So you’ve made it through the difficult task of deciding the colleges to which you would like to apply … congratulations! But your work is not over yet; in addition to completing the admission applications, be sure to apply for financial aid to help pay for college. Financial aid can come in a number of forms such as grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans, and from a number of sources, but there is one common factor required for most federal and state financial aid programs – filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some institutions may require another application (such as an institutional scholarship application or summer aid application); for a listing of the required forms and priority filing dates for institutions participating in Virginia financial aid programs, see http://www.schev.edu/students/financialAidAppDeadlines.asp. The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.gov.
If you need help completing the FAFSA, be sure to mark your calendars for Super FAFSA Week 2014 events being held at over 60 locations throughout Virginia during the week of February 1-8, 2014:
Super FAFSA Week (formerly Super Saturday) is a service project offered by the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA) where individuals seeking funding for postsecondary education receive FREE, professional assistance in completing the FAFSA.
For a list of Super FAFSA Week locations, event details, as well as a list of materials that students should bring to receive assistance, please visit www.vasfaa.org/super.
Also, download our FREE mobile app at http://guidebook.com/g/Easyas123/ to keep up with Super FAFSA Week information.
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Planning to attend a private college or university in Virginia? Good news! Virginia residents wishing to attend a private institution within the Commonwealth may be eligible to receive a Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG).
In 1972, the Commonwealth of Virginia created VTAG as a way to assist residents who attend accredited private, nonprofit colleges and universities in Virginia. VTAG is a non-need based grant and is available to undergraduate students as well as graduate students enrolled in health-related professional programs.
For a list of participating institutions and program requirements, download the VTAG brochure. To apply, download the 2014-15 VTAG application.
The annual deadline to apply is July 31st.
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There’s a reason the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has “Free” in its title – you shouldn’t have to pay money to get money! When completing the FAFSA, be sure to go to fafsa.ed.gov and avoid any websites containing “fafsa” and ending in “.com” in its URL.
For information on how to avoid financial aid and scholarship scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission online at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0082-scholarship-and-financial-aid-scams.
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From finding the best fit, to meeting application deadlines, to figuring out how to pay for it all—the college process can be daunting and intimidating. There is help! Virginia is offering a series of three collaborative events designed to help guide Virginia students and their families through this process.
Mark your calendars!
See the flyer for more details.
Easy as 1-2-3!
Posted in Events, Financial Aid, Planning, Uncategorized | Tagged College Nights in Virginia, FAFSA, Super Saturday, Virginia College Application Week | Leave a Comment »
Interested in finding out more about the financial aid opportunities available to Virginians? Check out ECMC’s 2013-14 guide (http://www.ecmc.org/details/opportunities.html), which highlights federal financial aid programs and provides guidance about the financial aid process.
Known as the Opportunities Preparing for College Guide and Workbook, this booklet explains the types of financial aid available and eligibility requirements for federal programs. It also includes information about applying for financial aid and estimating college costs as well as a timeline for what students and parents/families should be doing to successfully navigate through the financial aid process.
Both English and Spanish versions are available.
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Have you subtracted your financial aid awards from your college tuition bill to find that you still have a remaining balance? If so, don’t panic!
Many colleges offer convenient tuition payment plans to assist you with paying your remaining balance. These plans usually divide your semester costs (tuition, on-campus housing, dining, and fees) into manageable installments throughout the semester.
To find out what payment plan options are available at your college, contact your college’s student accounting or financial aid office. Make sure to ask about requirements and costs for participation as payment plans may require that you apply by a certain deadline and pay a small fee to enroll. When reviewing your options, choose a plan that best fits your needs.
Also, be aware of and prepared to pay for expenses that are most likely not included on your bill, such as books, supplies, and off-campus housing (if applicable). If you need assistance paying these expenses, contact your college’s financial aid office to inquire about alternatives.
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Many of you will be heading to college in the fall, and it’s important for you to get to know the financial aid administrators on your campus. Who are these folks and how can they help you?
According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), financial aid administrators are professionals whose primary goal is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. The financial aid staff on your campus should be able to provide you with information about:
- The types of financial aid available at your institution;
- Financial aid application deadlines;
- Procedures to help students with unexpected hardships; and
- How much aid you are qualified to receive and when you can expect to receive it.
To learn more about financial aid administrators and how they can help you, visit the NASFAA web site. Or look up the financial aid office at your college or university, and make an appointment to visit this fall when you arrive on campus. You can even check out the US Department of Education’s blog to find a list of 5 Questions to Ask the Financial Aid Office as You Head Back to School.
Posted in Financial Aid | Tagged Administrator, financial aid, NASFAA, office | Leave a Comment »