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A Guide to Help You Through the Financial Aid Process Presented by: Midwestern State University Financial Aid Office
What is Financial Aid? Money from a source, other than the family, to assist with the cost of attending college, which includes: Scholarships Grants Loans Employment Tuition Exemptions
What is the FAFSA? “FREE Application for Federal Student Aid” • A standard form that collects demographic and financial information about the student and family • FAFSA dependency questions • Information used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (or, EFC) • Students must complete FAFSA for each school year • Colleges may set FAFSA filing deadlines • Title IV School Code – MSU is 003592; other school codes are available from your counselor or the FAFSA online search
Tips for the FAFSA ü Apply EARLY in the Spring, around 1 st of February of each year, if possible ü FAFSA email address is the Financial Aid Office’s mode of communication with student ü Know your school’s priority deadline date; MSU = March 1 st for Fall/Spring ü File Tax returns early – we encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to download your tax information onto the FAFSA; otherwise, you may be selected for ‘verification’.
FAFSA on the Website: www. fafsa. ed. gov 2014‒ 15 FAFSA on the Web available NOW FAFSA on the Web Worksheet: – Used as optional “pre-application” checklist – Questions follow order of FAFSA on the Web Signature page needed OR Electronic Signature Option w/PIN
PIN Registration Website: www. pin. ed. gov Not required, but speeds processing May be used by students and parents throughout aid process, including subsequent school years Ability to retrieve PIN immediately or via email
IRS Data Retrieval Tool Students completing a 2014– 15 FAFSA are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to utilize IRS Data Retrieval Tool beginning EARLY February, 2014! • Student/parent will transfer 2013 income tax return onto the 2014 -15 FAFSA while completing the application. • Must allow 2 -3 weeks after you/parent electronically file your tax return (but not before EARLY February) before you will be able to download tax return information onto the 2014 -15 FAFSA application. • If you/parent file a paper tax return, you must allow 8 -11 weeks before you will be able to download tax return information onto the 2014 -15 FAFSA application.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool Students NOT using the IRS DRT will most likely be selected for ‘verification’ and, if selected, student/parent MUST submit an IRS TAX TRANSCRIPT to the MSU Financial Aid Office. NOTE: copies of signed tax returns will no longer be accepted unless a foreign tax return is filed or identity theft has occurred. IRS TAX TRANSCRIPT Options: • ‘Get Transcript’ – www. irs. gov/transcript • • New service which is accessible after taxpayer authentication Provides immediate display of transcript via PDF file Users view, print and save the file Online – www. irs. gov (5 -10 calendar days) By phone – 1 -800 -908 -9946 (5 -10 calendar days) By mail – IRS Form 4506 T (up to 10 calendar days) IRS 2 Go – mobile app (5 -10 calendar days)
What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)? *The amount of money a student and his/her family may reasonably be expected to contribute toward the cost of education for an academic year *Stays the same regardless of college you choose, but is calculated with new information each new year you file the FAFSA *Calculated using data from the FAFSA and a pre-set federal formula
MSU’s Cost of Attendance 2013 -14 Off Campus / In Dorm: • Tuition and Fees • Books and Supplies • Room & Board • Transportation • Personal/Miscellaneous • Loan Fee Allowance • TOTAL With Parent: • Tuition and Fees • Books and Supplies • Room & Board • Transportation • Personal/Miscellaneous • Loan Fee Allowance • TOTAL $7, 764 1, 200 7, 229 1, 909 1, 630 110 $19, 842 $7, 764 1, 200 3, 220 1, 909 937 110 $15, 140
Cost of Attendance Estimates Two-Year College $10, 895 Private University $51, 610
Undocumented Students “SB 1528” This law permits some non-citizens to be classified as Texas residents for financial aid and admission purposes. May receive • In-state tuition • Texas Financial Aid (some programs) Application • Submit a Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) and submit to the financial aid office at the institution for processing • www. collegefortexans. com
Scholarships Free Money!!!! Does not have to be repaid Academic Talent Athletic Community Groups
MSU Scholarship Considerations • Students admitted to MSU are automatically considered for General Merit scholarships which can range from $500 to $2500 per academic year. • Award consideration is based on SAT/ACT entrance exam scores. • Incoming freshman are encouraged to apply by our priority application date, March 1 st, in order to guarantee consideration for these awards. • Scholarships will not be awarded after April 1 st.
