College Admissions Expert Elizabeth Levine: Terms for Financial Aid


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What are some frequently used terms and their meaning for federal financial aid for college?

Understanding financial aid for college can be complicated but knowing the basic terms and their associated definitions can go a long way in beginning to peel away the onion to this topic. Below are some frequently used terms that I hope will help in your endeavor to being to understand this important piece of the college admissions process.

EFC: Expected Family Contribution. Amount that is calculated through the FAFSA that a family can afford to put towards their child's college costs. This calculation is typically more than you think you can afford and is based on a complex calculation that involves many different facets of the parents and child's financial picture.

COA: Cost of Attendance. This is the cost of one years college expenses for a particular school, which includes tuition and fees, room and board, estimated personal expenses, books and supplies and travel. Need: Difference between the COA and a families EFC.

Award Letter: Letter sent from a college that states what financial aid is being awarded to the student, which includes grants, scholarships and loans. You don't need to accept all forms of aid and it is possible to go back and negotiate with the Financial Aid Officer (FAO) if all of your need is not met. There is no guaranty that they will adjust the award.

Subsidized Student Loan: Federal government is paying the interest while the student is enrolled at least part time. Once the student is out of school for 6 months interest begins to accrue.

Unsubsidized Student Loan: Students/Parents are being charged interest as soon as the loan is disbursed. Payments do not need to be made until after the student is out of school for 6 months.

• Federal (Stafford) Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loan rate is currently 3.86%. Maximum loan amounts are below:

Year Max Loan Max Subsidized 1 $5,500 $3,500 2 $6,500 $4,500 3&4 $7,500 $5,500

PLUS Loan: Federal loan that parents can use to help pay for college with an interest rate of 6.41%. The US Department of Education is the lender and the borrower must not have adverse credit history. Repayment begins as soon as the loan is disbursed. If you have any questions about the college admissions process or the above information please do not hesitate to contact me at info@signaturecollegecounseling.com or by phone, 845.551.6946.

Elizabeth Levine
Signature College Counseling is an Orange County, Hudson Valley based company
that works one on one with students and their families in navigating the admissions process so you attend the college that is right for you.
845.551.6946
Ask The College Admissions Expert a Question
www.signaturecollegecounseling.com

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