Here are some frequently asked college questions that we receive with answers from one of our college and financial aid experts…
1) How do we know how much financial aid my son qualified for?
Your son should make sure that his FAFSA is sent to the schools that he is considering. For example, your son filled out the FAFSA in Fall 2017 and he sent it to Weber State University and Utah State University. Once he has applied for admission and has been accepted, the school will prepare what is called a financial aid award letter. This letter will outline all the federal, state, and institutional aid that he is eligible for. When he filed the FAFSA, your son should have received a Student Aid Report that would indicate some of the federal aid that he would be eligible for. He can also review this at fafsa.gov by logging in using his FSA ID (the username and password he created to file the FAFSA).
2) Is the amount my son qualified for paid yearly or per semester to the school?
The amount that your son may qualify for will be outlined in the financial aid award letter. On a federal level, this is usually distributed between the two semesters (fall and spring) and is applied directly to his tuition bill from the college or university. Remember to file the FAFSA each year that your son is planning to attend school because the FAFSA is the only way to access federal, state, and (in some cases) institutional aid in the forms of grants, work-study, and federal student loans. If you have questions about his financial aid package, contact the financial aid office at the college or university he is planning to attend.
3) If we haven’t applied to the college we are going to, how do we get that settled?
Many of our USHE institutions (such as SLCC, WSU, and UVU) still accept applications for the fall of 2018, but I would strongly consider applying ASAP. If your son is considering another option, such as our Utah Technical Colleges, they may have differing deadlines. If he did not list one of these schools on his FAFSA, he can go to FAFSA.gov and make a correction to have this information sent to the school so that they can prepare his financial aid award letter. Don’t delay, though! The earlier he gets the information to the school, the better.
4) is that paid to my son directly or to the school?
The funds will be paid directly to the school. If your son is offered federal student loans, remember that he doesn’t need to take the full amount. We recommend students exhaust scholarships, grants, and work-study funds before borrowing. If he needs to borrow, he should borrow only what he needs because he will need to repay it, often with interest! Any remaining balance after tuition or fees will be issued to him as a refund check. We recommend that students use any remaining funds for books or supplies related to their education.
Please let me know what other questions you have! We are always here to help.
Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA)
60 South 400 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101