MEETING THE COSTS OF TWO AND FOUR YEAR COLLEGES

This Athens High School financial aid information addresses some ways of meeting the costs of attending two and four year colleges. All two and four year colleges are competitive for your business. Therefore, it is imperative that you visit the campuses, investigate programs, ask questions, and compare before you attend.
There are many types of financial aid that makes this a very confusing topic. However, to be eligible to receive aid from any two or four year school, the same basic procedures need to be followed:

Use this as a checklist!

1._____ Take the American College Test (ACT) and/or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). These tests are used by the admissions office of the four-year college and student financial aid office for college acceptance, scholarship and aid section. Therefore, students are encouraged to take these tests as early as possible. Some students take both tests - some take one several times during their junior and early senior years. There is not a set policy. However, the Ohio Board of Regents requires applicants who are interested in applying for the Ohio Academic Scholarship to take the ACT by the December test date. Also, most Ohio colleges require the ACT test. Please check college bulletins for test preferences.

2._____ Request applications for admission, financial aid, and scholarships from the college(s) you are considering. Complete and return the forms by the institution's deadlines. Most institutions also require an application fee ranging from $15 to $60. (Admission deadline at Ohio University is February 1, and Hocking College is Feb. 28) Financial aid will not be awarded until admission decisions are completed.

3._____ Receive the financial aid forms that your colleges require (CSS Profile or Free Application for Federal Student Aid) from the high school guidance office in December. Parents need to complete and mail this after January 1st and by the deadline set by the college. Each individual college will then determine which additional forms they need. Some private colleges will usually want the Profile from CSS. Check with your college to see which financial aid form they require. Don't forget that aid will not be awarded until you are accepted for admission! To file electronically (www.fafsa.ed.gov or www.studentaid.ed.gov)
This information from the financial aid forms provides a needs analysis which colleges use to determine financial eligibility. They then package financial awards from this analysis. Generally, a student's full need is met through a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, and/or employment. Each college will evaluate and award on an individual basis.
Students are advised that the name reported on the FAFSA must be identcal to their name as it appears on their social security card. Question 31 asks students to self-certify that they have never been convicted of any drug offense. If an applicant has never been convicted they must enter "no" in the box for question 31. The student's FAFSA will not be processed if they do not put "no" in the box or if they leave the question blank.
The FAFSA can be filed electronically, www.fafsa.ed.gov or www.studentaid.ed.gov. To complete the FAFSA on the web, download the preapplication worksheets and worksheets A,B, and C. Once the FAFSA is completed, students need to print out the signature page and mail to the address posted on the signature page or electronically sign the page with the pin number. Students will be assigned a PIN which will be needed for making corrections, obtaining certain information (Student Access) or renewing the FAFSA in future years. List a stable e-mail address so colleges can communicate with the applicant. Students and parents who submit paper FAFSA's can apply for a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. Students need to retain copies of the FAFSA and signed tax returns for possible future verification. Call 1-800-433-3243 for questions about federal student aid, eligibility, form completion or correction, or publications on financial aid.
Students will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) after the FAFSA is processed or can check the status of the SAR using the pin number. Information is also sent to the college(s) named on the FAFSA electronically. If students do not receive a SAR in 4-6 weeks (if filing using the paper form), or they need another copy, they should call 1-800-4-FED-AID for a duplicate SAR. If applying electronically and the student's social security number matches, the student has only completed one application, there are no signature errors and the student has provided an e-mail address the SAR information will be available on the web.
Students should check with the college(s) they expect to attend. Additional paperwork/forms are often required.
The student's selected college financial aid office(s) will send an award letter to the student indicating the types of aid the student is eligible to receive. Students will accept or decline the awarded aid and return the award offers to the colleges.
The CSS/Profile is used by some private colleges. The registration fee for the 2003-2004 academic year is $5. There is a $18 charge for each college or program to which you want information sent.

4._____ Apply for the Ohio Instructional Grant. This need-based grant is used for tuition by any Ohio public or private college. Application for the OIG is by indicating the state of legal residence on the FAFSA (Question 18).

5._____ Meet with college admission personnel, financial aid officers and academic offices of each college. Each area will have a listing of available scholarships and other financial aid.

