You’ve filled out the FAFSA, you were awarded financial aid, and now you’re set for the rest of the academic year, right? Not so fast. In order to continue receiving federal student aid, you need to make sure you maintain satisfactory academic progress (also known as SAP). Each institution has its own SAP policy for financial aid purposes that should tell you:
- What grade-point average you need to maintain;
- How many credits you should have successfully completed by the end of each year;
- How an incomplete class, withdrawal, or transfer of credits from another school affects your satisfactory academic progress; and
- What happens if you fail to make satisfactory academic progress.
Your college or university’s policy should also include details about how you might be able to appeal your school’s decision if you haven’t made satisfactory academic progress.
If you aren’t sure if your end-of-term grades are good enough for you to maintain you eligibility for federal financial aid, check with your institution’s financial aid office before you leave campus so you’ll know what you are facing when you return in the fall.
If the news isn’t good, don’t despair. In some cases, students can regain eligibility for federal student aid. Check out the StudentAid.Ed.Gov website ( http://studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/regain) for more information on how you can maintain or regain your eligibility for financial aid.
Posted in Financial Aid Terms | Tagged eligibility, eligible, SAP, satisfactory academic progress | Leave a Comment »
April 1 marks the height of decision season for colleges nationwide, a date by which high school seniors will learn whether they’ll be joining the incoming freshmen class. It is also the time of year when students can expect to receive financial aid award letters from the colleges.
These letters or emails spell out the details of your financial aid package, which FinAid.org describes as “a collection of different types of financial aid from multiple sources… intended to help you fill the gap between your ability to pay (your expected family contribution or EFC) and college costs (the cost of attendance or COA).”
Be warned: There is no standard format for award letters, so it might be difficult for you to compare awards from different institutions to make sure you are getting the best deal. If you need assistance interpreting and comparing financial aid award letters, check out FinAid.org’s quick reference guide. It includes a discussion of net cost and out-of-pocket cost, a summary of problems and pitfalls with financial aid award letters, a list of questions to ask college financial aid administrators, and a glossary of common terms used on financial aid award letters.
Posted in Helpful Links | Tagged award letter, financial aid, notification, package | Leave a Comment »
As March madness builds, you’ll be hearing a lot more from Shaka Smart, coach of the VCU Rams men’s basketball team. Check out his advice about going to college at www.i-am-the-one.com.
Posted in Helpful Links | Tagged basketball, march madness, shaka smart, vcu | Leave a Comment »
It’s no April Fool’s joke! Sallie Mae has announced that it’s lowering the top interest rate on its fixed rate student loans for graduate students effective April 1, 2013. According to news reports, the financial services company will offer a fixed rate on its Smart Option student loan for graduate students that ranges between 5.75 and 8.875 percent. The top variable rate on the loan will fall to 7.5% from 10.125%. The lowest rate will remain at 2.25%.
This is great news for many graduate students, especially those who are expecting to receive acceptance and financial aid award letters from graduate schools in the coming weeks. But be cautious. Individuals in need of financial assistance should weigh all available financing options, rates, fees, and total costs before settling on a specific loan. Students should consider the field they plan to enter, as well as how much they will earn once they graduate.
Posted in Federal Aid, Loans | Tagged loan, sallie mae, smart option | Leave a Comment »
We’re not the only ones excited about filling out the FAFSA! There are financial aid professionals ready to help you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at more than 50 Super Saturday locations across Virginia. Check out this video to learn more about why it’s important to submit the FAFSA. Then visit vasfaa.org to more about the February 9th Super Saturday events.
Posted in Events, Federal Aid | Tagged FAFSA, February, financial aid awareness month, Super Saturday | 1 Comment »
It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s Super Saturday, the free annual event to help college-going students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)!
On Saturday, February 9, financial aid specialists will offer one-on-one assistance to new and returning college students at more than 50 locations across Virginia.
Attendees should bring the following documents to Super Saturday:
- U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Number
- Social Security Numbers
- Driver’s License (if available)
- 2012 W-2 Forms
- 2012 Federal Income Tax Returns
- 2012 Family’s untaxed income records
- Family’s current bank statements
- Family’s current investment records
- Alien registration card (if not a U.S. citizen)
For a complete list of Super Saturday locations and more information, please visit http://www.vasfaa.org/.
Posted in Events | Tagged FAFSA, Super Saturday | Leave a Comment »
Governor Bob McDonnell proclaimed November 26-30 College Application Week in the Commonwealth, encouraging Virginia high school students to pursue higher education. Virginia College Application week is co-sponsored by SCHEV and the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia.
The Governor’s proclamation can be found here.
Posted in Events | Tagged "college application week", governor, proclamation, Virginia | Leave a Comment »