Let’s hope so. Remember the FAFSA bases financial aid on income while the CSS bases financial aid on parents’ net worth, including home equity.
Early decision is a binding agreement between the student and school. Students apply to their first choice school early and ask the school to make a decision on their application and financial awards early, before students traditionally have their applications considered.
Early decision is how qualified students from wealthier families “reserve” their seat in first-choice schools. At the time of application, their parents fill out the CSS form because, presumably, the FAFSA was not yet available
In 2016, students may now fill out the FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, in October. It’s not unreasonable to think that the FAFSA determination will be available for students who wish to apply for early decision at many more colleges.
If colleges decide to accept the FAFSA rather than the CSS, early decision may now be available to students from low and moderate-income families. And then those much-wanted seats in selective schools may go to qualified students who need higher merit awards.
7/31/2016 0 Comments
Education Week contributor Catherine Gewertz wrote that college financial aid officers who said they could not foresee being able to offer financial aid packages to individual students any earlier than normal.
Having read Gewertz’ article, college acceptance letters already present a time crunch for seniors. Colleges are sending out acceptance letters in April and expecting an answer by May 1.
Gewertz seems unconcerned about the effects of the early FAFSA, at least for this year.
She points out, however that the situation could change as financial aid software advances and college financial aid offices and legislators get used to the earlier deadlines. In that case, schools could begin moving up that all-important priority aid deadline.
The priority aid deadline is the last date all available financial aid can be tapped by qualified college applicants.
And that will hurt low-income students, according to Samantha Veeder, the director of financial aid at the University of Rochester.
Veeder said in the article that low-income students don’t realize that financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
While lower-income students who need more aid are still trying to determine where and how to apply for college, students with more counseling options have already drained financial aid packages.
The priority aid deadline is an application deadline for each, individual college or university.
It is the last date that all scholarships, grants, work-study, state financial aid, tuition reductions and other financial assistance is available to students who apply to that school; as long as they apply before the priority aid deadline.
The priority aid deadline is industry jargon that means financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Students who apply to a school later than the priority aid deadline, get financial aid awards taken from a smaller pool of funds.
Ask your target schools for their priority aid deadline. It may be on the college application or on the web page for the college's financial aid department.
I could not go to YouTube for a video about priority aid deadlines because most of the videos are incorrect.
When the Prior-Prior Year (PPY) FAFSA was announced, the White House also announced that the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Scholarship America and others had adopted the earlier timeline.
Good news! Right? This is great news for returning college students who could receive their financial aid packages earlier.
And now high school seniors and their parents will have more time deliberating financial aid offers from various colleges.
Not so fast.
Federal student aid deadlines may not have an impact on state student aid deadlines. At least not this year.
According to the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, colleges must also rely on money from state legislatures and private foundations before they determine tuition for the 2017 school year let alone how much financial aid to offer perhaps thousands of individuals who have applied to the schools.
And Carrie Warick, director of partnerships and policy at National College Access Network, wrote in a July 27 blog post that some colleges have moved their “priority aid” deadlines into November 2016. So instead of having more time to apply to colleges, some high school seniors will have less than 2 months to take their SATs, get letters of recommendation from teachers, write their essays, complete and submit their college applications.
Warick said that places a significant time crunch on high school seniors. She called on colleges to set priority aid deadlines no sooner than February 1, 2017.
This FAFSA worksheet contains deadlines for filing which vary by state for students who wish to be eligible for state grants. The federal filing deadline is June 30, 2017. The worksheet contains the information you will need to file the FAFSA.
For more instructions, visit 51 year old Scholarship Foundation of Indian River County.
The FAFSA Application is available along with more information at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa.
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In previous years, high school seniors and their parents filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA, beginning in January before graduation.
Starting this year, families can begin filing the FAFSA form on October 1, 2016, just as their children enter their senior year in high school. The change is to let seniors know earlier how much they might expect in federal financial aid before they choose colleges to which to apply.
The FAFSA calculates federal student aid (Pell Grants) and the student’s and parents’ expected contribution for college expenses. Federal aid is based primarily on the parents’ income tax filings.
In the past, those would have been the prior-year taxes. For students entering college in fall 2017, that would be 2016 taxes if the FAFSA applications were still scheduled to begin in January 2017.
Federal student aid deadline nicknamed PPY FAFSA
The new October FAFSA uses prior-prior year taxes, 2015, and can automatically pull the parents tax returns from the IRS. That is how they are able to move the timeline up three months.
The FAFSA allows students to name 10 colleges to which they want FAFSA to send their federal financial aid information.
Once the college matches the FAFSA award to the student’s college application, the college evaluates the student for admission. If accepted, the college adds its own financial aid offers and mails out an acceptance letter with financial aid offer. Colleges shoot for March or April to make these offers to high school seniors. This, of course, depends on when the student actually applies to the school.
If a high school senior get acceptance letters from 10 colleges with comparable financial aid offers in April, and all give the students until May to choose, that is not enough time make a good decision.
While 10 acceptance letters are not typical, the October FAFSA, or Prior-Prior Year (PPY) FAFSA, aims to give students more time to find the best ‘fit’ before filling out college applications.
July 24, 2016—Want to understand the college application process without the pressure of applying?
Explore The Common Application, “The Common App.” The Common App is an online application process for 300 colleges and universities across the U.S.