6._____ Apply for scholarships offered by Athens High and local civic organizations, parents' workplaces, association, and credit unions.

7._____ By May 1st, notify the college you will be attending next year. Also notify the colleges that you will not be attending.

Remember-
Try all possible sources of financial aid.
Look into the financial aid possibilities at each school you are considering.
Apply for financial aid as early as possible.
Apply for financial aid every year. Many awards are renewable!
Ask for information and help. College's financial aid personnel are there for you.
Often scholarships are awarded only by a particular institution or major. Inform the guidance office of the institution you are planning to attend.
Check with each institution you are considering to be sure you have completed the correct financial aid form(s).
Contact your college financial aid office if your income or marital status changes. This may affect your financial aid eligibility.
There are currently 19 access programs in Ohio. These programs provide early awareness activities, parental advising, college resources, financial aid advising, career advising, and services to college students (www.ohiocan.org).
Please contact the guidance office at Athens High School for additional college admission and financial aid resources.

TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID



Colleges, with federal and state governments and private and civic organizations, offer a variety of grants, loans, part-time employment and scholarships to help students in financing their education. The purpose of financial aid is to supplement the student and parent contribution toward the cost of education, and to recognize academic achievement and special talents.

GRANTS

Grants are non-repayable funds awarded upon the analysis of financial need that is determined by filing a Federal and supplemental or institutional form. The application for the Pell (FAFSA) is available in the guidance office. Each individual college will also have the form and its institutional form, if required. Please check with your college of choice for all required financial aid forms.

Federal Pell Grant. The Pell Grant is an "entitlement" program from the federal government, which means that all undergraduate aid applicants who establish eligibility will receive funds based on their expected family contribution index, enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter time, or half-time), and the cost of education. The Pell Grant serves as the foundation for which all other aid may be added. Eligible recipients may receive funding from this program up to five years for a four-year degree program. (The Pell Grant is $400 - $3,750; Deadline: June 30, 2004; Application: FAFSA).

Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG). The SEOG is a federal grant awarded to undergraduates on the basis of exceptional financial need beyond the Pell Grant. These funds are awarded directly by the college and are limited to the funds allocated to the college by the U. S. Department of Education. The amount awarded to each eligible applicant varies depending upon the needy student population for a given campus each year. Value of $100 - $4000 per year as determined by the college. Application: FAFSA

Ohio Instructional Grant (OIG). The Ohio Instructional Grant is a state-funded grant to assist Ohio residents in meeting the cost of education. This is a need-based state grant that has different eligibility criteria than federal need-based aid programs. It can only be awarded to students attending school full-time and be used solely for tuition. Application for the OIG is by indicating the state of legal residence on the FAFSA. The amount an eligible student may receive is $78 to $2,190 for attending a public institution; $378 to $5,466 for private institutions. Application: FAFSA - Deadline: October 1, 2004.
An OIG "estimator" has been developed to determine the student's award. This estimator is part of the Board of Regents website at www.regents.state.oh.us/sgs/.

Part-time Student Ohio Instructional Grant. This program was created to support a grant program for part-time undergraduates who are Ohio residents and enrolled in degree-granting programs. These grants are based on need and awarded by the individual colleges. Contact the college financial aid office for additional information.

Student Workforce Development Grant Program. This grant provides tuition assistence to Ohio students enrolled for full time study in eligible Ohio private career schools (also known as proprietary schools). Students must be pursuing an associate or bachelors degree and must not have been enrolled full time in a private career school prior to July 1, 2000. The annual award for the 2003-04 academic year is $138. Eligibility is not based on financial need.

Ohio Student Choice Grant (OSCG). The student must be an Ohio resident attending a private Ohio college full time and must not have enrolled full-time in post secondary education prior to July 1, 1984. No formal application required. The grant is currently $1,002 per year. Deadline: none


STUDENT LOANS



Loans are repayable monies available from lending institutions and colleges. Some loans are awarded on the basis of need and others are not. Applications are available from banks, savings and loans, and two and four year colleges. However, parents need to be considered for Federal grants before loans will be awarded. This means that parents will first need to complete a financial aid form (CSS/Profile or FAFSA), then apply for loans. There are several applications for the following loans. However, the FAFSA must also be completed. The deadline for applications are set by the colleges.

