Institution specific financial aid applications

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bdubs
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Institution specific financial aid applications

Postby bdubs » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:46 pm

Is there anywhere I can access institution specific financial aid applications from prior years??

I want to know which types of assets are considered, what the cutoff for financial independence is, and , if possible, what the expected contribution calculations are.

I am only in at one school so far and their institutional aid application isn't available for this year yet.

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vanwinkle
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Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Institution specific financial aid applications

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:58 pm

Generally speaking, based on observations:

Cutoff for financial independence: Usually either 26 or 28, meaning you must be older than those (27 or 29) to be considered financially independent.

Assets: Anything that isn't in a retirement account will be considered at most schools requesting an asset breakdown. Harvard asks about retirement (401K/IRA/etc) assets as well.

Expected financial contribution: This could mean one of two things. If you just mean the FAFSA EFC, which is a number supplied to schools after you complete the FAFSA and just one factor in their determining your grant eligibility, there are online calculators to predict what that number will be: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml

However, if you mean you want to calculate what schools will determine is your personal/family expected contribution, which reduces the amount of grant aid you're eligible for from that school, that is going to be a mystery. When you fill out the forms there's no formula or anything that tries to help you predict what kind of grant aid you might get at all. I'm pretty sure schools do this on purpose, especially since they claim to calculate these on an "individualized basis" (meaning they can choose to award grants however they want to whomever they want). Don't hope for a clear answer on how any school might actually end up arriving at this number for you.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Institution specific financial aid applications

Postby bdubs » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:07 pm

vanwinkle wrote:Generally speaking, based on observations:

Cutoff for financial independence: Usually either 26 or 28, meaning you must be older than those (27 or 29) to be considered financially independent.

Assets: Anything that isn't in a retirement account will be considered at most schools requesting an asset breakdown. Harvard asks about retirement (401K/IRA/etc) assets as well.

Expected financial contribution: This could mean one of two things. If you just mean the FAFSA EFC, which is a number supplied to schools after you complete the FAFSA and just one factor in their determining your grant eligibility, there are online calculators to predict what that number will be: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml

However, if you mean you want to calculate what schools will determine is your personal/family expected contribution, which reduces the amount of grant aid you're eligible for from that school, that is going to be a mystery. When you fill out the forms there's no formula or anything that tries to help you predict what kind of grant aid you might get at all. I'm pretty sure schools do this on purpose, especially since they claim to calculate these on an "individualized basis" (meaning they can choose to award grants however they want to whomever they want). Don't hope for a clear answer on how any school might actually end up arriving at this number for you.


Thanks. I was worried because I heard NYU had used retirement assets in the determination of grants. Most of my assets are illiquid (condo and retirement accounts), so I was not sure how these would be reported. The FAFSA doesn't take those assets into account.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Institution specific financial aid applications

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:11 pm

bdubs wrote:Thanks. I was worried because I heard NYU had used retirement assets in the determination of grants. Most of my assets are illiquid (condo and retirement accounts), so I was not sure how these would be reported. The FAFSA doesn't take those assets into account.

Most of the top 20 schools at this point either have an internal "institutional financial aid form" or use NeedAccess to supplement the FAFSA information. They'll ask a series of questions about your own assets (and your parents' assets if you're under the age threshold). It will vary a bit by school.

bdubs
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Institution specific financial aid applications

Postby bdubs » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:21 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
bdubs wrote:Thanks. I was worried because I heard NYU had used retirement assets in the determination of grants. Most of my assets are illiquid (condo and retirement accounts), so I was not sure how these would be reported. The FAFSA doesn't take those assets into account.

Most of the top 20 schools at this point either have an internal "institutional financial aid form" or use NeedAccess to supplement the FAFSA information. They'll ask a series of questions about your own assets (and your parents' assets if you're under the age threshold). It will vary a bit by school.


But those aren't available publicly, right?

I started a need access account to get an idea of what they were looking for, but it is poorly laid out and hard to make inferences from.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Institution specific financial aid applications

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:24 pm

bdubs wrote:But those aren't available publicly, right?

I started a need access account to get an idea of what they were looking for, but it is poorly laid out and hard to make inferences from.

Yeah, unfortunately that's the problem.




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