What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used to determine eligibility for federal and state student grants, work-study and loans. The information on the FAFSA is used to determine the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is used by the school to determine the student’s financial aid award. The FAFSA must be completed annually, beginning January 1st each year. Presentation College’s school code is 003467. Apply here.
I’m not sure my family will have financial need. Should I complete the FAFSA?
Yes. Financial aid is intended both to remove financial barriers for families who cannot afford the cost of an education beyond high school and to fill in the gap for families who can afford only part of the cost. Some loans and scholarships are available regardless of “need.”
My parents are separated or divorced. Which parent fills out the FAFSA?
The parent you lived with most during the last 12 months. If you didn’t live with either parent, or if you lived with each parent an equal number of days, use the parent who provided the most support to you during the last 12 months or during the most recent calendar year that you were actually supported by a parent.
My parents are divorced, and the parent I’m living with has remarried. Does my stepparent have to report his or her income and assets on the FAFSA?
Yes, provided that the parent you’re living with is the one filling out the “parent” section of the FAFSA. If your parent marries after you have submitted the FAFSA, you are not required to update the step-parent information for this award year. The following award year you would need to include his/her information.
Why must I include my parent’s income on my FAFSA? I don’t live my parents; my parents don’t contribute anything to my education; they do not claim me on their income taxes.
Congress, in the law that governs the federal student aid programs, defines when parental income information is required. Congress’ intention is to establish the primary responsibility for a student’s education is the student’s and student’s family for his/her undergraduate degree.
Even if you don’t live with your parent, your parents don’t contribute money toward your education, or they don’t claim you on their income taxes, you are required to use their information unless:
- you’ll be 24 years old during the school year
- you’re an orphan or were a ward of the court until age 18
- you’re a veteran
- you’re married
- you have a legal dependent other than your spouse
- you’re a degree seeking graduate student
What if my family has a special circumstance that will affect how much we can pay?
Per the Department of Education, if you and your family have unusual circumstances that might affect your financial situation, complete and submit the FAFSA and then notify the financial aid office. In some cases, the school’s financial aid office may decide to take these unusual circumstances into account and adjust your cost of attendance or the information used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Provide the financial aid office with adequate documentation to support any special circumstances.
What is the verification process and if selected why do I need to complete the process?
Students applying for federal aid are randomly selected for the verification process, and must submit document(s) to verify that certain information submitted on the FAFSA is accurate. If you are selected, this does not mean you have made an error on the initial FAFSA.
The Financial Aid Staff at PC will send you the verification form and a letter listing the items that you will need to submit back to them for review.
I received my award notification and did not get enough money to pay my student bill. Is there any additional funding available to help with the costs?
There are additional loans that can provide additional assistance for students.
- The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) program is available for parents to borrow money. These loans are loans in the parent’s name and payments typically start while the student is in school. Interest accrues while the student is in school and rates are set by the government (never to exceed 9 percent). Go to www.studentloans.gov to apply.
- There are also non-federal/alternative loans for the student to borrow under. The student will typically need a credit worthy co-signer. Interest accrues while the student is in school at a rate set by the bank. Payments are usually deferred until six months after the student graduates. Apply Here.
What happens if a parent is denied a PLUS loan?
The parent applying for a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS) can be denied for credit reasons. If that happens, the student is eligible to borrow additional funds in the Stafford Loan program.
What is the difference between a Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?
If you are eligible for and take out a Subsidized Stafford Loan, the federal government will pay the interest for you while you are in school and up to six months after you cease to be a student (at least half-time), at which time you will need to begin repaying the loan.
If you are eligible for and take out an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, you are responsible for all the interest that accumulates. You will have the option of either paying the interest as it accumulates or capitalizing the interest (adding it to the principal balance). If you choose to pay the interest back as it accumulates you will pay less in interest overall. Like a Subsidized loan, you will have to begin payment six months after you cease to be a student (at least half-time).