Very confused by financial aid

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
saturnine
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:17 pm

Very confused by financial aid

Postby saturnine » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:57 pm

I really don't know where to begin with a lot of the financial aid stuff.

Apologies for sounding like a poor little rich kid, but I come from a very well-off family. My parents paid for my UG themselves. I've been living independently since graduation and I don't get any more money from them. I was very fortunate that they could pay for college, but our agreement was that I would pay for any graduate schooling I chose; they are now putting my siblings through school.

Since my parents didn't even bother filling out financial aid information when I was going to college, I (and they) have no clue where to begin. Can anyone provide me with links to resources online that explain the process?
From what I can tell the process seems to start with filling out FAFSA. Several of the schools where I've applied, including a few that accepted me, suggest Need Access. Is there anything else required after that?

I filled out FAFSA, opting not to provide parental information, and it spit out an EFC of 12500. I have several questions about Need Access that I'm planning to call and ask about on Monday. I hope that parental information will not disqualify me from receiving aid.

And what about merit scholarships? Only one school so far has offered me money (Minnesota, 20K/year with 3.0). I assume I should notify other schools of this award to use as leverage in trying to negotiate awards from them.

Thanks!

Mr. Pablo
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Very confused by financial aid

Postby Mr. Pablo » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:03 pm

FA can be daunting, but it isn't all that difficult.
1. Fill out FAFSA
2.Schools receive FAFSA, inform you of your loan options
3. Debt
4. Die and pass debt on to children.

millieb
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Very confused by financial aid

Postby millieb » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:05 pm

Mr. Pablo wrote:FA can be daunting, but it isn't all that difficult.
1. Fill out FAFSA
2.Schools receive FAFSA, inform you of your loan options
3. Debt
4. Die and pass debt on to children.


Actually, I believe student loan debt is the only kind out there that dies with you...kids are safe!

cavebat2000
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:08 pm

Re: Very confused by financial aid

Postby cavebat2000 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:05 pm

FAFSA is used to calculate how to what extent you can get low/deferred interest government loans (Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans). It does not take your parent's income into account.

On the other hand, when law schools consider you for need-based loans, they will take your parents income into account, depending on how long you have been independent, whether you like it or not. Usually they require your parents to fill out a questionaire. This is to prevent the inevitable scenario whereby all the rich kids parents simply claim they aren't going to pay for their children's law school education just so their kids can get need-based assistance that they really don't need and would be better spent on people who actually can't afford law school.

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Rowinguy2009
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:37 pm

Re: Very confused by financial aid

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:17 pm

Will schools inform of us our loan options after we have sent in tuition deposits or before?

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Very confused by financial aid

Postby Renzo » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:29 pm

Rowinguy2009 wrote:Will schools inform of us our loan options after we have sent in tuition deposits or before?

Probably after. But, everyone should should realize that no matter what you'll be able to borrow up to the entire cost of attendance (provided your credit doesn't suck, and you're not a drug felon or draft dodger or otherwise ineligible for federal aid). The only thing that changes is how much is subsidized v. unsubsidized (meaning does the interest accrue while your in school or not).

Mr. Pablo
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Very confused by financial aid

Postby Mr. Pablo » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:32 pm

Rowinguy2009 wrote:Will schools inform of us our loan options after we have sent in tuition deposits or before?

I am not 100% certain, but I do believe that you can know about FA before you put down a deposit. Granted, if you apply for loans later then it might be impossible to find out before your deposit is due, but I think getting it done now-ish should make it possible. This thought is based wholly on personal speculation and zero research.




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