Description of the video:
Welcome to our financial aid and billing presentation, “A Closer Look: Understanding and Maintaining your Financial Aid”. In this presentation you will gain a deeper understanding of the financial aid process, types of financial aid available, how to maintain your eligibility, and more.
The first step for financial aid is to apply. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is used to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional grants, federal student loans, and federal work study. It is available on October first for the upcoming school year and must be completed annually. Please note the hard deadline of April 15 for state aid. If you miss this date, you would still want to file the FAFSA but would only qualify for Federal student aid for the upcoming school year.
If the income reported on the FAFSA is not reflective of your current income situation, you will want to complete a Special Condition appeal which is available on our website.
Keep in mind that there is a separate application process for Scholarships. New Students who have applied for admission prior to February 15 will automatically be considered. All students should apply for other institutional scholarships by completing the General Application in the Scholarships tile within one.iu.edu. This opens on September 1 for the subsequent school year and we recommend that you to register early since some scholarships close earlier than others. For private scholarships, we recommend that you use a trusted source and for your convenience we list several safe sites on our website. We encourage you to also see if scholarships are available through your employer, places you have volunteered, community foundations, and high school alumni associations as well.
Once you complete the FAFSA, we will receive the results within 3-5 business days. Sometimes, the Department of Education will select you for Verification, which means that we must verify certain household and income information or other documents may be needed for confirmation of the information provided on the FAFSA. For Freshman students, we will estimate the financial aid should this occur but the aid will not be finalized until you submit the necessary documents and we have completed our review. For continuing students, aid will not be determined until we have received all of the necessary documents and completed our review. Monitor your “To Do list’ to see if you need to provide any more information.
All official campus communications are electronic. It will be important for you to pay attention to your email in regard to any financial aid concerns. As an IUFW student, you may receive emails from IUPUI staff since all of the financial aid is centrally processed in Indianapolis and we are part of the IUPUI system. One.IU is our web-based system which has tiles you can access to accept or decline financial aid, view and pay your bill, sign up for direct deposit, check your university e-mail account, and more.
Within one.iu.edu, in the Student Center tile the “To Do list” will alert you of any documents that are still needed for financial aid to be fully secured, for example, if you were chosen for verification, the items we need will show there; the “Holds” section will show you if you have anything which is preventing you from registering from classes; and this is where you can view your financial aid or make a payment.
When you detail into the View Financial aid section, you will see the financial aid which is awarded for the Academic year and can also view a term breakdown in the bottom of the page. Here you can see the aid offered and what has been accepted. If you do not see something you expected to, or have questions about what is included, please reach out to our office.
When we use the term financial aid, we are referring to scholarships, grants, loans and federal work study. Scholarships and Grants are considered gift aid, money that is awarded based on need or merit. Loans consist of federal student loans which the student can borrow but must be paid back. When you complete the FAFSA, we will automatically determine your eligibility for federal student loans. If you choose to accept these loans, you can defer them while in school enrolled at least half time. Federal Work Study is a grant program which provides an amount which the student can earn up to through on or off campus Federal Work Study Employment. It is important to note that the amount of financial aid you may qualify for may change from year to year based on the results of the FAFSA. The Expected Family contribution, or EFC, which is calculated by the FAFSA is used to determine the amount of each type of aid you qualify for.
For the grants and loans, there are maximum amounts of aid that an undergraduate student may receive. A student who is eligible for the Pell grant may only receive Pell for up to the equivalent of 12 full time terms and only if they have not yet earned a Bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate Dependent students can only borrow up to $31,000 total in federal direct student loans during their college career; Undergraduate Independent students may only borrow up to $ 57,500 total and the amount they can borrow each year is limited based on grade level. For more information, please visit studentaid.gov. For state aid, if you are receiving the 21st Century Scholarship or the Frank O’Bannon grant, you may only receive up to 8 full time terms over an 8 year period. Changing schools, majors, or not being successful in your coursework can sometimes lead to aggregate limits being met therefore it is important to be mindful that these limits exist.
