieval during the initial filing or when subsequent corrections are made to your 2012-2013 FAFSA ( http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ ).
We realize that many applicants will not have their Federal Tax Returns completed by the FAFSA priority application deadline of February 15. These applicants can use "estimated income" information on initial FAFSA and return to FAFSA on the web for corrections once their tax returns are completed. Selecting and linking to IRS database will simplify and expedite the processing of your financial aid application and the Student Financial Aid Office urges applicants to choose this option.
Unfortunately, the Data Retrieval Process cannot be used in the following circumstances and applicant will have to submit Tax Return Transcript and W2s.
· When paper FAFSA is completed
· Filed married filing separately Return
· Filed Amended Return
· Filed Foreign Return
· Marital status changed after December 31
· Changes to IRS Data Retrieval information on FAFSA
Applicants who do not use FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval option or who retrieve IRS data but change it, will be required to provide an IRS Tax Return Transcript and copies of W2s to their Student Financial Aid Office.
Copies of your Tax Returns will no longer be accepted, only an IRS Tax Return Transcript will be accepted by the campuses.
Old Dominion University has a website with a number of brief information videos you can watch about financial aid. You can view them at http://odu.financialaidtv.com/
Here is the link to the Your Federal Student Loans: Learn the Basics and Manage Your Debt booklet put out by studentaid.ed.gov. It has a ton of great information and can answer all your questions.
Here is a link to a handout about Direct Loan Basics for Parents.
Anyone planning to go to college and apply for financial aid should read through this detailed financial awareness link, which gives all the required information regarding financial aid.
FINANCIAL AID TIPS
To qualify for any form of financial aid, whether it is a loan, grant, scholarship, or workstudy, students MUST COMPLETE THE FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) FORM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER JANUARY 1ST OF THEIR SENIOR YEAR. The sooner you send this form in, the better!!! As time goes on, colleges have less money to give to students, so the earlier you apply for financial aid, the more money you may get.
*Help in completing the FAFSA form is available through the Financial Aid Workshop held in the winter of the student's senior year. Guidance counselors, as well, can assist students in filling out the FAFSA form. FAFSA forms can be completed on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Check out the FAFSA4caster at fafsa.ed.gov. FAFSA4caster is a financial aid estimator that you can use before officially applying for finacial aid. It will provide you with an estimate of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is an index that colleges use to determine what types of aid you may receive. Using your EFC, FAFSA4caster will then determine what types of federal grants, loans, and work study you may qualify for and will provide you with an estimated award amount for each.
*The FAFSA form contains a question that asks the student if they would like to be considered for New York State aid (if they are going to an in-state school). If the student indicates that they would like to be considered, an additional TAP application will be sent to the student automatically.
*Some colleges also require the Profile form (in addition to the FAFSA), which is available at https://profileonline.collegeboard.com Mostly private, selective colleges require the Profile- check the list on their website to find out if the schools you are applying to require this form.
*Some colleges (again, usually the private selective schools) require that their own financial aid form be filled out in addition to the FAFSA.
Types of aid: Scholarships, Grants – Do not have to pay back
Loans and Work Study- Have to pay back or work
Check out the Loan Program Fact Sheet to learn about different kinds of loans.
After you fill out the FAFSA form and mail it in/or fill it out on-line (as soon after January 1st as possible), you will receive a letter from each school you applied to. This letter will show the “package” that each school is able to offer you.
Check to see if the scholarships have conditions such as…does the recipient need to maintain a certain GPA for renewal?…does the recipient need to be enrolled in a certain academic program?
Don’t let the sticker price of a school prevent you from applying. Many times, the private schools end up giving enough grants and scholarships to make the school economically feasible. This is not to say that you should not apply to less expensive schools; you should always have back-up schools because you can’t count on getting “free money”. Look for the “bottom line”- your “net cost”. Don’t be dazzled by the amount a particular college offers you- focus on how the awards affect the costs you will still have to pay. $40,000 in award money sounds great unless it’s all loans which you have to pay back.
www.hesc.org. www.finaid.org These are great websites!!! There are links to file the FAFSA electronically, information about parent loans, information about scholarshps, how to apply for financial aid, student loans, etc. Check it out!!
Here's a nice article about How to Be a Responsible Borrower
Here's a helpful article about Why to Get a Federal Loan
This Don't Get Scammed! fact sheet gives some useful information about how not to get scammed on your quest to get financial aid. This article also on How to Avoid Deceptive Loan Offers is very useful.
In terms of scholarships, MANY scholarships come into the Guidance Office throughout the school year. We keep them in a filing cabinet in the Guidance Office so students can access them easily. We recommend that students check either the list of available scholarships on top of the filing cabinet or the list of available scholarships on the district's website (Under "Our Schools", choose the high school, and in the menu items on the right, you'll see Current Scholarships) once a week to see if there are any scholarships that apply to them.
HESC.org has a great scholarship information sheet called Scholarship 411 which gives students ideas about where to look for scholarships.
For scholarships that do not originate in the Guidance Office, we suggest taking a look at this Scholarship Scams Tip Sheet to make sure that the scholarships you may be applying for a legitimate.
Click here for the link to the BCC Presidential Honors Scholarship Application. This scholarship is for students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class, and who commit to getting at least a 3.3 GPA at BCC as well as take part in BCC campus activities.