Resources for Student Loan Borrowers

Resources for Student Loan Borrowers

The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) has put together tools and advice for students and borrowers impacted by the Coronavirus. They have compiled a list of what you need to know about your student loans during the COVID-19 pandemic, including: 

  • The basics of student loans during COVID 
  • Are your loans covered by new benefits?
  • What happens if your loans are in a grace period?
  • Late payments
  • What happens if your loan is in default?
  • What happens if your federal loans aren’t covered by COVID protections?
  • Options if you have private students loans

Visit their page Resources for Student Loan Borrowers for more information. 

This resource was provided by TICAS

Get Educated: How to Fill Out the FAFSA

Get Educated: How to Fill Out the FAFSA

Happy October 1st! FAFSA opens October 1st, 2020, and closes March 2nd, 2021.

The FAFSA application process can be confusing and a bit scary, but it is important that you fill it out as soon as possible! Many families have suffered economically during the coronavirus pandemic and may have to take extra steps to qualify for maximum help. 

Please make sure you apply as early as possible! Many families have suffered economically during the coronavirus pandemic and may have to take extra steps to qualify for maximum help. 

According to a New York Times article, “completing the form early is always a good idea in order to meet varying deadlines for scholarships. But this year, college students or prospective applicants who have been affected by the pandemic may need to submit extra documents to their colleges.

The more you know about the FAFSA application process, the more you can help others. 

Download our easy-to-follow guide that clearly explains the FAFSA process and answers the most common questions from low-income students and parents.

Guide provided by:

Form Your Future and National College Access Network

Appealing Your Financial Aid Award

Appealing Your Financial Aid Award

UC and CSU system officials are stating that financial aid appeals are up in both systems, with some campuses seeing as many as twice as many financial aid appeals as they had the year before.

If your financial situation has changed you can file an appeal at any time throughout your college journey. There is a chance your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) might be lowered. If your financial aid office lowers your EFC in response to your financial aid appeal, you may be able to take out additional federal loans or receive additional scholarships.

Financial aid appeal or request is available to qualifying students at all types of institutions offering federal financial aid. Federal law allows your financial aid office to make changes to your financial aid package under certain circumstances. Each school has its own process and requirements.

COVID-19 has impacted our families and communities tremendously. This might be a good time to consider if you qualify to submit a financial aid appeal. There is a free resource that will help you write a financial aid appeal letter – for free.

SwiftStudent is the only FREE, digital resource that provides financial aid appeal letter templates for students. Through SwiftStudent, students can learn about the financial aid appeal process, review eligibility requirements for making an appeal, and customize a financial aid appeal to start the conversation with your college financial aid office.

Get your appeal started today!

Understanding Your Financial Aid Package

Understanding Your Financial Aid Package

A financial aid award letter indicates how much financial support a college/university is able to provide a student for the upcoming year.

After a college/university admits a student, you will receive a financial aid award letter that outlines how much will cost and what kind of financial aid you will receive including school, state, and federal aid. Each year you will receive a financial aid package. Your financial aid package each year may or may not change depending on various circumstances.

Check your mail or your student portal to find your award package. 

1. Find out your EFC and how much grant aid you were awarded

Your package will include information about your:

Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) 

This amount is calculated based on the information submitted on your financial aid application. Your EFC is not an actual that you have to pay but it is an estimate of how much your family should reasonably be able to contribute towards your college expenses. EFC takes into account income, assets, number of people in the household, and number of people attending college for the year.

Grant Aid

Type of aid that does not have to be repaid. Examples include grants and scholarships.

Self Help 

Type of aid that must be repaid or earned through work. Examples include loans and work study.

2. Find out the net price

 

Cost of Attendance: full price colleges/universities list in their brochures and on their websites. To find out your net price, look at the cost of attendance subtract grant aid you were awarded in your aid fin aid package. The net price is the amount you or your family will pay out of pocket. If you or your family cannot cover your net price, you can find employment, additional scholarships or get federal loans to offset the net cost.

3. Focus on your net price

Knowing your net price gives you the best estimate of what you pay for a particular school and makes comparing college easier. In addition, you can use your net price each year to make financial plans for the school year.

Adapted from a training provided by Families In Schools