Federal Work-Study is a federally funded, need-based financial aid program that allows undergraduate students with financial need to earn funds through employment with authorized federal work study employers. It is considered employment and the income earned is taxable. The award will show on your financial aid notification but since it is paid to you directly through a paycheck, it does not get applied against your billing charges. You may view the jobs available on our website and then email us a copy of your resume, telling us which job you are interested in. If you were not awarded and you are interested in this program, please notify our office to check your eligibility.
Aid is initially determined based on a full time level which is achieved if you attend 12 or more credits each term. If you are awarded a federal or state grant due to your financial need derived from the FAFSA, it is important to note that some awards can only be kept if you are attending full time, such as the 21st Century Scholarship, Frank O’Bannon grant, National Guard Supplemental Award, IUFW Pledge grant, and Admission based scholarships. If you have been awarded the Pell grant or the CVO award, then you may still qualify for the award if you aren’t attending full time. The Pell grant would be prorated based on an incremental amount determined by the Department of Education of less than half time which is less than 6 credits, half time which is 6-8 credits , and three quarter time which is 9-11 credits. The CVO award would be prorated based on the number of credits you are taking.
Student loans may adjust if you attend less than full time, but are at least half time. The amount would be adjusted taking into account your cost to attendance for the term, your expected family contribution from the FAFSA and your other financial aid.
Any enrollment changes during the term can result in a change of the financial aid for that term so it is important to consult with Student Financial Services if you are considering withdrawing any of your courses. Note that if you stop attending a course but don’t formally withdraw, the financial aid may be impacted as well.
All students must maintain Satisfactory Academic progress in order to qualify for federal and state financial aid. You are required to successfully complete 67% of the credits you take, maintain your program GPA, and graduate within 150% of the published length of your program. We review this after the Spring term outcomes are posted. Work with your Advisor as you choose your courses so that you are setting a schedule and choosing courses that will help you stay on track for graduation. If you start to have difficulty in your coursework, we strongly recommend that you speak with your instructor and take advantage of the office hours and tutoring that is available on campus. If you are considering withdrawing from your courses, talk with our office so that you are aware of the consequences for the term you are in since aid may be recalculated and also for future terms. If you stop attending any of your courses, keep in mind that aid for that term may also be recalculated and it will count negatively for SAP purposes as well. If it is determined that you are not eligible for aid due to your SAP, you will have the ability to file an appeal. Information regarding the SAP appeal process can be found on our website.
So what are other things to keep in mind in regard to maintaining eligibility?
If you are a state aid recipient and qualify for the 21st Century Scholarship you will initially receive the award if you attend at least 12 credits for fall and 12 credits for spring. However, to qualify for the award for the next school year, you will need to complete 30 credits each year. If you have credits in your Scholartrack credit bank, you can use these to help you meet your yearly credit requirement. So for example, if you attend 12 credits in fall and 12 credits in spring and successfully complete them, since you will have only completed 24 credits, you would be short of the 30 credits needed for renewal. However, if you have 6 credits in your Scholartrack credit bank, you could use to help cover that deficiency and meet the 30 credit requirement. You can also supplement your enrollment by choosing to take summer courses instead of using your banked credits. However, since aid works differently in the summer, if this is your plan, please speak to our office to establish a financial plan. Students who graduated high school in 2019 or after and receive this award will be expected to complete College Scholar Success Program requirements yearly which can be found in the Scholartrack system. As well, the state has specific income guidelines that must be met.
If you have the Frank O’Bannon grant, you will initially receive the award if you attend at least 12 credits for fall and 12 credits for spring. Ideally, you would want to complete at least 30 credits each year though since the base amount of the award for the subsequent year will be lower if you only complete 24 credits in the school year. However, you can use the credit bank or summer courses as well, to help make up that deficiency.
As well, if you have been awarded renewable scholarships or the Pledge grant, you will need to meet the renewal requirements for continued eligibility. The admission based scholarships require that you maintain a GPA of 3.0 and successfully complete 24 credits each school year. For other institutional scholarships, you will want to review the requirements for renewal. Recurring external scholarships may have their unique set of renewal requirements. Check with your donor to determine what steps you must complete to renew your scholarship each year. If you have been award the IUFW Pledge grant you must maintain a 2.5 GPA and meet satisfactory academic progress in order to renew the award.
