Financial Aid Information

STUDENTS BEGINNING COLLEGE IN THE FALL OF 2017 SHOULD COMPLETE THE 2017 - 2018 FAFSA FORM (available in fall). 

 
The Department of Education has announced that students will file the FAFSA with Prior-Prior Year income tax information starting with the 2017-18 FAFSA. The process will enable students to file their FAFSA earlier, with more accurate information (no need to estimate taxes anymore), and aligns more directly with the admissions process. Students will be able to receive earlier notification of their financial aid eligibility and, hopefully, make better decisions regarding the affordability of their final school choice.  

There are both FEDERAL and STATE agencies that help students and parents with financial aid information.  Financial aid is a general term used to define all the ways a student may be able to cover the cost of his or her schooling.  The website to federal student aid information is http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/.  To better understand the Federal Financial Aid Programs, Federal Student Aid ATTACHMENT.  Printed copies are available in the Guidance Office.    
 
Pennsylvania's STATE agency, PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency),  supplements the FEDERAL agency.  They work closely together. The website to PHEAA is http://pheaa.org/.  PHEAA is responsible for distributing STATE grant monies.  
 
PHEAA adds additional programs regarding financial aid specifically for Pennsylvania residents and is a wonderful resource for understanding the steps to applying for aid. SEE 2017 - 2018 Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide ATTACHMENT. This document outlines the various types of financial aid including; grants, scholarships, loans, and federal work study.  It also has wonderful information on the average cost of attendance for college in Pennsylvania.   Printed copies are available in the Guidance Office. 
 
BOTH agencies use the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine what each student is eligible for in terms of his or her financial aid.  This is THE UNIVERSAL FORM used by both the federal and state government for financial aid purposes.  ALL students planning on college (education beyond high school including certification, 2 year, and 4 year programs) should submit a FAFSA in their last year of high school using the earliest financial aid deadline imposed by their potential college choices.   For an overview to better understand the FAFSA and steps in the financial aid process,  SEE 2017 - 2018 Funding Your Future ATTACHMENT.  This document takes you step by step through the financial aid process - from filing the FAFSA online, to receiving your EFC, receiving your SAR report, and being selected for verification. "Funding Your Future" is a MUST READ! Another must read is the "FAFSA Reference Guide." SEE 2017 - 2018 FAFSA Reference Guide ATTACHEMENT.  This document is an easy read regarding the steps to the financial aid application process including needed materials.  
 
Students will submit a FAFSA for the year they will be attending college.  So, for example, a student graduating at the end of the 2016 - 2017 school year, and planning to start college in the fall, would fill out the 2017 - 2018 FAFSA form.  This same student (and his or her parents) would use the tax information from the 2015 tax year to complete the FAFSA form.  For students that want an idea of what financial aid they may be eligible for, but aren't ready to officially fill out and submit the FAFSA, visit https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/f4cForm?execution=e1s2&locale=en_US.
 
To fill out the FAFSA go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.  MAKE SURE YOU USE THE PROPER WEBSITE ENDING.  DO NOT USE .COM.  REMEMBER THE FAFSA IS A FREE FORM.  IF YOU COME ACROSS A SITE ASKING YOU TO PAY, YOU ARE ON THE WRONG SITE.  To expedite the process, you can use the FAFSA Worksheet ahead of completing the actual FAFSA in order to collect needed information.  SEE 2016 - 2017 FAFSA Worksheet ATTACHMENT.  Parents and students will also need to obtain a FSA ID (Financial Student Aid ID) (new this year).  If you have a current PIN number, you will need to replace it with a FSA ID.  To get one go to https:fsaid.ed.gov/. Also know that if you have submitted your tax information to the IRS, you can use the IRS data retrieval tool when completing the FAFSA form online to automatically input the required financial information into the FAFSA form. Filling out the FAFSA form online will give you the fastest possible information/results  on your financial aid status.  If you prefer paper, you must call to request one.  The number is 1-800-4-FED-AID - (1-800-433-3243).  
 
http://www.pheaa.org/partner-access/k12-counselors/helpful-websites.shtml 
This link takes you to the helpful websites page of pheea.org. There are a number of links here that can help you find additional information. 
 
Our financial aid night will be held on November 10th at 6:00.
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Karissa Tugend,
Sep 2, 2016, 4:59 AM
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