2015 Guide to FAFSA, CSS Profile, College Financial Aid, & EFC

Use the article from Forbes to answer these questions in complete sentences. Please
change your responses to another color or bold.

Applying for College Financial Aid
1. What are the 2 possible forms to complete to apply for need-based financial aid?
You have to fill out either the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or
2. What form do most colleges and universities nationwide use to determine need-based
financial aid?
Most colleges’ nationwide use the FAFSA to determine need based financial aid.
3. What is the CSS Profile used for?
It’s used for the students eligibility for the colleges own institutional aid.
4. What colleges require the CSS Profile?
Select private colleges use CSS. For example, the University of Michigan at Ann
Arbor, William & Mary, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Calculating Your Expected Family Contribution
5. What is the process for applying for and obtaining financial aid?
The students have to fill out complete and submit their financial aid status. Your
parents also have to fill out the form.
6. What is the EFC?
EFC stands for expected family contribution.
7. How is EFC calculated?
You submit your information on your financial and they will do the calculations. EFC
represents a dollar amount.
8. What factors determine a person’s EFC?
Income of the student’s family and the size and number of students enrolled in
9. Why might a person get 3 different EFC amounts?
There are three different formulas you can use.

Using EFC to Determine the Need for Financial Aid
10.How is EFC used to determine if a student qualifies for need-based financial aid?
A formula that is used to subtract the student’s expected contribution from the
colleges total cost of attendance.
Cost of Attendance
11.What elements add up to the ‘cost of attendance?’
The total cost of enrolling at a college.
12.What is the national average cost of attendance for:
a. 2-Year Public College? $20,000
b. 4-Year Public College? $28,000
c. 4-Year Private College? $55,000

d. 4-Year Elite College? $65,000

Putting EFC into Perspective
13.When would a student qualify for need-based financial aid?
It varies but usually depends on the income of the family and dependent children.
When the income is lower than the attendance.
14.What are students eligible for when they qualify for need-based financial aid?
They are eligible for the need-base grants, scholarships, work-study and student
15.Why is it incorrect to assume a student will get financial aid if s/he is eligible?
You have to wait to see what form of aid the child gets and how much it is worth.
16.When would a student be denied need-based financial aid?
When you have an income of over $250,000. They say it is enough to support your
student through college.
Eligible for Aid at One College, But Not at Another
17.What is eligibility for need-based financial aid dependent on?
It is dependent on the cost of the school.
18.Why might a student be eligible for aid at one college but not at another?
The finial aid of the student can’t be higher than the attendance cost.
Predicting the Financial Aid Award
19.When will students know their financial aid package amounts?
They will receive a financial aid award letter.
20.What types of resources are included in a financial aid package?
The percentage of need the college have met for that student. (Federal, state,
private aid).
What to Do if Your Family Has Special Financial Circumstances
21.What form does not include a place to explain special situations?
There is no place in the FAFSA to explain special situations.
22.What form does have a place to explain special situations?
The CSS does have a place to explain special situations.
23.What can parents do if using the FAFSA to explain their financial circumstances?
You should contact the financial aid offices of each college your child is applying to
and have a written letter explaining everything that needs to be explained and the
colleges will send it.
How College Selection Impacts Financial Aid
24.What factors make a student more likely to get an aid package that meets a higher
percentage of their need?
If the student is a good candidate for the school or not or if the college wants the
student for a reason, they are more likely to get the financial aid package that
meets a higher percentage of need met than published.
25.Why is aid more complex at elite private colleges?
They are required to fill out the FAFSA and the CSS to determine the student’s
Merit Aid

26.What is merit aid based on?
This is the Academic, music, achievements
27.Why is merit aid so great?
You usually don’t have to pay this back.
28.What is important to know about merit aid at elite colleges?
Most elite colleges do not offer merit aid.
Student Gets Merit Aid But No Need-Based Aid
29.What will happen if a student qualifies for merit aid but not need-based aid?
The sticker price minus the merit aid will be the out-of-pocket cost.
Why Merit Aid Reduces Need-Based Aid Eligibility
30.True or False: If you qualify for need based aid and merit aid, you subtract both of them from
the college cost to determine how much you will pay.
This is False because they subtract the merit and the financial aid. You are still
paying the same, it’s just the government isn’t paying as much.
31.True or False: If you qualify for need based aid and earn a scholarship, you will have a lower
cost to pay than if you did not have the scholarship.
This is False. The scholarship will come out of the need-base aid.
The Out-of-Pocket Cost of College
32.What information will be given at the end of the college admissions and aid application
There will be a list of colleges that the student will be accepted for admissions, and
33.What elements are included in the financial aid award letter?
The letter will explain the students’ eligibility for all of the aid that he/she is
eligible for or that has been awarded. This just explains the aid package for the
34.What factors contribute to the total cost of attendance?
This include tuition, fees, room, board, books, travel, and personal expenses.
35.What is the formula for out-of-pocket cost?
The out of pocket cost will be the cost of attendance of each college minus the
amount of the aid package at each college.
36.Why might the out-of-pocket cost be greater than what is calculated using that formula?
You might have to pay back on interest on a loan. This will be more in the long run.

Extra Credit: At home, speak with your parents and review the chart in the article “2015 EFC
Quick Reference Table for College Aid” and answer these questions.
A. Is it likely you will qualify for need-based financial aid?
B. What is the plan to pay for college?
C. Are there any colleges your parents will not let you go to? Or, are there any limits they
have for where you can go to college? (Distance, cost, 2-year or 4-year, etc.)