If you have been awarded a private scholarship, congratulations! In order to ensure that your scholarship is applied against your billing, please notify your donor of this address to send the payment to. Please take a moment to write this address down and then share it with them. You may email a copy of scholarship notification to our office if you would it to show as an estimated award against your billing prior to receipt.
Next, we will shift to our discussion on billing and financial strategies. Money can be a stressful topic. It is important that you know what costs to expect and what options are available to assist with financing your education. We recommend that you develop a game plan ahead of time and have an open and honest conversation as a family in regard to finances as well.
The Cost of attendance is the statutory term for the estimated full and reasonable cost of attending for a year of college. If you are a resident of Indiana, or live in one of the Ohio counties listed here, then you will qualify for in-state tuition rates. For students who attend full time, we have banded tuition, which means that the base tuition amount is the same for students attending anywhere from 12-18 credits. This chart shows the basic cost of attendance, or budget, that we assume for students who are attending full time and living off-campus. We use this amount when determining the maximum amount of aid a student can possibly get up to in the academic year. However, your actual costs may differ, for example you may have additional fees associated with your courses, the amount we are allocating for housing and meals may not fully represent what you actually incur depending on how much your housing actually costs or your food budget actually is. As well, travel amount may vary based on how close you live to campus or if you ride share. If you have an expense for your education which is not reflected above (such as child care), you can appeal your cost of attendance to potentially factor in these expenses.
If you are not a resident of Indiana, the costs will be higher, since you will be charged out of state tuition rates. The other components such as housing and meals, books and supplies, travel and personal costs remain the same regardless. Please note that we participate in the Midwest Student Exchange program, so if you are from one of the states listed you will be ultimately pay a lower rate- about 150% of the in-state rate instead. Michigan residents will also receive a reduced rate.
Students are encouraged to estimate their tuition using the calculator on our website to have a general idea of the base tuition and fee cost for the term. You’ll notice that the tuition is the same if you are attending 12-18 credits. This is called banded tuition. Please be aware you may have additional fees depending on your chosen courses and program. You can view these in the “other potential fees” link on that same page.
All financial aid is initially awarded for Fall and Spring so if you know you will be attending the following summer and would like to determine what your financial aid will be, please reach out to our office so that we can provide you an estimate and work with you to develop a financial plan.
All bills are generated the third Thursday of each month. Log into one.iu.edu and select the “View Your Bursar Bill” tile. Here, you will click on “Statements” and select the pdf for the bill you want to view. You should see your financial aid pending against the bill. If it isn’t, it may be due to your enrollment or if you have not yet fully accepted the loans and completed the Entrance Counseling and MPN. Also, student loans will have a slight reduction from the amount listed in your aid package because of the loan origination fee that the loan servicer keeps. If you are not seeing the aid you expect, please reach out to the financial aid office as soon as possible.
We will automatically determine your student loan eligibility when we determine your financial aid based on your grade level and whether you are a dependent or independent student as determined from the FAFSA information. We recommend highly that you only borrow what you need. You will accept, reduce or decline the loans in the Student Center tile. If you do choose to accept the student loans, you then need to the complete the MPN and loan counseling on studentaid.gov. Subsequent years require completion of the Informed Borrower Tool which is being implemented in 2021. When we discuss student loans, there are 2 types, the federal direct subsidized loan and the federal direct unsubsidized loan. With the subsidized loan, the interest will not accrue while you are in school. For the unsubsidized loan, the interest will accrue so we encourage you to pay the interest if possible while you are in school. In the long run, this will help keep your balance lower. The interest rate for this year has not yet been determined but for last year it was 4.53%. The loan servicer will also keep a loan origination fee of roughly 1%. Student loans can be deferred while you are in school and the first payment would be expected 6 months after you graduate or stop attending at least half time. There is a 6 month grace period once you come out of deferral. As you progress in grade level, the amount that you may borrow will increase slightly. As a freshman dependent student, you are able to borrow up to a maximum of $5,500 for the academic year. For more information, please visit the federal student aid website at studentaid.gov.
