Financial Aid FAQ’s
Applying for financial aid can be a daunting and intimidating process, especially if you’ve never done it before. Here are some FAQ’s that might help you get started.
Q: How do I know if I qualify for financial aid?
A: If you’ve completed a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov you will receive a summary of your aid eligibility on your confirmation page. Also, the school’s you’ve added to your FAFSA will send you an award letter listing your eligibility.
Q: Why don’t I qualify for all grants (free money)?
A: The Dept. of Education calculates a student’s financial aid eligibility and determines how much need-based aid (grants) they qualify for based on the information on the FAFSA. Student loans are also considered financial aid.
Q: What information do I need to fill out the FAFSA?
A: You will first need to set up a Federal Student Aid ID and Password at https://fsaid.ed.gov/. To do this you will need your name, date of birth, social security number and an email to confirm your identity. You will also set up challenge questions to use in case you forget your FSA ID and Password in the future.
To complete a FAFSA you will need the FSA ID and Password [and possibly your parent (s)] as well as your high school information, your previous year IRS Tax Return information (you can link directly to the IRS website to upload your tax information) and the school code for the school you are interested in attending. DEC’s school code is 013957.
Q: Why do I need my parent’s information on the FAFSA?
A: The FAFSA has a series of dependency questions to determine if you are an independent or a dependent student. If you are unable to answer “Yes” to any of the dependency questions, then you are considered a dependent student and required to include your parent’s information.
Q: What if I live on my own and my parents do not want to help with my education?
A: If you are determined to be a dependent student due to your answers of the dependency questions on the FAFSA it does not obligate your parents to do anything but provide their information to determine your aid eligibility.
Q: Can I use financial aid to cover my housing costs and living expenses?
A: Students can use financial aid to cover costs other than their direct educational costs only if they qualify for more aid than is needed to cover the tuition, fees, books and supplies. This will vary based on student eligibility and cost of the program. In some cases, students can have their parent’s apply for a Federal Parent PLUS Loan to cover their housing costs and living expenses.
Q: What if I have a balance that’s not covered by financial aid?
A: If you have a balance that is not covered by financial aid then your options can include setting up a payment plan to pay your balance per semester or, if your parents are eligible they can apply for a Parent PLUS Loan to cover your balance.
Q: What if I have more questions?
A: Just contact Kim Myers at email@example.com for any financial aid questions or concerns!