Perkins Loan. The Perkins Loan is a federal loan for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full-time in a degree program at a participating post-secondary institution. Repayment and interest accrual begins nine months after a student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment as defined by the university. The interest rate is currently 5%, and loans can be included under the loan consolidation provisions contained in the Reauthorization Act. The student must sign a promissory note before a disbursement of cash or credit to the student's account can be made. The award amount is up to $4,000 as determined by the college.

Federal Stafford Student Loan. The Federal Stafford Student Loan is a federally subsidized loan for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time in a certificate or degree-granting program at a participating post-secondary institution. All applicants of the Stafford Student Loan must file one of the financial aid applications to determine need eligibility. Loan checks are sent to the college in two disbursements from the lenders. Interest is at a variable rate. The borrower has ten years to repay the amount of $50 per month minimum payments. There is a deferment option while the student is attending college and a 6 month grace period before repayment begins. (8.25 interest cap; loan maximum per year is Year 1 = $2,625, Year 2 = $3,500, Years 3-5 = $5,500; loan maximum aggregates are undergraduates - $23,000, graduates and professional - $65,000)

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. This loan follows the same criteria as the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan with several exceptions. The interest is not subsidized while the student is enrolled in college. This loan is not need-based. Parents need to first apply for the subsidized loan and then apply for the unsubsidized loan for the remaining monies required. It is important to shop for an unsubsidized loan since accrued interest can be recapitalized four times per year.

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). The Plus Loan is a supplemental loan for parents of undergraduates. The Plus Loan must be used for education expenses at the school the student is or will be attending. The check is sent to the college and made co-payable with the parents. There is no federal interest subsidy on this loan. The borrower is responsible for the interest on the loan from the day the loan is disbursed. There is no deferment option. Variable interest rate (9% cap) repayment begins 60 days after disbursement, however several repayment options are available. Parents may borrow up to the cost of education minus financial aid.

Ohio Supplemental Student Loan Program. This loan is awarded by a college to an Ohio resident or a student attending an Ohio college. Students must be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree, nursing diploma or post-graduate certificate. The program is not need based. The borrower can choose variable, quarterly interest rate or fixed rate (8.5%). The interest capitalizes semiannually onto the principle unless it is paid while the student is enrolled. Repayment begins six months after non-enrollment. One thousand dollars minimum can be borrowed; maximum amount cannot exceed cost of education less other financial aid.

EMPLOYMENT



College Work-Study. This is a need-based federal work-study program to provide part-time employment for graduate and undergraduate students who need additional financial assistance to attend college. The work-study program may not displace presently employed persons or fill regular job openings, therefore CWS jobs are used as a supplemental source of assistance by institutions. Whenever possible, students are placed in positions which coincide with their career interests or academic majors. Most students are eligible to work 9 to 20 hours per week and are paid by check every two weeks.

RESERVE OFFICERS TRAINING CORPS SCHOLARSHIPS



The U. S. Military Services offer a wide spectrum of scholarships and educational opportunities. Although these are basically the same throughout the five service branches, some programs are tailored to meet the specific needs of a particular service.

The ROTC program is composed of nearly 500 Air Force, Army and Navy units at public and private colleges in the U. S. The training, elective in most institutions, consists of two to five hours of military instruction per week and some summer sessions. ROTC graduates fulfill their military obligations by serving on active duty as regular or reserve from three months to three years. Graduates are expected to maintain the necessary reserve associations as may be required to complete all military obligations.

ROTC scholarships vary from two to five years depending on the branch of the military. Most of the scholarships provide full tuition, reimbursement for textbooks, and a subsistence allowance. Deadline: December 1 of senior year.

All service academies, such as West Point, Annapolis, and the Coast Guard Academy, offer four years of college leading to a bachelor of science degree. Admission to all of the military academies, except Coast Guard, is by appointment. Participants receive tuition, room and board, and a subsistence allowance. Upon graduation from an academy, commissions are conferred for an active period of at least five years.

Any individual seeking more detailed information on scholarships or educational opportunities should contact a military representative of a particular service.