If necessary, the parent may also borrow a Federal Parent PLUS loan. This is a loan in the parent’s name for the purpose of their student’s educational expense. This is an unsubsidized loan, which means that the interest will accrue but the parent does have the option of deferring payment while the student is enrolled in school at least half time. The interest rate is 7.08% for 2019-2020 and has not yet been determined for 2020-2021. For more information or to apply, please visit studentaid.gov.
Your aid will pay your tuition, fees and campus housing charges first. Once this is paid, if you have excess funds, they will be refunded to you as early as a week before classes. This can be used to purchase books, supplies, pay rent, etc. If you prefer, you can make a deposit onto your crimson card if you are expecting a refund and this can be used to purchase books and supplies from the on campus bookstore.
Note that aid will not be applied and refunded if there are any outstanding To-Do List items in the Student Center tile.
If your financial aid is not enough to fully cover the charges on your account, you can pay in person with check or Money order in the Student Central office which is located in Neff Hall room 110. If you prefer, you may pay online for free from your checking account or make a payment using your debit or credit card. If you pay using your credit card or debit card, there is a 1.75% convenience fee which will be charged. Please note that we cannot accept cash as a form of payment.
If you have a balance due and cannot make the payment in full, you may want to consider signing up for our Payment Plan. This will allow you to pay over the length of the term in equal payments spread out over the remaining duration of the current semester. If you do not sign up for the payment plan and are unable to make the payment in full, you would be charged a late fee each month of 1.5% and a hold will be placed on your account which would prevent you from registering until the balance is paid below $ 5,000. As well, you will not be able to receive an official transcript if the balance due is $ 25 or more.
As you progress through college, it is important to still be mindful of savings strategies. As you pay off one term, if you are earning money through employment or receive money as a gift, consider setting what you can aside for future terms. As well, developing a budget and sticking with it and looking at where you can cut costs is important. Little changes can add up. Consider your budget when determining your housing choice and shifting to eating in or packing a meal to go rather than eating out can free up your money for more important things. Setting up a 529 plan and then directing your payments through there can also allow you to receive significant tax benefits.
Students will be able to access their 1098-T form from One.IU in the 1098-T Tax Form tile beginning mid-January each year. This will show payments paid to or billed from the university. If you paid qualified tuition, or if someone paid on your behalf, you (or if you are a dependent, the taxpayer) may be able to claim an education credit on their tax return. Note that you cannot claim an education credit for any amount that was not paid as a qualified tuition or expense. Merely being billed for an expense does not qualify you for the credit. Education tax credits help offset the expenses of higher learning by reducing the tax an individual would owe the IRS and may increase their refund if they have no tax liability. The Tuition and Fees Deduction allows eligible taxpayers to deduct up to $4,000 from taxable income to help cover higher education costs for themselves, a spouse and dependent children. The American Opportunity Credit offers a maximum tax credit of $2500 for qualified education expenses for each qualifying student on a tax return and The Lifetime Learning Credit offers a maximum credit of $2000 per tax return, regardless of how many qualified students are on the return. There are limitations as to who can receive these credits so you will want to review the IRS guidance or speak with a tax expert for details.
To make the process easier, if you are using financial aid, please make sure to complete a Title IV authorization, this will allow us to pay for items like a deposit to your crimson card or library fine when warranted. Next, we recommend you sign up for Direct Deposit, this will allow you to receive an expected refund more quickly in the safest manner possible. If you plan to have another person contact us in regard to financial aid or billing questions, you will need to provide them access through the Set up Parents or 3rd Party Users tile. Unfortunately, we cannot talk specifically about your account with anyone other than you without this permission on file. These three items are a one-time set up unless you have any changes later. Finally, if you completed the FAFSA and were awarded student loans you will need to accept, reduce, or decline them online in the Student Center tile and then make sure to complete the MPN and Entrance Counseling so that the loans can be fully secured.
Our online calendar includes pertinent academic dates, financial aid related dates and billing dates. This is just a sample of some of the important dates for Fall. Please visit our website for more comprehensive information.
We hope you found this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to email, call or walk in to our office if you have any questions about financial aid, billing, or other financial concerns. Thank you for attending “A Closer Look: Understanding and Maintaining your financial aid”.