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We recommend that students begin seriously thinking about college when they enter the middle school grades (sixth through eighth grade).
Begin to discover your college and financial aid options today with this workbook, My Future, My Way: First Steps Toward College, published by the Department of Education. It is never too early to plan for college.
Federal Student Aid: I’m Going: Eric (College.gov)
If you’re not ready to apply for federal student aid, but you’d like to estimate your aid, try FAFSA4caster (en español).
FAFSA4caster gives you a free early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. This information helps families plan ahead for college. You must use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for aid once you’ve decided to apply for admission and attend college.
Yes. Each financial aid award year ends in June. The FAFSA application deadline for an award year is the end of June. For example, Spring term 2019 is the last term of the 2018-19 award year. The absolute FAFSA deadline is the end of June of the FAFSA award year; however, our spring term ends before June 30th. Our advice is: apply for financial aid well before you want to begin your program of study.
— Federal Student Aid (@FAFSA)
Want to complete a FAFSA form on your phone? Federal Student Aid has an app for that! Check out the new features of the new myStudentAid mobile app, including:
Download the myStudentAid app today:
Yes, students generally must attendance at least half time to receive federal financial aid. Some undergraduate students may demonstrate a very high need and be eligible for a less than half time Pell Grant. Students awarded federal loans must attend at least half time to receive their loans.
Students receiving Federal Pell Grants and Oregon Opportunity Grants will have those award amounts revised to reflect part time attendance. Depending upon a student’s total aid offer, loan amounts may be the same for full or part time attendance.
8 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your College Experience:
Everyone’s college experience is unique—and probably not quite what they were expecting, but here are some tried and true tips on how to get through it.
There is not one income cut off for financial aid. Undergraduate students with low Expected Family Contributions (EFCs) are eligible for Pell Grant and Oregon Opportunity Grant and other federal aid programs. Students with higher EFCs may not be offered grant awards. There are several factors that determine a student’s EFC including: student and parent income, family size, number of students in college, and parent assets. If you do not understand how your EFC reflects your FAFSA information, please call our office and we will help you.
A student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated using a formula that determines the family’s ability to contribute towards a student’s education. The formula is part of the Higher Education Act (HEA as amended). For dependent aid applicants, the formula looks at student and parent taxable and untaxed income, taxes paid, family size, number of students in college, and assets. Generally, students from low income families have low EFCs and students from higher income families have higher EFCs.
Yes! You must complete a FASFA for each year you attend and want to receive financial aid. The FAFSA processing year begins October 1st each year.
No! You can apply for financial aid using the FAFSA on the Web and provide an estimate of your federal income and your parents federal income. If you FAFSA is selected for federal verification, your financial aid offer will not be final until EOU has received all requested documents and completed the verification process.
Verification is a process that selects some student aid application records for a review of income, taxes paid, and household size information. Colleges do not select aid application records, the US Department of Education’s FAFSA processor selects application records for verification. If an application record is selected, the college must follow up with a request for documents necessary to complete the verification file review. Students (and parents of dependent aid applicants) must submit the documents. Financial aid offers will not be finalized and no aid will disburse until verification is complete.
Sometimes, families experience a change that affects their financial stability after the student has submitted a FAFSA. Common circumstances that impact the family’s or student’s ability to contribute toward educational expenses are: parent loss of employment, divorce, death of a parent, independent student’s loss of employment, divorce, death of a spouse. If you have extraordinary circumstances, the financial aid office can reevaluate your financial aid eligibility. See the Professional Judgment Form on our forms webpage.
If you are considered a dependent student for FAFSA® purposes, you will need to provide information about your legal parent(s) on the application. A legal parent is your biological or adoptive parent, or your legal parent as determined by the state (for example, if the parent is listed on your birth certificate). If you have a stepparent currently married to your legal parent, you generally also must provide information about him or her.
If you are an undergraduate student, your portion of your financial aid award may not cover all of your costs. We offer a PLUS loan to all dependent aid applicants. If a parent borrows in the PLUS loan program, the loan can cover the difference between the cost of education and the student’s aid. If you parent applies for the PLUS loan and he or she is unable to qualify, we may be able to offer you additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan funds.
There are non-federal, alternative loan programs. These programs are credit score based and usually will require a co-signer. Alternative loans also cover the difference between the cost of education and other financial aid.
The U.S. Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2017, allows a student to receive Federal Pell grant funds for up to 150% of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award (PGSA) for an award year. For example, if a student’s PGSA was $3,000, he or she now has the potential to be able to receive up to $4,500 ($3000 x 150%) over Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring terms (up to 33.3333% per term).
You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are otherwise eligible for a Pell Grant and have not exceeded your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU), and if you are enrolled at least half-time (at least 6 credits) in the term in which you exceed 100% of your PGSA, you will automatically receive additional Pell Grant funds. For most students this will be Spring term, if they also attended Summer, Fall, and Winter terms.
If you haven’t provided and verified your mobile phone number or email address in your FSA ID account, and you can’t remember the answers to your challenge questions, you will have to contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the deaf or hard of hearing 1-800-437-0833). An agent will walk you through self-service options. If that does not resolve the situation, you will go through the FSA ID “verification” process. You’ll send in copies of identification, and the email address on your account will reset to one you can access. This process takes 7–10 days from the point at which you send in your documentation.
Once you regain access to your account, we strongly encourage you to provide and verify your email address and phone number so that in the future you can retrieve your username or password on your own.
You can read more and find help about the FSA ID on studentaid.ed.gov.
Whether your loan balance increases depends on the type of federal student loans you have, whether you are requesting a deferment or a forbearance, and whether you make any required interest payments during this time.
