15 questions you should ask your financial aid office

I found this article today and I thought it was worth sharing. Although a couple of the questions are geared toward traditional students, the majority apply to those of us who are online students as well. Enjoy!

By either reading the college’s written materials on financial aid or speaking with one of the college’s aid counselors, you should get clear and decisive answers to the following fifteen questions:

  1. Can I get an early estimate of the type and amount of aid I might receive?
  2. Do I have to fill out a school-specific aid application in addition to the FAFSA?
  3. Do you give both need and merit aid or are you a need-only school?
  4. If you give merit aid, what are the eligibility standards for your scholarships?
  5. Will applying for aid affect my chances of being admitted?
  6. Once you calculate my need, typically what percent do you meet?
  7. For your average award, what percent of the total package is scholarship or grant?
  8. If I am assigned a work-study or other campus job, how may hours per week do you expect me to work?
  9. Will you expect me to work in the summer? If so, how much will I have to earn?
  10. When evaluating my parents’ ability to pay, do you include the value of the family home?
  11. If my family has a special circumstance, like providing support to a sick or elderly family member, will you take that into consideration?
  12. When looking at student savings, what percent do you expect to go towards my education?
  13. If my family encounters a financial hardship after I enroll, can you help me? With what type of aid?
  14. How much do you include in the student budget for books and personal expense? Do you include an allowance for travel?
  15. How will you adjust my aid award if I win a scholarship from an external source?

Special thanks to Kyle Kandice for writing this article. Karl Schellscheidt ePrep www.eprep.com copyright 2006 – All Rights Reserved, ePrep, Inc.
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For more information about financial aid, visit my How to apply for financial aid or Understanding the FAFSA posts.

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