Paying for College Night, December 3, 2013, 6:30 pm, C120
Learn more about Financial Aid, FAFSA and CAL Grant.
Cash for College Workshop
, January 22, 2014, 6:30 pm, Library
Receive assistance on filling out the FAFSA
The cost of going to college is a concern for parents and students. The following will give you some basic information about financial aid to help meet the challenge of paying for college.
Costs of going to college
Four factors influence cost:
1) Geography: Location influences the cost of living, e.g., housing, food, and transportation. You should consider the cost of traveling from home to college. Estimate number of trips home during college year. Some colleges allow cars on campus, but there might be parking fees involved.
2) Type of School: Public schools are generally less expensive than private schools. However, attending an out-of-state public institution may be just as expensive as a private school. Tuition charges help pay for the cost of instruction. Some colleges charge fees in addition to tuition. Tuition for independent of private colleges is significantly higher than public colleges. Check college catalogs for information on tuition and fees. All college textbooks must be purchased. Book costs can add up to a few hundred dollars each year. Finding used textbooks at a campus bookstore can help reduce book costs.
3) Housing: On-campus housing provides room and board; off campus living involves budgeting for rent, transportation and food. The cost for students to live on campus is significantly higher than living at home. Check college catalogs for on-campus room and board costs. Personal expenses must be included in the cost of college. Most costs will depend upon the student's individual lifestyle. Entertainment and long distance telephone calls are a few. Some necessary expenses might include computers, clothing, and personal items.
4) Length of Time: The longer you attend school, the more it costs.
How to qualify for financial aid
You must have "need" to qualify for financial aid. College costs minus your family contribution equals your financial need. Your expected family contribution (EFC) is determined from the information you submit on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some factors involved in estimating family contribution are the income, assets, and age of your parents, as well as the number of children in the family. You can estimate your EFC by using the Financial Aid Calculator found on www.collegeboard.com/paying.
There are "no-need" scholarships available at some colleges. After filing the FAFSA, the College Financial Aid Office will put together a financial aid package. Many private colleges have a great deal of money to offer students with financial needs.
The FAFSA and Cal Grant GPA Verification Forms must be completed to allow students to be eligible for federal, state, or university grants, scholarships, loans, and work study programs. Grants, awarded by universities, do not have to be paid back. Scholarships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement, community service, special talents and other personal characteristics. They are available from universities, community organizations, foundations, corporations, etc. Loans are available to students and parents at all family income levels. Work Study enables students to work on or off campus. The wages for work-study are subsidized by the Federal or State government or by the university. In addition to these four types of financial aid, many campuses offer deferred payment plans, which spread payment over time rather than requiring the full amount at one time. Make sure you contact the college or university Financial Aid Office for more information. Men 18 years or older must be registered with the selective service in order to receive federal financial aid. Students may register at any post office or online at www.sss.gov.
Applications Needed To Apply For Financial Aid
Applying for Financial Aid 2014 (pdf document)
Overview of the applications, with links to "Fund Your Future Work Book" and various financial aid websites.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
This form is needed to apply for federal financial aid for all universities and colleges. The filing period for California is January 1 to March 2. Private universities may have earlier deadlines. Check the financial aid instructions for each school.
Applying online, www.fafsa.ed.gov, is recommended. Students who apply online will get their application results 7 to 14 days faster. You may print a paper copy of the FAFSA to use as a worksheet.
GPA Verification Form for the 2014-2015 School Year (Link to form)
This form, in addition to the FAFSA, is needed to qualify for a Cal Grant, which will be used for California schools only. The filing period is January 1 to March 2. Instructions for filling out the GPA Verification Form - Using black ink, fill out your name and the School Code (050970). Please submit this form to Mrs. Aldinger, in the Career Center who will enter this information electronically.
CSS/Financial Aid Profile
All of the above forms are available in the Career Center.
This form is used to file for nonfederal financial aid for selected independent universities, colleges, and/or scholarship programs. The schools and programs that use this form are listed in the Profile. It is important to check the financial aid instructions provided by each university or program to determine if you need to use the Profile. To apply for federal financial aid, the FAFSA still needs to be filled out. It is important to file your Profile as early as possible. For Early Decision Applicants, it is recommended to file the Profile in October
BE SURE TO:
- Read the instructions on all forms carefully before answering any questions.
- List 6 schools you are applying to using the Federal School Codes available on the internet at www.ed.gov/studentaid or in the Career Center and public libraries.
- Add your additional schools on the SAR, if you are applying to more than 6 schools. (See information on SAR below)
- Try to file the FAFSA on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov instead of filling out a paper form. Completing the on-line FAFSA will shorten the processing time from weeks to days and will reduce the possibility of making an error.
- Keep photo copies of all papers you are signing and submitting, Print a copy if filing online.
- Obtain a Certificate of Mailing for each document before mailing. This will insure that you have mailed your documents on or before the deadline. Mail the FAFSA and GPA Verification Form separately. The mailing address for each is different.
- Watch for the Student Aid Report (SAR). This form will be mailed to you approximately 4 weeks after you submit the FAFSA. Check all the numbers and figures on this form and make corrections as needed.