The Common App for the 2016-17 school year begins on August 1, 2016. But you don’t need to apply to schools to use the application for learning what is required in the application process.
In February, the non-profit began a policy of rolling over the application from one year to the next. The new policy allows students, parents, teachers, media and others to become very familiar with the college application.
Students could create an account on The Common App beginning in grade 9, perhaps even earlier.
There is no requirement or pressure to submit an application.
Not all parts of the application roll over. Watch the video for information.
July 24, 2016— “The Common App” is accepting new accounts but you can't begin the application until Aug. 1, 2016.
The Common App is an online application process for 300 colleges and universities across the U.S.
If you are beginning your last year of high school, August is not too early to start the application process.
Watch the video for information on deadlines.
Don't limit yourself to these 300 colleges.
CollegeNET, Inc.'s ApplyWeb provides online applications for additional schools. At this writing I do not know how many.
There are more than 5,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. If you find a school that fits your interests and ambitions, check the school website for an online application or get the application package. If you're a senior, do it soon.
And don't forget to fill out the FAFSA in October. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
is how students apply for Pell grants, money for college that does not need to be repaid.
JJuly 23, 2016 – Just as we try to get the word out about how people who qualify for Pell grants are not applying for them, Congress proposes to slash the Pell grant budget by $1.3 billion. According to National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC,) in 1980, the Pell grant covered 100 percent of the cost of attending a community college but only half the cost by 2014.
Last year the maximum Pell grant was $5,775.
It’s important to note that most students do not receive a full Pell grant because the award is based on family need and the income of each student’s parents.
The Pell grant is available to students attending any of more than 5,400 schools including community colleges, qualifying career training programs and four-year colleges and universities.
Everyone applying for school should apply for a Pell grant by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
A Pell grant is a scholarship and does not need to be repaid. As Pell grant funding decreases, more low and moderate-income students will be forced to take out loans to cover the shortfall in Pell funding. Student loans must be paid back and cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
Readers of “A Degree Fast! For pennies on the dollar” know to fill out the FAFSA but to not fill out the CSS/Financial Aid Profile unless required to do so by the college.
The CSS examines parents’ income and net worth when calculating parents’ expected contribution. So whatever equity is in your home is part of the CSS calculation when determining parent’s expected contribution.
The FAFSA considers income and not net worth.
Fewer than 300 schools use the CSS and most are selective-enrollment institutions.
It hardly seems possible in this day but students are paying huge sums for unaccredited degree programs. I cannot fathom why schools can even call them degrees. That seems like false advertising.
Let me tell you about Gary.
Gary is a 20-something who works as a landscape laborer in a small Florida town. As you may guess, being a laborer outdoors during a Florida summer is not fun. So Gary decided to go to college.
He responded to an ad from a for-profit college and, while on the campus tour, he believed what they told him. He didn’t read the application/contract and applied for a two-year business course.
“And then I found out the college is not accredited,” he told me.
. “How much is it costing you,” I asked. “$40,000,” he answered.
So I said “Let me guess. You signed a contract for the full two years.”
“At the same time, you signed a contract for a private loan for $40,000 at some obscene interest rate,” I said.
“Yes I did,” he said.
How did I know this? Because you cannot get Pell grants and open scholarships for degrees that are not accredited. These programs are sold in the same way a used car is sold. With in-house financing. Buy-here, pay-here.
“Well you could have gotten an accredited degree at the local public college for less than $8,000,” I said. “Probably a lot less.”
“And, because of your income,” I told him, “Pell grants and scholarships may have paid for a substantial portion of your tuition.”
“Because it’s not an accredited degree, you cannot apply for a bachelor’s degree course at a four year school.
“And no employer will hire you as a business manager,” I told him. “They want someone with a degree that is accredited.”
“I know,” he answered. “Now what can I do?”
Other than to call your congressional representative, I don’t know.
I sent him a copy of Big Data Big Careers Bigger Paychecks and told him it could help him salvage a career. But between full-time work and full-time school, neither of which he dare quit, Gary didn’t have time to read my email let alone read the Big Data epub and study the lessons.
High-pressure sales are a major problem I touch on in my A Degree FAST! ebook.
There seems to be a private for-profit college on every street corner in urban and rural areas of the U.S. They exist to make money for shareholders.
Some of them are not accredited. Accreditation is expensive and shareholders may or may not see it as a necessary expense. By no means does this apply to all private for-profit schools.
But learn from Gary's experience. And, so you are aware, Gary is a real person but I changed the name.
But, once the programs are accredited, the students' degrees are accredited, too. And colleges and universities must introduce new programs. Otherwise medical doctors might be studying leeches still.
No one wants that.
Before discounting a worthy institution with years of practice having new programs accredited, check with the financial aid office. Ask if students in the new program will be eligible for Pell grants. And ask the department head if graduate schools will accept students from that program.
Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, applies to colleges as well as to used cars. Maybe more so. Know what you are looking for before you shop and know what you getting before you sign.
And help stamp out the un-degree. Unaccredited, Unemployable. Undesirable.
Shelley Owens 16 years as a journalist, 10 years as a jobs and education columnist, one year as a curmudgeon trying to save prospective college students from overpaying for college. Now available for reading on all devices on Kobo: A Degree Fast! For pennies on the dollar 12 Secret Strategies to Help Your Child Get a Degree in Half the Time - at Half the Cost to You