Free Application for Federal Student Aid (Part 2)
Hi again. I've got a little bit more Information you'll need to complete and file your FAFSA; remember, the best place to do this is online at fafsa.gov -- Remember that first F stands for FREE, if someone is asking you to pay, you're not at the right place.
In the last video we went over filing the FAFSA each year, getting a PIN for your electronic signature, and why it's important to get the FAFSA filed EARLY.
In this video we'll cover dependent vs independent filing, types of financial aid available, and different sources for aid.
Dependent Vs. Independent Filing:
A lot of students ask about how to file as an independent student for financial aid purposes so that parent's information does not have to be included on the FAFSA.
If you answer yes to any of these you are considered an independent student for financial aid purposes:
- Will you be 24 on January 1st of the year you complete the FAFSA?
- Are you married?
- Are you a master, or doctoral student?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?
- Are you currently on active duty in the U.S. armed forces?
- Do you have children or dependents who receive more than half of their financial support from you?
If none of these questions apply to you, then you should apply as a dependent student and include parent information. The FAFSA form will help guide you through the process.
So next I want to talk about the Types of financial aid:
There are 3 types of Financial Aid: The Three types are Loans, Grants, and Departmental Scholarships
Loans - these are funds that eventually have to be paid back. The FAFSA determines the type of loans you may be eligible to receive.
Grants - these are a gift of money, and do not have to be paid back. The FAFSA form determines what grants you could be eligible for depending on your Expected Family Contribution (remember that?)
The final type is Departmental Scholarships - these are a gift of money and can be awarded based on grades, talent, or excellence in a certain field, like Athletics, Dance, Drama, or Music. These funds do not have to be paid back. Check with the individual academic departments for scholarship information.
Sources of Aid:
No matter where you receive financial aid from, the main sources come from federal, state, and other institutional funds. The FAFSA is THE primary vehicle for most sources of financial aid.
The UNCG Financial Aid office always awards the most desirable aid first- grants and scholarships- to students who qualify, because we encourage students to borrow as little as possible, -to only borrow what they need. A lot of students receive scholarships from local organizations and civic groups, from churches, and from parents' employers. If a student gets financial aid from an outside organization, they need to notify the financial aid office about the funds so we can add it to their financial aid. Hopefully this will reduce the loan amounts. The more you can get in outside aid, the less you'll have to borrow. That's DEFINITELY what we're shooting for.
If there is a significant or dramatic change in your family's financial situation since the most recent tax year, you should contact the Financial Aid Office of the school you are attending or planning to attend to discuss your options. In the event of unemployment or some other unfortunate circumstance that has resulted in a dramatic change in the financial situation from the most recent tax year, contact your Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.
Important Message for students:
It's important for you to be actively involved in the financial aid process, to understand what's going on. Sometimes students don't even know they have loans in their names because the parent took over the financial aid process in the first year. As a mature young adult, you must be aware of the rising cost of a quality education and how you plan to pay for it. All communication from the school, the federal government, and the state, goes to you, the student. You need to pay attention to this communication because your parents don't receive it. If you have been sent a student aid report that's been rejected because a signature is missing and you don't do anything about it, well... you'll end up without financial aid. This is your education and your future! Do NOT be afraid to ask questions.