CSSProfile

Gaining the Best Financial Aid Packages

 

  • Don’t Get Intimidated by the Process
  • File FAFSA right after January 1st
  • CSS Profile Requirements
  • Strategies to Lower EFC
  • Useful websites to lower EFC

Financial aid is confusing. It’s even worse than income taxes. According to the American Council on Education, in 2006, 1.8 million students who would have qualified for federal and financial aid failed to apply. There is no reason to be among that number.

The fundamental precept of financial aid is filing the FAFSA as soon after January 1st of senior year as possible. The whole idea is to be at the front of the line when scholarships and grants are being allocated. At most of the public schools, including the University of California system, only filing the FAFSA is required. This vastly simplifies the process. Filing solely by the federal method (FM) makes applying to state schools almost a pleasure.

For private schools the process is often trickier. Many use, along with FAFSA, the CollegeBoard’s CSS Profile. Certain private schools even include their own financial aid form. This means some private schools require three financial aid forms; worse, all might be cross referenced to ensure responses jive. Inaccurate submissions might be rejected, and, as a consequence, though financial aid forms were initially filed prior to deadlines, the application might be shot to the back of the line.     

Northwestern’s undergraduate financial aid website, www.ug-finaid.northwestern.edu, contains a financial aid calculator to estimate financial aid packages, and links to the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and Northwestern’s University Aid Application. There are also over a dozen other forms including, if things didn’t work out, the financial aid appeal application. It’s a world onto itself with deadlines, glossaries, and forms that would almost make the IRS proud.

Don’t however be distracted by the forms, the deadlines, and the calculator. The central purposes of the financial aid exercises are to attain as low an EFC (effective family contribution) number as possible, and to fill the gap between what you can afford to pay and your EFC with generous scholarships and grants. Anything else is noise.  

The CSS PROFILE (also called the institutional method—IM) includes in its calculations the applicant’s home equity, non-custodial parent’s income and resources, outside scholarships, money held by other siblings, the applicant’s potential summer earnings, even whether a rich relative might be willing to throw bags of gold at the entire admissions process (if an applicant is willing to volunteer such information). The PROFILE wants to know everything about the past, present, and future of an applicant’s resources. However, it’s not completely cold blooded; if another sibling is paying private school tuition, or the family had excessive medical expenses not covered by insurance, these might be deductible.

Whether you’re applying to a school that is using CSS Profile (IM), or the FAFSA (FM), you might try the following strategies. Each is labeled by whether the strategy is appropriate for the FM or IM:

  1. Use assets to pay off debt: having debt does not help you qualify for aid, so pay it off (IM) or (FM)
  2. Move assets from student to parent account: Parents are expected to pay 5.6% of assets while students 20% (FM)
  3. Make necessary large purchases before base year (the base year is a student’s junior year beginning in January) (FM) or (IM)
  4. Reduce Base Pay in your job or delay any commissions during the base year (FM) or (IM)
  5. Avoid capital gains: selling major stock holdings during the base year will increase your revenues—something you want to avoid  (FM) or (IM)
  6. Start a Home business: you can cut your current pay and reduce personal assets by investing in a home business  (FM) or (IM)
  7. Pay off your mortgage: if the school uses FM you will qualify for more aid should you pay down your mortgage. (FM)

Websites that might be useful in helping to qualify for the greatest amount of aid include TuitionCoach and FinAid.org. What really matters in the process is staying focused on getting the lowest EFC and the most scholarship and grant monies available. A good reference for estimating what the school has paid in the past can be found at College Navigator. Future tuition bills, though, can very much be affected by your actions now.

재정보조 포장하기

  • 절차에 눌리지 말자
  • FAFSA 파일은 1월 1일 이후 바로 하자
  • CSS 프로파일 요건
  • EFC 최저 전략짜기
  • EFC를 낮추기 위한 유용한 웹싸이트

재정보조는 복잡하다.  세금보고보다도 힘들다.  2006년 교육부의 보고에 따르면, 1.8 million의 학생들이 연방정부 장학금을 받을 수 있는데도 신청하지 않았다.  이 숫자에 낄 필요는 없다.

