Archive for March, 2010

Here are some of today’s financial aid news stories:financial aid in the news

Students in race for state’s college financial aid funds

The Chicago Sun Times reports that financial aid applications are being filled out quickly, since students are afraid of  being shut out from state aid. More than 180,000 Illinois students filled out financial aid forms in January and February, which is 21 percent more than those two months last year. Last year, Illinois ended up denying financial aid applications that were submitted after May 15, which was the earliest cutoff date in history. Because of this, more than120,000 eligible students didn’t get a dime of financial aid for the fall semester.

College acts to disregard fiscal needs in admissions

The New York Times reports that Hamilton College (a small liberal arts college in Clinton, NY) is adopting a need-blind admissions policy. This means that they will consider applicants regardless of their ability to pay. Previously, some students were admitted to Hamilton College partly because they required no financial aid, and others were rejected from the college because they did. Over the next four years, Hamilton expects to add about $2 million to its annual financial aid budget. Full tuition, room and board, and other fees to attend Hamilton total nearly $50,000 per year, where the average financial aid award is about $32,500.

Don’t put off applying for college financial aid

Buffalo News reports that financial aid will be in high demand again this year, so students need to fill out their financial aid applications quickly. Financial aid applications for the The University of Maryland-College Park are up 12 percent from last year, although federal funding for work-study and certain education grants has been cut down.

Don’t wait till the last minute to fill out your FAFSA! Fore more financial aid information, check out:

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Do you need help filling out the FAFSA, or have questions regarding the financial aid application process? Here are 4 financial aid resources which should help make filling out the FAFSA easier for you!help with fafsa

FAFSA on the Web

  • The U.S. Department of Education’s FAFSA on the Web site has live online representatives who are available to help when you’re filling out the FAFSA, by hitting the “Live Help” button. Also, you have the option of speaking to a customer service representative by calling the FAFSA phone number: (800)-433-3243.

FAFSA on the Web Worksheet

  • By downloading the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet, you will be able to gather all the required financial and tax documents ahead of time. It allows you to take a practice run at filling out the FAFSA, before you sign online to officially fill it out and apply. Also, by filling out the practice worksheet beforehand, you’ll have less of a chance of making errors on the real FAFSA.

College Goal Sunday

  • College Goal Sunday is a non-profit program (sponsored in part by the YMCA) that offers personal FAFSA counseling at certain events throughout the country. Representatives are available at these functions to speak with you in person about your FAFSA or financial aid questions. Check out College Goal Sunday’s website to find a financial aid event near you.

TuitionCoach

  • This financial aid website offers free financial aid webinars, and has step-by-step instructions on how to complete the FAFSA, as well as a Q&A session.

Source:  CBS MoneyWatch.com

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If you are in the healthcare field, then you know what it is like to take care of people – now is your chance to be taken care of!

In its 18th year, the Tylenol Scholarship program will give students in the healthcare field scholarship money towards their education. Tylenol is giving out $250,000 in scholarships to forty students, based on their leadership qualities and performance.tylenol scholarships

  • Ten students will be awarded $10K scholarships
  • Thirty students will receive $5K grants

Applications must be received by May 14, 2010 – so apply today! Visit Tylenol’s website for more details and to apply.

  • Deadline is May 14, 2010
  • Winners will be selected by July 15, 2010
  • Funds will be delivered by September 2010

If you are in the healthcare field, check out more information on healthcare scholarships.

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The following 10 factors can and will affect an individual student’s chances at receiving financial aid, based on their specific school. It is important to find out how your school stands on determining financial aid offers. If you have questions or need clarification, ask your school’s financial aid office.10 factors determining financial aid

1. Your school’s policy on student loans
• Some colleges provide enough federal grants and work-study jobs to meet a student’s need
• Others schools will provide enough grants so that low-income students don’t have to borrow, while others students will have to take out modest loans
• Some schools even offer aid packages that include federal student loans of up to $7,500 a year

2. How your school calculates a family’s need
• Some schools are promising to provide enough grants to make sure families earning less than $180,000 pay not more than 10 percent of their income
• Some schools are promising enough aid so that the families only have to pay the expected family contribution (EFC) – which the school calculates based off the family’s income

3. How your school counts home equity
• Some colleges consider the equity parents have in their homes as a resource that should be tapped to help pay for college
• Other schools don’t consider equity of the parents’ home

4. The effect of the financial aid application on your chances for admission
• Some colleges reserve spots for students who can pay full price
• Other schools will meet the financial needs of their admitted students, and don’t consider a student’s financial aid application or their ability to pay when deciding about admission

5. Does the school offer merit scholarships?
• Some schools offer top students merit scholarships no matter what their expected family contribution is, or how rich their parents are
• Other schools do not offer merit scholarships

6. The school’s financial aid policy for international students
• Some schools will commit to meet the financial aid of noncitizens
• Other schools do not guarantee full aid for international students

7. The cutoff date for the meet-full-needs promise
• Some schools will only meet the needs of students who complete their aid applications on time
• Other schools commit to meet the need of those students admitted during the early or regular admission seasons and may run out of aid by the time they start admitting students off their waiting list
• There are some schools that say the timing of the application doesn’t affect the aid award at all

8. How the schools considers divorced parents
• Some schools analyze the incomes of both stepparents and birth parents to make their own judgments about which set of parents should be responsible for each student’s college costs
• Other schools only consider the incomes of the birth parents
• Schools that only use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) consider only the custodial parents’ income when determining financial aid

9. The college’s expectation for student contribution
• Some schools provide enough aid so that students aren’t required to pitch in summer earnings
• Other schools reduce the student’s need and aid package by at least $1,000, saying that the student is expected to contribute that much each year from their summer earnings

10. What the college considers as its cost
• Some schools keep their cost low by providing small allowances for books or miscellaneous expenses
• Legally a college’s total cost of attendance is supposed to include tuition, fees, room, board, books, travel, and miscellaneous expenses for other necessities

Source: U.S.News, http://www.usnews.com/articles/education/paying-for-college/2010/02/18/will-you-get-enough-financial-aid-ask-your-college-about-these-10-factors.html

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