Financial Aid FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I apply for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
If you think you will need help paying for your studies, you should apply. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available from the Financial Aid Office or you can apply electronically using FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.
How can I tell if I make too much money to qualify?
The calculation that determines eligibility for aid is complicated. There is no clear income ceiling. The only way to find out for sure is to apply.
How is my financial need determined?
A standard analysis is used to determine financial need. The amount you are expected to contribute (the expected family contribution or EFC) is calculated based on the information reported on your FAFSA. The Office of Financial Aid can determine eligibility after receiving your FAFSA results.
What if I have unusual circumstances or my situation changes after I apply for aid?
Contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if the changes impact your eligibility for assistance. You may request a Special Circumstances Form to complete.
What kinds of documents may the school request to verify the information on my application?
The financial aid staff may ask you to provide documents to verify any item on the application. Make sure you keep a photocopy of your completed federal tax returns and W-2s used to complete the application.This process is called verification. Applications are selected for verification by the Department of Education. Ancilla College must verify any application information that has been selected for this process. The student or parent should provide the necessary information immediately upon being notified. It is a federal requirement, not a college choice, that no financial aid awards can be processed until verification is complete. Students should allow at least four weeks for this process to be completed.
Are loans really financial aid?
Yes. Financial aid is any funding that assists you in paying for your education. Without loans, many students would not be able to afford a college education. Educational loans generally have low interest rates, deferment and repayment provisions that allow students flexibility when it comes time to repay the loan. One of the long-term benefits of your education will be increased earnings, and dollars borrowed now to pay for your education are repaid with those increased earnings.
Since I have yet to file my federal income taxes, should I still complete the FAFSA?
If you have not filed your taxes and the FAFSA deadline is approaching, you need to submit your best estimates and complete the FAFSA. Failing to meet the March 10th deadline could disqualify you from consideration for grant aid. Updating your application at a later date will provide exact figures.
My parents are divorced. My father claims me on his taxes, but I live with my mother. Whose information should I use when completing the FAFSA?
Give information about the parent you lived with most in the last 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give information about the parent who provided you the most financial support during the last 12 months or during the most recent year you received support.
I’m going to be married during the 2014-2015 school year. Can I fill out the FAFSA as “married” now, since I will be in a few months?
You must indicate your marital status as of the date you are completing the FAFSA. You cannot update your marital status once you have filed your application.
Once I received my financial aid award letter, the values changed from my estimated award letter. Why?
There are a number of circumstances that could have an effect on your final vs. estimated award letter.  Examples:
  • Verification of your application and errors were corrected.
  • Failure to maintain academic progress.
  • Notification after your award of outside aid such as a scholarship.
  • Not enrolling for the required number of hours to receive aid through programs previously awarded.

These are some of the more common examples of things that could change your award letter. Most importantly, final awards are based on your actual enrollment status. The amount on your estimated award letter is made assuming that you will enroll full time at 15 credits per term. If you enroll less than that, your awards could be reduced accordingly.

Can I borrow less on my Stafford Loan than the amount listed on the award letter?
Yes.   If you have already applied for the loan notify the financial aid office immediately if you wish to change a loan value. We encourage students and parents to not borrow full loan values if at all possible.
When will I receive my student financial aid overpayment check?
After all the paperwork has been completed for your student loans and grants if you qualified, two things need to happen before you will receive your check. First, the Business Office must receive your money from the bank and federal government. Once the Business Office has received your money, it can be credited to your student account. Second, the proceeds must create a credit after all fees are paid. A check of that credit (overpayment) will be issued to you in the value of that credit. This check usually is issued the sixth or seventh week of class.
I don’t need financial aid, but I can’t pay the whole amount at once. Is there a monthly payment plan?
Yes. Please contact the Business Office immediately for payment options.
Why did I not qualify for federal or state grants?
Some of the more common reasons are:  Both federal and state grants are determined on a family financial need basis. The federal and state calculation reflects you did not have adequate financial need.
For the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana grant programs you may look at your application materials online at eStudent, www.ssaci.IN.gov/estudent.Some reasons for not receiving a state grant include:

  • Grants are based on financial need and you didn’t show need for the college chosen.
  • You didn’t respond to a SSACI request for additional information by the deadline.
  • Your parents are not residents of the state of Indiana or you are an independent student who is not a resident of Indiana.
  • Your eligibility has exhausted – all grant recipients have the equivalent of eight full time semesters of state grants.
How did I get the SSACI grant and what do I do with it?
If you filled out the FAFSA and marked that you are a resident of Indiana then the information was sent to SSACI. You do not have to do anything with it as long as the grant is for the correct college.The college will be notified and will credit your account if you are eligible. The grant can only be used for tuition. To view your award history and validate your college choice, go to: www.ssaci.IN.gov/estudent.
Do I have to pay back federal or state grants?
No, the grant is “free” money, but you must maintain the required enrollment. If you drop classes or withdraw completely, your federal or state grant can be reduced or withdrawn, even after the college has applied it to your bill.
How can I file as an Independent student instead of a Dependent student?
Dependency status is determined by completing the FAFSA. The laws governing the Federal Student Aid programs are based on the premise that the family is the first source of the student’s support, and the law provides several criteria that decide if the student is considered independent of his/her parents for aid eligibility. In particular, a student reaching the age of 18 or 21 or living apart from parents does not affect the dependency status. If the student is considered a dependent of his parents, information on the income and assets of the parents must be included on the FAFSA. The questions to determine dependency are in the FAFSA.

 

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