Page 9 - 2016ACCG
P. 9

FINANCIAL AID                                                                                  General Information

Federal Student Financial Aid

Students and their families sometimes mistakenly think that they won’t qualify for financial aid and prevent themselves
from receiving aid by failing to apply. There are a variety of federal aid programs in which students may qualify. The
first critical step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online
at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Starting with the 2017-2018 FAFSA and beyond, the application will be available October 1st.
It is recommended and in a student’s best interest to complete the FAFSA as early as possible. Early submission
will enable a student to: (1) meet financial aid deadline dates, (2) be notified of any additional required documents
with ample time to respond, (3) have time to review the financial award letter and ask questions before accepting,
and (4) maximize eligibility for limited federal, state, and institutional funds that may be awarded on a first-come, first-
served basis. A new 2017-2018 FAFSA can be submitted through June 30, 2018 and corrections to a FAFSA can be
submitted through September, 2018. In addition, some merit based aid such as scholarships require the FAFSA to
determine eligibility. The FAFSA form is free, so take advantage of the opportunity it may offer you. You risk nothing if
you complete and submit the form, and you may find that you qualify for financial assistance that you never expected.
Additionally, when completing the FAFSA have a list of postsecondary institutions that you have either applied to or
think you will apply to. The FAFSA information is shared with every institution listed and is used to determine what
kind and how much federal aid you may be eligible to receive. You may list up to 10 schools at a time.

Financial aid is money to help pay for your postsecondary education. Such aid can come from a variety of sources
like the state where you live, the U.S. federal government, the postsecondary institution you attend, or nonprofit or
private organizations. Additionally you should think about what you can do to lower your costs when you go to college.
Institution cost is an important factor because the cost can vary significantly from institution to institution. Make sure
the cost of your institution is reasonable compared to your potential career earnings after you graduate. Remember
any institution that participates in federal student aid programs is required to provide its Cost of Attendance and to offer
a net price calculator which will give you an idea of how much the program will cost after subtracting any financial aid.

Furthermore, most students receive some kind of financial aid and there are many sources of financial aid that will help
cover your costs like grants, scholarships, work-study, loans, and tax benefits.

• Grants and Scholarship:  Free money which usually does not have to be repaid.  Occasionally some grants may have
to be paid back, for example, if you withdraw and have not completed the enrollment period. Scholarship searches
like CareerOneStop (www.careeronestop.org/scholarshipsearch) and FastWeb (www.fastweb.com) may be helpful.      

   • Work-Study: Provides part-time work while enrolled which helps pay your expenses.  Work-study programs are
administered through each institution so check with your financial aid department to see if the institution participates
in the program.

   • Loans: Money you borrow and must pay back, some loans include interest or may have loan forgiveness options
which require certain criteria to be met before the loan can be forgiven. Make sure when taking out any loan that you
fully understand who the lender is and the terms and conditions of the loan. Loans can come from state, federal, or
private sources. The federal programs consist of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program and the Federal
Perkins Loan Program. It is important to understand a loan is a legal obligation and it is your responsibility to be a
responsible borrower.

   • Tax Benefits: The IRS provides tax benefits like the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.
For further information read the IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

For further information regarding federal financial aid programs visit www.studentaid.ed.gov and click on the “Types
of Aid” or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center: 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Additional resources
like the FAFSA4Caster (https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/f4cForm?execution=e1s1), College Scorecard (https://colleg-
escorecard.ed.gov), and CollegeNavigator (https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator) may be helpful in your research for
financial aid.

Arizona State Financial Aid

The following financial aid programs are administered by the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education:

ARIZONA LEVERAGING EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PARTNERSHIP (AZLEAP)

The Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (AZLEAP) Grant is a program that establishes a state and
institutional partnership to provide student financial assistance in the form of need-based grants to low-income stu-
dents who have demonstrated substantial financial need, enabling students to attend postsecondary institutions in the
State of Arizona. The AZLEAP Grant is awarded by each participating institution to undergraduate Arizona residents
who are attending a participating eligible Arizona postsecondary education institution. Students who are interested
may inquire about the AZLEAP grant at their institution’s financial assistance office.

                                                                                      5
   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14