With deferment, the federal government pays the interest that is charged during a deferment period for certain types of federal student loans. For those loans that the federal government does not pay the interest charges, such as unsubsidized loans and PLUS loans, interest continues to accrue (accumulate) during deferment. Any unpaid interest that accrues during your deferment period is added to your loan balance. This is called capitalization.
With forbearance, the federal government does not pay interest charges for any type of federal student loan—ever. So, while you can stop making payments or reduce your monthly payment amount for up to 12 months, interest continues to be charged on all of your federal student loans during a forbearance period. Again, any unpaid interest that accrues during this time will be added to your loan balance.
Federal Student Aid regularly hosts webinars for students, parents, student loan borrowers, or college access professionals. You can submit questions during the webinar and their team will answer your questions during the event.
Keep an eye on StudentAid.gov/events for webinars and other events intended for students, parents, and borrowers; and watch the Get Training page on the Financial Aid Toolkit for Counselors (FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov/training) to find webinars intended to enhance your professional development.
To take advantage of these webinars, sign up today!
If you are interested in these webinars but are not available at the scheduled time, you’ll be able to view recorded versions of the webinars listed above at StudentAid.gov/resources#webinars and at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov/resources.
To determine your remaining eligibility, we subtract your LEU from the 600% maximum. That equals 89.764%. Then we multiply that remaining LEU by your Pell Grant as calculated by your EFC (i.e. $6,195 for your 0 EFC). $6,195 x .89764 = $5,560 (rounded down — you can’t exceed 600%). So for 2019-20, you have at most $5,560 of Pell Grant dollars and 89.764% remaining. Each term, you are still eligible for up to 100% of that term’s award (33.3333% of a year). So, if you will be full time Summer term, you will receive a full 33.3333% of that $6,195 EFC calculated Pell Grant, or $2,065. The same would go for Fall term, assuming full time attendance. If you take fewer than 12 credits, your award will be prorated at 75% for 9-11 credits, 50% for 6-8 credits, and 25% for 1-5 credits. So, after two terms of full time attendance we would subtract what you had been paid from your individual maximum of $5,560 (i.e. $5,560 – $2,065 * 2 = $1,430) to determine your remaining award. Now if you were to continue at full time Winter term, you would receive only $1,430, because you do not have $2,065 remaining eligibility. We can only disburse the lesser of your limits (term maximum based on EFC and enrollment or LEU). You would have zero Pell Grant Spring term after receiving the remaining $1,430 Winter term. If you want your Pell Grant to last longer, you can reduce your enrollment level, but it will not increase your dollar amount for this academic year. If you have remaining LEU after this AY, you may see a dollar increase on that LEU for future academic years, if your EFC remains at zero and Congress appropriates additional Pell Grant funding. However, your LEU still cannot exceed 600%.
If you wish to decline your Pell Grant this year in hopes of getting more dollars out of your remaining LEU, you can do so by specifically writing a statement that meets the following requirement:
To decline Pell Grant funds, a student must deliver to the school a signed, written statement clearly indicating that the student is declining Pell Grant funds for which he or she is otherwise eligible and that the student understands that those funds may not be available once the award year is over.
There are other reasons why you would not be eligible for a Pell Grant besides EFC, such as having graduated and having a bachelor’s degree, so consider carefully before declining your Pell Grant.
Now what your community college told you about being eligible for additional funding based on a four year program (i.e. bachelor’s degree) vs. a two year program is true, but out of context. You are eligible for federal aid up to 150% of your published program length. So for an associate’s degree, you could get a Pell Grant (and other federal aid) for up to 135 credits at a quarter school. And then if you continued at a university, you could get aid up to 270 credits, which includes the credits transferred in from your associate’s degree. However, that is still limited by any other limiting factors, such as LEU or aggregate loan limits. It is important to consider all factors and not narrow your focus too much on one question and answer pair. Make sure that your specific questions allow for consideration of the big picture.
I didn’t go too much into how less than full time enrollment affects your Pell Grant LEU. However, if you multiply the enrollment level by the term or semester usage, you can figure out the LEU (e.g. three quarter time (75%) for a term (33.3333%) equals 25% used (0.75 x 33.3333%). You can do the math to figure out how to make your 89.764% last the whole year, if you want to.
As to your Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) eligibility, it also is lifetime limited. The maximum number of terms you can receive OOG is limited to 12 full time equivalent (FTE) terms. That means that you could have up to 24 terms at half time or a lesser amount with a combination of full and part time attendance. OOG pays only either full or half. There is no separate three quarter or less than half time award, though three quarter will pay the same amount as half time. There is also a difference in the dollar amount between a two year school and a four year school. Your community college was correct to say that your OOG award eligibility would be higher at a university, but it is still limited to 12 FTE terms for your lifetime. Without looking at how much you had already used, in general, your question was answered correctly. However, because you don’t have any eligible terms remaining, we can’t give you an OOG award, at any level. OOG also does not disburse Summer term. It is a Fall, Winter, Spring award only.
At this point, you can apply for a transfer scholarship, if you have not. I would encourage you to apply for Foundation scholarships beginning October 1, 2019 for the 2020-2021 AY. All other scholarship deadlines have passed for the 2019-2020 AY. You should also apply for OSAC scholarships beginning November 1, 2019. Many other scholarship links and search tools are listed on our website.
You can always apply for private student loans to supplement your federal loans. Please see our information about alternative loans on our website.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us here in the financial aid office. We are here to help!
The primary goal of the institutional financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational goals by providing appropriate financial support and resources. To this end, this statement provides that the financial aid professional shall:
*This was adopted in part from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals. The obligations in this Code of Conduct are in addition to any requirements imposed by state or federal laws, or Eastern Oregon University policies.