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Archive for the ‘Financial Aid’ Category

“What information do I need to complete the FAFSA?” “Am I a dependent or independent student?” “Who do I list as my parent?”

These are all valid questions that may come up as you work through the financial aid process. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid has several resources available to help answer these questions and many more. Here are a few resources that may help ease the process for you:

FAFSA on the Web Worksheet
Completing the FAFSA
What Information Do I Need When I Fill Out the FAFSA?
Am I Dependent or Independent?
Who is My “Parent” When I Fill Out the FAFSA?
What to Expect After You Fill Out and Submit the FAFSA.

For more resources and informational videos, visit the Office of Federal Student Aid’s Resources page and their Youtube channel.

Don’t miss your college’s priority filing deadline! The federal deadline is June 30, 2016, but your financial aid office will need the results much sooner. Missing your college’s deadline could mean the loss of thousands of dollars of financial aid. For a list of FAFSA priority deadlines for Virginia colleges, click here.
Complete your FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.

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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!

  • College Nights in Virginia – November 1-15, 2013.
    For more information, visit www.collegenights.org.
  •  Virginia College Application Week – November 18-22, 2013.
    For more information, email iamtheoneva@gmail.com.
  •  Super FAFSA Week – February 1-8, 2014.
    For more information, visit www.vasfaa.com/super.

See the flyer for more details.

1-2-3 Flyer

Easy as 1-2-3!

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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.

ecmc_placeholder_opps2100

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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.

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