MSU Scholarship Considerations • Information regarding Athletic scholarships can be obtained from the Head Coach of the particular sport. • Or seek additional information from the academic departments and university Donor Services. • For additional information contact MSU Admissions at [email protected] edu or (940) 397 -4334 or (800) 842 -1922
Notify the Financial Aid Office of Scholarships Received You must advise the Financial Aid Office of any scholarships/benefits you may receive in 2014 -15; otherwise, adjustments may be necessary to your award(s) if the Financial Aid Office is made aware of any scholarship(s) or additional benefits you will receive AFTER your award(s) are determined. MSU’s ‘Additional Benefits/Expenses’ form must be submitted online to the MSU Financial Aid Office: available at http: //www. mwsu. edu/finaid/financial-aid-forms
Grants and Workstudy Free Money!!!! Does not have to be repaid Federal Grants Workstudy State Grants Institutional Grants
Federal Grants § Pell Grant = 2014 -15 ranges from $602 - $5730 per year for a full-time student. Student may receive Pell for no more than 6 years. TIME IS LIMITED! Pell amounts will be reduced for less-than-full-time students. EFC ranges from $0 - $5157 § SEOG = Schools receive limited amount of money; funds exhausted early. Must be Pell-eligible. § TEACH Grant = assist students that are seeking degrees in the high need fields of Math, Science, Foreign Language, Bilingual Education, Special Education, Reading Specialist http: //www. mwsu. edu/finaid/teach-grant § U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs (GI Bill, Chapter 30, etc. . . ) – Contact MSU Veteran Affairs Office
Federal/State Workstudy ü Need-based work program ü Typically pays minimum wage, but wage varies at college/university ü Student allowed to work up to 20 hrs/week and must be enrolled at least half-time ü Typically on-campus jobs ü Can exclude this income on following year’s financial aid application ü Apply early!! Jobs go fast!
State Grants TEXAS Grant (Toward Excellence, Access & Success) üNeed-Based Award for Texas Residents üMust meet state priority FAFSA deadline of March 15 üCompleted the ‘Foundation’, ‘Recommended’ or ‘Distinguished’ Achievement Program in high school üEFC must be <= ? ? ? (TBD); currently, 4620 or less üEnroll at least three-quarter-time in a baccalaureate degree program within 16 months of HS graduation üNot been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance üStudent seeking an Associate Degree is NOT eligible
TEXAS Grant (continued) In addition to the basic eligibility requirements, students must meet requirements in at least 2 of the following 4 areas for priority consideration: * Advanced Academic Program – 12 hours of college credit (dual credit or AP credit), complete the Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP), or complete the International Baccalaureate Program (IB). * TSI Readiness – Meet the TEXAS Success Initiatives (TSI) assessment thresholds or qualify for an exemption. * Class Standing – Graduate in the top 1/3 of the HS graduating class or have a B average. * Advanced Math – Complete at least one math course beyond Algebra II.
Top 10% Scholarship üEncourage students who graduate in the top 10% of high school class to attend Texas public universities üTexas Resident üMust enroll full-time üComplete Recommended or Distinguished Achievement Program in high school üCurrent award amount: first-year =$1500 per year and renewal = $2000; these are Fall awards ONLY ü 1415 first year and renewal award amounts TBD üMust submit FAFSA or TASFA and have a valid SAR on file at the university by March 15, 2014 (FAFSA or TASFA submitted after March 15 will not be considered for Top 10)
MSU Mustangs Guarantee Program ü Beginning freshman student OR new Transfer student ü Pell Grant eligible student who is a Texas Resident ü Must submit FAFSA and have a completed financial aid file (including all verification documents) on/before May 31 (for Fall semester) or December 15 (for Spring semester) ü Family’s combined AGI is $50, 000 or less ü Covers remaining balance of tuition & mandatory fees (for 15 credit hours or more) that are not paid by other grants, scholarships, exemptions, benefits or waivers ü Maintain a minimum of 15 credit hours through 12 th class day for each Fall and Spring semester ü Complete at least 12 hours AND maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2. 5 at end of EACH fall and spring semester. ü Available up to 4 academic years (excluding summer terms)
Student Loans Must Be Repaid!!!! Federal Loans State Loans Alternative/Private Loans
Federal Direct Loans Subsidized Need-based Current Interest: Fixed – 3. 86% for loans disbursed after July 1, 2013 Government pays interest while student enrolled at least half time (subject to change on July 1, 2014) Unsubsidized Not need-based Current Interest: Fixed – 3. 86% Student responsible for all interest that accrues (subject to change on July 1, 2014) Repayment begins 6 months after graduation or dropping below half-time enrollment. For Direct loans, the “lender” is the Department of Education
Annual Loan Limits § § $3, 500 Freshman $4, 500 Sophomore $5, 500 Junior and Senior All students can request an additional $2000 Unsubsidized Stafford loan annually
Maximum Eligibility Period to Receive SUBSIDIZED Loans *Eligibility period is measured in academic years and student may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of the academic program (also referred to as “maximum eligibility period”). * The “maximum eligibility period” is based on the published length of the student’s current program so maximum eligibility period can change if the student changes academic programs. The published length of any program of study can be found in the university catalog. * Also, if the student receives Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and changes to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans received for the earlier program will generally count against your new maximum eligibility period.
FOR EXAMPLE: If the student is enrolls in a 4 -year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which the student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 6 years (150% of 4 years = 6 years). If the student is enrolls in a 2 -year associate degree program, the maximum period for which the student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 3 years (150% of 2 years = 3 years). TIME IS LIMITED!
Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loans § Loan in Parent’s Name/SSN § Max eligibility can cover up to Cost of Attendance § Based on parent’s credit-worthiness § Current Fixed Interest Rate = 6. 41% § Payments begin 60 days after 2 nd disbursement The parent, upon his or her request, can defer payments on a PLUS loan if the student is enrolled at least half time.
STATE & ALTERNATIVE/PRIVATE Student Loans STATE Texas B-On-Time Loan College Access Loan ALTERNATIVE/PRIVATE
Texas B-On-Time (BOT) Loan A STATE loan which provides eligible Texas students with zero-interest loans: • Need established by filing FAFSA • Texas Resident • Completed the Recommended or Distinguished Achievement Program in high school • Enroll full-time • Availability of funds is determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board • Eligible for annual renewal, pending availability of funds • Loan forgiveness provisions are available (CONT’D)
BOT Loan Forgiveness Requirements: If student graduates “on time” with a 3. 0 GPA or higher, the B-On-Time loan will be forgiven The BOT loan has a 15 -year repayment period or a minimum monthly payment of $75. 00 and a 0% interest rate. To Graduate “on-time” a student must • Finish a 4 year degree in 4 years • Finish a 5 year degree in 5 years • Finish a 2 year degree in 2 years, OR • Finish a degree with no more than 6 semester hours beyond what is required for his/her major
College Access Loan (CAL) A STATE loan available to Texas students • NOT Need-Based Loan but FAFSA must be filed • Texas Resident • Enroll at least half-time • Student must have a credit-worthy co-signor • Fixed interest rate is determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; currently, 5. 25% • Availability of funds is determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Alternative/ Private Loan • Private consumer loans • Provided without consideration of financial need • Usually a last option after other more economical sources are exhausted • Credit checks are required • Variable interest rate – usually VERY HIGH!
Tuition Exemptions/Waivers * An exemption allows an individual to enroll in a Texas public institution while paying a reduced amount of tuition and fees – example Valedictorian tuition exemption, Foster Care exemption, etc. * The State of Texas has authorized more than 30 exemption programs * Exemptions have different eligibility requirements * For a complete listing and eligibility requirements, see www. collegefortexans. com
Award Notification Process MSU Awarding will begin on/around April 1 st. Award notifications usually contain • Types and amounts of aid offered • How and when aid will be disbursed • Terms and conditions of offer Students should • Accept or decline (if required) • Sign and return (if required) • Complete student loan process (if necessary)
Evaluating Aid Packages *Biggest is not always best –compare to cost of attendance for each school *Renewable vs non-renewable scholarships * Loans vs grants *Terms and conditions of loan(s) *Balance work with academic responsibilities
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) The student’s rights under FERPA transfer from the student’s parents to the student when the student attends a postsecondary institution. A student must provide written consent before an education agency or school may disclose personally identifiable information from the student’s education records. MSU’s “Release of Information” form: http: //www. mwsu. edu/Assets/documents/finaid/fao_55. pdf
MSU’s Short-Term Payment Plans ü Installment Contract ü Emergency Tuition/Fee Loan Administered by the MSU Business Office http: //www. mwsu. edu/busoffice/paymentplans
MSU’s Book Loan Available to students whose financial aid refund check is less than $600 - OR - the student is not receiving financial aid but needs additional assistance with purchasing books. Administered by the MSU Bookstore and is available at http: //www. mwsu. edu/finaid/bookvoucher
Add/Drop Classes Prior to Official Enrollment date (12 th class day) = adjustment may be made to financial aid awards After Official Enrollment date = no adjustment made to financial aid awards but affects Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Monitoring Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) To retain eligibility, financial aid recipients must show academic progress in your program of study. The following will be monitored at the end of every semester: 1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) 2. Maximum Time Frame for Program of Study 3. Successful Credit Hour Completion Rate MSU’s current SAP rules are available at http: //www. mwsu. edu/finaid/sap NOTE: At MSU, Financial Aid Warning/Suspension differs from Academic Probation/Warning/Suspension
Title IV Refund Calc “ 60% Rule” Students who receive Title IV financial aid (Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, TEACH Grant or Student/Parent Loans) and withdraw from the University or cease to attend classes before completing more than 60% of the enrollment period may be required to repay money to these Title IV programs.
Helpful Web sites www. mwsu. edu – Midwestern State University http: //finaid. mwsu. edu – MSU Financial Aid Office www. college. gov - US Department of Education website to assist students with plans to attend college www. College. For. Texans. com – state-specific information about higher education, financial aid www. studentaid. ed. gov - federal site regarding student financial aid
Contact Information: Midwestern State University Financial Aid Office 3410 Taft Blvd. Wichita Falls, TX 76308 (940) 397 -4214 (office) (940) 397 -4852 (fax) http: //finaid. mwsu. edu/ Email: [email protected] edu