Funding education beyond high school casey family programs

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FUNDING

EDUCATION

BEYOND

HIGH SCHOOL

2011?12 The Guide to Federal Student Aid

Useful Websites

Contact Information





This website is designed to motivate high school students with inspirational stories and information about planning, preparing, and paying for college.

Student Aid on the Web

studentaid.

At this U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website you can

?? Find detailed information on Federal Student Aid programs; research school and career choices; learn about the entire federal student aid process, eligibility, and the application process; and access other Federal Student Aid websites and publications online.

?? Create a "MyFSA," a federal student aid personalized folder to help you decide on a career, research schools, and find scholarships. Track your progress in the college planning and application process and access other sources of nonfederal aid.

FAFSA on the WebSM



Apply for federal student aid online using FAFSA on the Web SM (the online version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSASM.)

Military

studentaid.military

If you are in the armed forces or have a family member in the service, visit this site to find out more about grants, repayment, and forgiveness options.

Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) P.O. Box 84 Washington, DC 20044-0084

TTY users can call 1-800-730-8913. Callers in locations without access to 1-800 numbers may call 319-337-5665 (this is not a toll-free number).

The FSAIC staff will answer your federal student aid questions including:

?? information about federal student aid programs, ?? help completing the FAFSA, ?? help making any corrections or updates to your FAFSA, ?? help in understanding your Student Aid Report (SAR),

which contains your application results, ?? information about the process of determining financial

need and awarding aid, and ?? general information about your current federal student loans. You also can use an automated response system at the FSAIC to find out if your FAFSA has been processed and to request a copy of your Student Aid Report or SAR. Or you can write to the FSAIC.

State Higher Education Agencies

programs/bastmp/SHEA.htm

List of agencies responsible for administering state financial aid programs.

National Student Loan Data SystemSM (NSLDSSM)

nslds.

Use your personal identification number, called Federal Student Aid PIN, to access all your federal student loan records and obtain contact information on your loan servicer.

Office of Inspector General Hotline

misused

To report student aid fraud (including identity theft), waste, or abuse of U.S. Department of Education funds.

1-800-MIS-USED (1-800-647-8733) E-mail: oig.hotline@

If you paid for a copy of this FREE publication, please write to the FSAIC at the address above.

FUNDING EDUCATION BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL

The Guide to Federal Student Aid | 2011?12

U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid

U.S. Department of Education

Arne Duncan Secretary

Federal Student Aid

William J. Taggart Chief Operating Officer

Student Experience Group

Michele Y. Brown Acting General Manager

December 2010

This publication is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be: U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, Student Experience Group Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid, 2011?12, Washington, D.C., 2010.

Updates:

Any changes to federal student aid programs since this publication was printed are available at studentaid..

Counselors, Mentors, and Other Professionals

Order online at: E-mail your request to: orders@ Call in your request toll free: 1-800-394-7084 Those who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a teletypewriter (TTY) should call 1-877-576-7734.

Online Access

This publication is also available at studentaid.pubs.

To order copies of this publication

Students and Parents

Order online at: E-mail your request to: edpubs@inet. Call in your request toll free: 1-877-433-7827 (1-877-4-ED-PUBS) Those who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a teletypewriter (TTY) should call 1-877-576-7734.

Alternate Formats

On request, this publication is available in alternate formats, such as Braille. For more information, please contact Federal Student Aid using the information provided on this page.

Some of the Web addresses in this publication are for sites created and maintained by organizations other than the U.S. Department of Education. They are provided for the reader's convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of particular Web addresses is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed or products or services offered on these outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.

All website addresses included in this publication were accurate at press time. Front cover photos: ? 2010 iStockPhoto (Getty Images, Inc.) ? 2010 123RF Limited ? 2010 Shutterstock Images LLC

The information in this guide was compiled in the summer of 2010. For changes to the federal student aid programs since then, visit studentaid..

CONTENTS

Our Mission........................................................... vi

Federal Student Aid At-a-Glance...................1

What is federal student aid?................................... 1

Who receives federal student aid?.......................... 1

How do I apply for federal student aid?.................. 2

Steps to Federal Student Aid............................................... 3 Federal Student Aid Process............................................... 3 Table 1. Federal Student Aid: Type of aid, eligibility, award amount, interest rate, and other details, by program......... 4

Part I. What You Should Know Before You Apply....................................... 7

Why Should I Invest in an Education? Can't I Get a Job Now?............................................ 7

Choosing the Right School..................................... 7

What type of school is right for me?................................................ 7 What should I consider?.................................................................... 7

Table 2. Earnings and unemployment rate for people 25 years and over................................................................ 8 Where can I find this information about college?.......................... 8 Take the next steps............................................................................. 8 What additional information should I get from a school?............. 8 Find out about financial aid at the school........................................ 8 You have the right to receive the following information from the school.............................................................................. 8 Find out the school's tuition refund policy...................................... 9 Find out the school's return-of-aid policy....................................... 9 Find out the school's completion and transfer-out rates................ 9

MyFSA.................................................................... 9

What can I do with a MyFSA account?............................................ 9

Early Eligibility Indicator: FAFSA4casterSM............ 9

What is the purpose of FAFSA4caster?............................................ 9 Who should use FAFSA4caster?....................................................... 9 How do you use FAFSA4caster?...................................................... 10 What information does FAFSA4caster provide?........................... 10

Reducing the Cost of Education........................... 10

Lower-cost schools........................................................................... 10 State Higher Education Agencies.................................................... 10 Work or volunteer opportunities.................................................... 10 Federal income tax credits.............................................................. 10 Tax breaks......................................................................................... 10

