Basics of Fin. Aid Help

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
lcsslily
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:28 pm

Basics of Fin. Aid Help

Postby lcsslily » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:40 pm

Hi, I applied before the new year and have gotten some replies back and am waiting on some. After reading a little bit about financial aid I am a bit confused and would love some help figuring out the basics.

1) One post I read made it sound like merit and need based needs are not combinable. As in, I got XX for merit and XX for need, I would expect the package to be XX+XX not just the larger of the two. Can someone please explain how need based and merit based offers are combined?

2) I have not received replies form all of the schools I applied to and do not expect to for a little while, do I need to fill out FAFSA and other need based information now? I am afraid it may hurt my chances if a schools sees I need more than another applicant. Does anyone know when the general deadline is for filing need based?

3) If negotiating, should you attempt to negotiate as soon as possible (so they have money left) or wait until you have all/most of your offers?

4) I know FAFSA needs to be filed for need based and schools can be added that you have not been accepted to yet, but do the other fin. aid forms wait until acceptance?

Sorry for all the (probably obvious/unguided) questions, I am just really lost and don't know where to start. I don't want to file for need based too early and hurt my chances of acceptance, but I also don't want to wait too long and not be able to get the money I need to attend. Thank you so much!

cavalier1138
Posts: 4665
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Basics of Fin. Aid Help

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:00 pm

1. Schools either offer separate calculations or they offer a combined package. For most T14 schools, you'll get an aid award that is based on merit and need. The process is completely opaque, so don't worry too much about this.

2. You can add schools to FAFSA after filling it out. Even if you add a school before being accepted, they don't look at it until you've been admitted. There would be no real point, since FAFSA is generally for loan calculations, not scholarships.

3. Depends on the school and your offers.

4. They've changed the system this year for a lot of schools. If it's Need Access, you can add schools as you go, but if it's CSS, check with them. I imagine it's a similar process.

Most importantly, your financial aid info will not affect your chances at acceptance. It's a totally different department.

lcsslily
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:28 pm

Re: Basics of Fin. Aid Help

Postby lcsslily » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:38 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:1. Schools either offer separate calculations or they offer a combined package. For most T14 schools, you'll get an aid award that is based on merit and need. The process is completely opaque, so don't worry too much about this.

2. You can add schools to FAFSA after filling it out. Even if you add a school before being accepted, they don't look at it until you've been admitted. There would be no real point, since FAFSA is generally for loan calculations, not scholarships.

3. Depends on the school and your offers.

4. They've changed the system this year for a lot of schools. If it's Need Access, you can add schools as you go, but if it's CSS, check with them. I imagine it's a similar process.

Most importantly, your financial aid info will not affect your chances at acceptance. It's a totally different department.


Thank you so much!




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