Archive for February, 2011

With the March 1st priority deadline for the FAFSA less than a week away, we hope most of you followed our advice and filed early. If you didn’t, it’s not too late. If you did, you should be receiving your Student Aid Report (SAR) any day now.

It’s your job to review the SAR and make sure the information you submitted was entered correctly. The SAR will also tell you whether your application is complete or if there are parts missing. If your SAR indicates that your application is incomplete, make sure you take care of that right away.

Additionally, the SAR is sent to up to ten colleges of interest you selected when you completed the FAFSA. Those schools may contact you if they have questions, need more information, or want to send you an award letter that describes the financial aid package they can offer you. Make sure you check your email carefully for any communications from colleges. Consider setting your email filter to ensure that any messages related to your financial aid situation aren’t accidentally sent to the junk folder. We hope you’ll be receiving good news soon!

Stay tuned for a future post about one of the most important parts of your Student Aid Report (SAR), your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC).


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March Madness Approaches…

And we don’t mean basketball. It’s time to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Many schools have first-come, first-served policies in place for their limited pools of aid money, and filing your FAFSA before the priority deadline will help ensure you receive the aid you are eligible for. For most 4-year colleges in Virginia, March 1st is the priority deadline, but be sure to check SCHEV’s list of financial aid deadlines because some schools (such as ODU and Radford) have earlier priority deadlines, while most 2-year colleges have later deadlines.

Even if you have missed the priority deadline for a school you are interested in, go ahead and send your completed FAFSA to them. A completed FAFSA is required for most federal and state financial aid programs, so even students who don’t think they will be eligible for federal grants should fill it out. Visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ to complete and file your application.

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Every year SCHEV gets questions from Virginians who have received misinformation that students who attend community colleges in the Commonwealth can transfer to a four-year institution and continue paying only the community college tuition. This is an urban legend with as much staying power as the ghost stories of dead hitchhikers… and just as true!

This rumor might have started during the 2007 session of the Virginia General Assembly session when bills proposing similar outcomes, but did not pass.  Instead, the General Assembly passed into law a program called the Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program. This program provides eligible students up to $2,000 in grant money if they transfer to a participating Virginia four-year college or university.

So while community college transfer students can’t continue on to four-year institutions for the same price as a two-year college, graduates can receive grant money if they meet GPA, financial need, and other requirements.  For details, please visit the Transfer Grant Factsheet.

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