Am I Eligible?....................................................... 10

Basic requirements........................................................................... 10 Financial need.................................................................................. 10 Education requirements.................................................................. 11 Intellectual disabilities..................................................................... 11 Children of military personnel killed in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001..................................................... 11 Legal and other requirements......................................................... 11 Agency matching of selected requirements.................................. 12 Financial need and Expected Family Contribution (EFC).......... 12 Unusual family circumstances........................................................ 13

Types of Federal Student Aid................................ 13

There are three types of federal student aid.................................. 13

Grants................................................................... 13

There are four types of federal student aid grants........................ 13 What is a Federal Pell Grant?.......................................................... 13 What is a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)?............................................................................... 14 What is a TEACH Grant?................................................................. 14 What is an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?.......................... 14 How much financial aid can I get?................................................. 14

Pell Grant...................................................................................... 14 FSEOG........................................................................................... 15 TEACH Grant............................................................................... 15 Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant........................................... 15 How will I be paid?........................................................................... 15 How often will I receive funds?....................................................... 15 Can I receive a grant if I'm enrolled less than half-time?............. 15

Work-Study.......................................................... 15

What is the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program?....................... 15 What kinds of jobs are there?......................................................... 15 Are Federal Work-Study jobs on campus or off campus?............ 15 How much can I earn?..................................................................... 15 How will I be paid?........................................................................... 16 Can I work as many hours as I want?............................................. 16

Loans.................................................................... 16

Federal Perkins Loan Program....................................................... 16 William D. Ford Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.................. 16

Direct Stafford Loans................................................................... 16 Direct PLUS Loans....................................................................... 16 Direct Consolidation Loans........................................................ 16 What's the interest rate on these loans?......................................... 16 Table 3. Interest rates for Direct and Perkins loans...........16 No interest accrual for borrowers in the military......................... 16 How much can I borrow?................................................................ 17 Perkins Loans............................................................................... 17

The Guide iii

Direct Stafford Loans................................................................... 17 Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan................................................. 17 Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan............................................ 17 For an unsubsidized loan:........................................................... 17 Table 4. Maximum annual aggregate loan limits for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans, by type of student and number of years in school..............18 Other than interest, are there any fees or charges required to get these loans?............................................................................ 18 How will I be paid?........................................................................... 18 Perkins Loans............................................................................... 18 Direct Stafford Loans................................................................... 18 Can I cancel a loan?.......................................................................... 18

Direct PLUS Loans............................................... 19

Who can apply for a PLUS Loan?................................................... 19 How do I apply for a PLUS Loan?................................................... 19 What are the eligibility requirements for PLUS Loans?............... 19 Are there any other requirements?................................................. 19 Do I need to find a lender?.............................................................. 19 How much can a parent or graduate and professional degree student borrow?............................................................................... 19 Who receives the loan money--the parent or the student?........ 19 Can the PLUS Loan be transferred to the student and become the student's responsibility to repay?.............................................. 19 Can a borrower cancel a PLUS Loan?............................................ 19 Other than interest, are there any fees or charges to get a PLUS Loan?.................................................................................... 19 Is there a grace period?.................................................................... 19

Need to Find Out More?....................................... 20

Other Sources of Information.............................. 20

School financial aid office................................................................ 20 When should I first contact the financial aid office?.................... 20

What questions can my FAA answer for me?........................... 20 State Higher Education Agency...................................................... 21 AmeriCorps...................................................................................... 21 Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program (Byrd Program)... 21 Public libraries and the Internet..................................................... 21 Businesses and labor organizations................................................ 21 Organizations, foundations, etc....................................................... 21 U.S. armed forces.............................................................................. 21 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.............................................. 21 ........................................................................................ 22

It's a Jungle Out There ... Be Careful!................... 22

Scholarship scams............................................................................ 22 What about scholarship search services?.................................. 22 How can I tell which scholarship services are scams?............. 22

Identity theft..................................................................................... 22 What is identity theft?................................................................. 22 How can this happen?................................................................. 22 What happens if someone steals my identity and gets a student loan in my name?........................................................ 22 How can I avoid identity theft?................................................... 22

Part II. How Do I Apply?......................... 25

Applying for Federal Student Aid......................... 25

Completing the FAFSASM...................................... 25

What information do I need to complete a FAFSA?..................... 25 Do I need a PIN?.............................................................................. 26 How and when should I get a PIN?................................................ 26 Don't I get one automatically?......................................................... 26 When should I apply for federal student aid?................................ 26 Can I apply online?........................................................................... 26 Why should I apply online?............................................................. 26 How do I apply online?.................................................................... 26 Can I only apply online?.................................................................. 27 Dependency status........................................................................... 27

Independent students report their own income and assets (and those of a spouse, if married)............................................ 27 What if I'm considered a dependent student but have no contact with my parents or access to their information?............. 28 Special circumstances................................................................. 28 What if I'm a dependent student but my parents are divorced or separated?..................................................................................... 29 Do I report stepparents' information?............................................ 29 Do I need to fill out a FAFSA every year I apply for aid?.............. 29 If you filled out FAFSA last year................................................. 29 What if I need help filling out my FAFSA?.................................... 29 How do the schools I'm interested in attending get my FAFSA information?.......................................... 30 What if I want to add or change schools later?............................. 30 How do I sign my application?........................................................ 30

What Happens After I Submit My FAFSA Online?..................................................... 30

After you apply for federal student aid, you'll receive your processed FAFSA results......................................................... 30

Federal Student Aid notice of SAR results available online: Sample e-mail.........................................31 What do I do with my SAR?............................................................ 31 If you need to make corrections to your SAR............................... 31 How do I find out if I'm eligible for federal student aid and how much I'll receive?.............................................................. 31 Student Aid Report (SAR) for 2011?2012: Sample Your SAR will look like this...............................................32

The Guide iv

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