Now that you’ve been accepted to college, the big question is: how do you pay for it?
Our webinar held on Feb. 10 was all about Financial Aid. Financial Aid is any resource that can assist in off-setting the cost of attending college. Marla Lewis, Assistant Director for the Office of Student Financial Aid, explained the FAFSA, scholarships, grants and everything else you need to know. If you missed the live event, here are some important things to remember.
Types of Financial Aid:
- Gift Aid: does not have to be repaid. Typically a scholarship or grant.
- Grant: one time, one payment award
- Scholarship: follows you throughout your four years
- Self-help Aid: loan or work study
- Need-based: Pell grant, subsidized loans, FSAG
- Merit-based: GPA based
- Talent based: athletic or musical scholarship
- Federal Work Study: job on campus, work alongside major, part-time and does not interfere with studies
- Direct Loans:
- Subsidized loans: interest does not start collecting till after graduation
- Unsubsidized loans: interest starts when the money disperses.
- Loans do not have to start being paid back until 6 months after graduation.
- Plus Loans: loan for parents; requires credit check and loan will be in parent name. If denied, the student prints the denial and financial aid will award the student additional unsubsidized money.
Applying for Aid:
The FAFSA is a FREE form to apply for financial aid. If you are being asked for money – you are not on the right website! It takes about thirty minutes to complete and needs to be renewed every January.
It is always worth it to take the time to fill this out. Even if you think you may not qualify, you never know. If you fill it out and end up getting a scholarship or other money that covers your costs, you can easily decline the Financial Aid.
What you’ll need to know:
- W-2 income (parent and student)
- Assets and investments (Do not include retirement or pensions)
- Household size (including anyone living and being supported in the household)
All this information generates expected family contribution (EFC) and when subtracted from cost of attendance (varies on school) it will give you your eligibility for need-based financial aid.
Other Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities:
State Financial Aid (Bright Futures)
Institutional Financial Aid
Automatic Merit-Based Scholarships
Private donor scholarships
Study abroad scholarships
Scholarships sponsored by student government
Scholarship for transfer students
Private Financial Aid
FERPA: Once the student is in college, the student is responsible for maintaining their records. The University cannot speak with parents on the student’s behalf about student financial records. Keep an open line of communication with your student.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you know if you have gotten a subsidized or unsubsidized loan?
Upon completion of FASFA, you will receive a confirmation and an email containing what you are eligible for.
How much does Florida Prepay pay?
There are a multitude of options on the university level. If you have the tuition and fees, then it pays from $160 to $170 per credit. If you only have the tuition, then it pays closer to $210. If you have the housing, then it pays the standard double-room rate. Please contact One Stop Student Services to speak specifically about your costs. 904-620-5555
Does the 2015-2016 FAFSA cover Summer 2016?
The summer is the end of the fiscal year, so if you are a summer admit you would complete the FAFSA for 2015-2016, and after that processes in 3-5 days, you will complete the 2016-2017 FASFA. You will just have to renew and update your information, which will take about 10-minutes. You will use estimated information since you won’t have completed taxes or possibly have your W-2 for that year. That will save your spot in line and every April after taxes are done, you can go in and update the information. You can complete them in the same day if you are filling the application out the week that it is due.
With multiple households, which parent do I use?
Think about it this way: who do you live with most of the time and who provides the most financial support? This is the parent you indicate on your application. If parents are divorced, then only use that parent who provides for you. If the parent you are using is remarried, then you must include the step-parent and step-siblings in the household.
Do my taxes need to be completed before filling out FAFSA?
No. Just estimate the information to the best of your ability and update your information when your taxes are done. It is better to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible, so you can have more access to funds.
Should I reapply for FAFSA this year if I was awarded no money last year?
Yes, because situations change. If your estimated family contribution is higher than cost of attendance and you won’t be eligible for need-based financial aid, you might be eligible for merit-based aid.
Do I need to submit any info to be considered for merit based?
We automatically consider students for merit-based scholarships. If eligible, then they are automatically considered. In addition, complete the UNF scholarship application because there is merit based scholarships awarded through both FAFSA and Pathways.
What if I fill out the FAFSA for a certain school but don’t end up going there?
You can send the FAFSA to up to 10 different schools.
Are scholarships and financial aid adjusted to not exceed the cost of tuition?
No, they are adjusted to not exceed the cost of attendance. You are not eligible to receive more funding than the cost of attendance (this includes transportation fees, miscellaneous fees, etc.)
When will FAFSA be completed for me to see my package?
You can view your aid package through your myWings account in March and April. If it does not look right, contact One Stop Student Services at 904-620-5555.
How do I apply for a work study?
You can indicate that you’re interested in work study through the FAFSA. You should also contact One Stop Student Services to put your name on the waitlist. Once you are approved, you can go online to search for a job within UNF. After you are hired, Financial Aid will update your Financial Aid Award.
To watch the full webinar, click this link: Financial Aid Webinar
Contact One Stop Student Services for any Financial Aid requests or questions and they will connect you with the right person: 904-620-5555
Written by Amanda Taramona