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Working with College Financial Offices

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Working with College Financial Offices Powered By Docstoc
					Working with
College
Financial Aid
Offices
Michael L. Jeffries
Special Assistant for McNair Programs
Council for Opportunity in Education
Ret. Assoc.Dean of Students/Dir.TRIO
University of Illinois
Champaign, Illinois
            Topics Discussed:
• The Roles
• FAFSA Follow-Up
• How FAFSA Information is Utilized
• Financial-Aid Packaging
   – Expected Family Contribution
   – Cost of Attendance
• Advocating for Students
• Financial Aid Literacy Plan
• Meeting Need / Minimizing Loans
          Group Exercise
     Financial Aid Assessment
• What should TRIO professional know
  about FA to be effective?
• What should TRIO participants know
  about financial aid?
• What are some options available if
  students are told they are ineligible for
  campus based financial aid?
• What are some financial services that your
  SSS/McNair program can offer students?
      The economically disadvantaged,
      potential ‘first generation’ college
                  applicants...
• EXPERIENCE GAP
Their parents are unable to guide
  them
    – The parents have not
      been to college
    – The parents are
      unfamiliar with the
      process
    – They are often
      distracted by other
      demands
       • Unemployment
       • Multiple jobs
       • Parental                            4
         responsibilities
  Goals of Financial Aid Office
• Primary goal is to assist students in
  paying for college and is achieved by:
  – Evaluating families’ ability to pay educational
    costs
  – Distributing limited resources in an equitable
    manner
  – Providing balance of gift aid and self-help aid
  – Provide financial aid counseling for students

                                                      5
 Role of the Financial Aid Office
• Determine aid eligibility using federal
  formula
• Packages aid depending on availability of
  funds
• Sends award notification including:
-----Award amount for each program for which
   students is eligible
----Disbursement methods and time frames
---Advises terms and conditions of each award
Financial Aid and
TRIO
Programs

Team Players in
Promoting Access to
Education and Student Success!
                                 7
   Financial Aid/Expected Family
            Contribution
Calculating the Family Contribution
  (established by law)
• Your expected family contribution (EFC)
• Family taxable and untaxed income
• Family size

www.collegeboard.org
           Cost of Attendance
• Tuition and fees
• Room and board
• Books, supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous
  personal expenses, including documented costs for a
  personal computer or electronic tablet
• Loan fees
• Study abroad costs
• Dependent care expenses
• Disability-related expenses
• Cooperative education program costs
How is “financial need” calculated?

$ Cost of Attendance (COA)
                   minus

$ Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
                    =

$ Financial Need
   Is the “Financial Need” the
     same at all institutions?
               NO!
“Financial Need” is determined using the cost of
attendance at individual institutions.

      College “A”                    College “B”
COA           $38,000          COA          $24,500
EFC          - 5,000           EFC         - 5,000

FINANCIAL NEED $33,000         FINANCIAL      $19,500
                               NEED
    EFC for a Dependent Student
Step 1: Determine available parental income
    Total income (taxed and untaxed)
–   Excludable income (e.g., child support paid)
–   Taxes paid (i.e., federal, state, local, Social Security)
–   Income protection allowance for basic living
    expenses (e.g., food, shelter, etc.)
–   Employment allowance (if eligible)
= Available income (may be negative)
  EFC for a Dependent Student
Step 2: Determine available parental assets
     Value of cash, savings, and checking accounts
 +   Adjusted business/farm net worth (total value
     minus debt against business/farm)
 +   Investment/real estate net worth (excluding home)
 –   Education savings and asset protection
     allowance (determined by age of older parent)
 x   Asset conversion rate (12%)
 =   Parental contribution from assets
 EFC for a Dependent Student
Step 3: Determine portion of available parental
   income and assets available for education
      Available income
  +   Contribution from assets
  =   Adjusted available income (AAI)
  x   Assessment rate (varies)
  =   Total parental contribution
  ÷   Number attending college (excluding parents)
  = Parental contribution for student
      Special Circumstances
• EFC formulas is basically the same for all
  applicants
• Changes have occurred since completing
  the FAFSA
• Request that additional information be
  considered in determining the EFC
• Family’s financial situation has recently
  changed due to…..
         Financial Aid Package
• Financial need is determined by subtracting EFC
  from COA
• Financial need is met, through a process known
  as packaging
• Packages can include:
  –   Institutional grants
  –   Low interest loans
  –   Campus employment
  –   Federal and state grants
  –   Merit scholarships
            Total of Need
• The total of need-based FA awarded
  cannot exceed your calculated financial
  need
• Application for need based must be done
  yearly
• Grants are frequently given more freely
  during the first two years of study
 Understanding Financial Aid
      Awards Letters
Report Changes
   After filing the FAFSA, any changes in financial or
 family circumstances must be reported to the school.
 Additional outside sources of financial aid, parental
 unemployment or illness, or change in enrollment or
 family status could affect the award. Even name and
 address changes must be reported.

