We understand that paying for college may seem intimidating. Our staff are here to support you and your student through the process.
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid consists of funds provided to your student and family to help pay for college expenses. These funds include grants, loans and work-study. Even if you don’t believe that your student will qualify for aid, we encourage you to apply. There are numerous needs-based programs available and you don’t want to miss a possible opportunity for assistance.
Applying for Financial Aid
You and your student’s first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the yearly Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA collects financial information to help measure a family’s ability to pay for college. The resulting calculation is called the Expected Family Contribution or “EFC.” Schools use the EFC to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid. For more information on completing a FAFSA click here.
Parent Access to Student’s Financial Aid Information
Due to federal privacy regulations known as “FERPA” (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act), the Financial Aid Office is prohibited from sharing student information without written consent from the student. This is the case even when communicating with the parent(s).
If you will be working with our office on your student’s behalf, they will need to complete a consent form to give our staff permission to share financial record information with you, such as grants, loans, and financial documents.
Parent Plus Loan
Your student’s financial aid award may include a Parent Plus Loan. The Plus Loan is a federal loan that parents of dependent students can borrow to help pay for their student’s education expenses. Plus Loans are not determined by student need, but by parent credit history.
The Direct PLUS Loan may be of particular interest to students and parents who:
- are not eligible for other types of financial aid
- have remaining financial need after other forms of financial aid have been awarded. Note: If your student’s financial aid award does not cover costs, we encourage you to apply for a Plus Loan. If you are denied, your student may qualify for additional financial aid. If you are approved you are not obligated to borrow anything unless you complete the Master Promissory Note.
Plus Loans offer advantages compared to private education loans, including the stability of federal funding, a fixed interest rate, and repayment and deferment options. Click here for more information on Plus Loans.