Accept The Award
   Once the student has chosen a school, they should
 inform the school in writing how much of the award they
 plan to accept. If the student doesn't respond by the date
                                                              Slide
 indicated, their award could be in jeopardy.
The Role of the TRIO Professional
• Assist students/parents during the
  application
• Encourage full participation in the process
• Encourage goal setting and track progress
• Serve as a financial aid educator
• Serve as a financial aid advocate and
  established relations in the local area and
  at the college/university
• Offer FA Literacy for program participants
           Follow-up with students
           after FAFSA submission
  Review the student’s SAR.
  Use financial aid calculators to estimate eligibility.
  Assist with verification if necessary.
  Write special letters to the financial aid office to further
explain issues that may increase eligibility.
 Provide students with a list of institutional aid programs and
help them to apply.
  Help parents and students to set up meetings with financial
aid personnel and key administrators.
  Help students complete Verification Worksheets
Advocacy Strategies




  Group Exercise
Assisting students who aren’t making
  Satisfactory Academic Progress
• Explain standards prior to the start of the
  semester and or school year.
• Help students enrolled in SSS, McNair
  and other support programs that will
  monitor progress AND Place hold on
  records to force students to follow-up.
• Provide students with a Course Map to
  keep them from using up financial
  eligibility. Assist with appeals
                                Identify them early…
   Questions to Ask the FA Office
• What’s the average cost? Legislative
  rules?
• How much will total costs increase each
  year?
• Does financial need have an impact on
  admission decisions?
• Does the school offer need-based and
  merit based financial aid?
        Questions continued
• What is the priority deadline to apply for
  financial aid?
• When will I be notified about financial aid
  award decisions?
• If the financial aid package isn’t enough,
  under what conditions, if any, will the FA
  office reconsider the offer?
        Questions continued
• How will the aid package change from
  year to year?
• What are the terms and conditions of the
  aid programs?
• When can I expect to receive bills from the
  college?
• Does the school offer an installment plan?
 Scholarships: The Money is There
• Start researching Scholarships early
• Read eligibility requirements carefully
• Organize all scholarship materials
   –   Transcript
   –   Financial aid forms, such as the FAFSA
   –   Standardized test scores
   –   Parent’s financial information, including tax returns
   –   One or more essays
   –   One or more letters of recommendation
   –   Proof of eligibility
   –   Develop a TRIO Scholarship database
    Scholarships: The Money is There
•   Proofread applications carefully
•   Do not leave items blank
•   Follow Instructions to the letter
•   Make sure the application is legible
•   Make copies of everything
•   Double check the application
•   Get the Application in early
          The Role of the Student
• Academic and other preparation
--- grades and experiences
---participation in extra curricula activities
---career paths and degree options
-- Know the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for the college


• Participation in the Financial Aid and Process
--- Read the financial aid information carefully
--- provide accurate information of parent’s finances
----Meet deadlines for each of the programs/applications
  Urge Students to Network with
   Staff at the college/university
 SSS and/or McNair Staff
 Student Affairs professionals
 Residence Life Staff
 Campus employment
 Develop a relationship with financial aid
 and student employment counselors
 Meet with Career Services
 Meet personnel at community and Civic
 organizations
     How to APPEAL (Financial aid
                     awards)
•   By telephone vs. face to face
•   Obtaining a copy of your institution’s
    appeal form
•   Describe Extenuating circumstances
•   Negotiating
•   appeals
•   Providing clear supporting information
    Advice from a few Financial Aid
               Directors
• APPLY EARLY
• Priority Application deadline date
• In-house financial aid form required
• When assistance is not processed, follow-
  up
• Let the fa staff know about changing family
  circumstances and your financial need
    Exemplary TRIO Practices
• Understanding how FASFA information is
  utilized in Expected Family Contribution
  (EFC) calculations & financial-aid
  packaging
• Helping TRIO students evaluate the
  contents of financial-aid award letters
• Advocating on behalf of TRIO students to
  ensure they receive favorable financial-aid
  packages with manageable loan burden
    Exemplary TRIO Practices
             (con’t)
• Assist TRIO students with special
  consideration appeals
• Identifying & assisting TRIO Students not
  making (or at risk of not making)
  Satisfactory Academic Progress
• Counseling students regarding student-
  loan repayment options, including (but not
  limited to) loan deferment, forbearance,
  consolidation, forgiveness, & rehabilitation
   Develop a FA Services and
         Literacy Plan
• Workshops?
• Who handles?
• What about supplemental SSS GRANT
  AID?
• What is the McNair stipend policy?
• Do you have read only access?
• A fin aid liaison on your staff
   Loan Repayment Options
• Consolidation: Combining one or more existing education
  loans into a single loan. The original loans are paid in full and a new
  consolidation loan for the combined balance is originated.

   – Consolidating your student loans can significantly reduce your
     monthly student loan payments. That's because loan
     consolidation lets you stretch your repayment period from the
     standard 10 years to up to 30 years, depending on the amount
     of your student loan debt.

   – The lower payment means you'll have more money for other
     expenses.

   – Extending the repayment period increases your total interest
     payments because you'll be making smaller payments over a
     longer period.
      Loan Repayment Options
• Loan Deferment: Deferment lets you temporarily suspend making loan
   payments. You may be granted deferment on your loan for a variety of reasons.

Deferment can be authorized for:
• Economic hardship
• Unemployment
• Military deployment
• Enrollment in school
• Internship
• National service
• Similar situations
• Forbearance: Forbearance can help you avoid delinquency and default if
   you're facing temporary financial difficulty.
    – Forbearance lets you suspend or reduce your payments under certain
       circumstances and for specified periods of up to one year at a time.
    – During forbearance, you will receive quarterly interest statements and have the
       option to pay the accrued interest. If you don't, any unpaid accrued interest will
       be capitalized.
    – Forbearance results in higher loan costs overall. You may want to look into
       deferment or a different payment plan.
    Loan Repayment Options
• Forgiveness: Loans can be waved under certain programs
   – AmeriCorps: Through AmeriCorps, students can receive money to
     help pay for school. Serve full time, usually for a term lasting 10–12
     months, to be eligible for an education award of up to $4,725.
     Working part time offers eligibility for a partial award.
   – Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) Part of AmeriCorps,
     VISTA focuses on empowering people in low-income areas. By
     volunteering at least 1,700 hours with private, nonprofit groups that
     help eradicate hunger, homelessness, poverty and illiteracy,
     students can receive $4,725 from VISTA toward repayment of
     student loans, as well as a living allowance and deferment of their
     loans.
   – Teach America: Volunteers qualify to receive forbearance on
     student loans and an education award of $4,725 for each year of
     service.
   – Peace Corps: 15% Loan Cancellation (Stafford, Perkins, PLUS, or
     Direct Loans).
   – National Defense Education Act: Teach in a school that serves
     students from LI families and a portion of your Perkins Loans are
     forgiven.
   – National Health Services Corps: Pays up to $25,000 to health
     professionals working in LI areas.
     Loan Repayment Options
• Rehabilitation: Bring a loan out of default through
  Rehabilitation
•   Your loan(s) will no longer be considered to be in a default status.
•   The default status reported by your loan holder to the national credit bureaus will be
    deleted.
•   You will be eligible for the same benefits that were available on the loans before the
    loans defaulted. This may include deferment, forbearance, and Title IV eligibility.
•   Wage garnishment ends and the Internal Revenue Service no longer withholds
    your income tax refund.


• Borrowers must make a consecutive number (9) payments on
  an agreed amount over a 10 month period in order to qualify.

• Once you have made the required payments, your loan(s) will
  be returned to the Direct Loan Servicing Center.
     Loan Repayment Options
• Rehabilitation: Bring a loan out of default through
  Rehabilitation
•   Your loan(s) will no longer be considered to be in a default status.
•   The default status reported by your loan holder to the national credit bureaus will be
    deleted.
•   You will be eligible for the same benefits that were available on the loans before the
    loans defaulted. This may include deferment, forbearance, and Title IV eligibility.
•   Wage garnishment ends and the Internal Revenue Service no longer withholds
    your income tax refund.


• Borrowers must make a consecutive number (9) payments on
  an agreed amount over a 10 month period in order to qualify.

• Once you have made the required payments, your loan(s) will
  be returned to the Direct Loan Servicing Center.
     Thank you!

•Questions????

				
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