재정보조를 시작하는 시기는 12학년 1월1일부터 시작되는 FAFSA를 작성하는 것이다.  일찍 할수록, 장학금과 그랜트 보조에 있어서 우선권이 주어진다.  University of California를 비롯한 대부분의 공립대학은 FAFSA만 요구한다.  이런 경우에는 아주 단순하다.  주정부용 FA (federal method)만 하기 때문에 너무 쉽다.

사립대학은 약간 복잡하다.  많은 대학들이 FAFSA와 College Board의 CSS 프로파일을 원한다.  어떤 대학은 자체 원서도 있다.  이럴 경우 세가지 양식이 되며, 또한 이 세 가지에서 내용이 일치해야 한다.  서로 맞지 않을 경우, 거부될 수도 있으며, 다시 원서를 준비하다 보면, 마감일을 넘기거나 서류가 맨 뒤로 밀려나게 된다.

Northwestern의 재정에 관한 웹싸이트 (ug-finaid.northwestern.edu)에는 FAFSA, CSS Profile, Northwestern University Aid 원서양식과 함께 재정 계산페이지가 있다.  또한 재정보조가 충분치 않을 경우에 탄원을 신청하는 양식도 있다.  마감일, 용어해설, 양식들 모두가 들어 있다.

그러나 이런 모든 서류와 계산 양식, 마감일에 눌리기 말길 바란다.  주 목적은 EFC(가족 공헌)를 낮게 잘 계산하는 것으로 전체 들어갈 비용에서 최저의 EFC를 계산하고 가능한 많은 장학금/그랜트를 받는 것이다.  기타 사항은 무시해도 된다.

CSS Profile (교육기관의 방법: IM)은 응시자의 집의 가치, 부모의 수입과 재산, 외부 장학금, 형제에게 들어갈 돈, 응시자가 벌 수 있는 금액 (응시자가 알리기 원한다면), 혹은 부자 친척이 기부할 수 있는 지 등을 알고자 한다.  이 프로파일은 응시자의 과거, 현재, 미래까지 재정에 대해 알고자 한다.  그렇다고 인정없이 계산하는 것은 아니다.  형제가 사립학교에 재학한다든가, 가족 중 환자가 있어서 치료비용이 많이 지출된다든지 하는 것은 제외된다.

여러분이 CSS Profile (IM)이나, FAFSA (FM)을 사용할 때, 다음의 전략을 따르길 바란다.  각 사항이 IM 혹은 FM 양식 작성시 유용하다.

  1. 자산은 빚을 갚는데 쓴다: 빚이 있을 때는 다시 재정 보조를 받기 어렵다 (IM or FM)
  2. 학생이 자산이 있다면, 부모에게 옮긴다: 부모는 자산의 5.6%를 내야 하지만, 학생은 23%를 내야한다 (FM).
  3. 기본이 되는 해에 큰 지출을 미리하라: 기본이 되는 해는 학생의 고교 3학년 때이다 (FM or IM).
  4. 직장의 기본 월급이나 커미션을 기본이 되는 해에는 될수록 미루어라 (FM or IM).
  5. 큰 수입을 미루어라: 기본이 되는 해에는 주식을 팔아서 수입을 늘릴 필요가 없다 (FM or IM).
  6. 홈 비즈니스를 시작하라: 홈 비즈니스에 투자를 하므로 수입과 자산을 줄일 수 있다(FM or IM).
  7. 집 저당금을 갚아라: FM에서는 이 금액으로 인해 더 많은 보조를 받을 수 있다 (FM).

유용한 웹싸이트로 TuitionCoach and FinAid.org가 있다.  이 과정에서 중요한 것은 EFC를 낮게 계산하는 것과 많은 장학금, 그랜트를 받는 것이다.  CollegeNavigator에서 어떤 학교들이 많이 보조해 주었는지를 알아볼 수 있다.  그러므로 곧 내야 할 등록금의 돈의 액수가 여러분이 지금 얼마나 열심히 노력하느냐에 따라 적어질 수 있다

Financial Aid for the International Student

 

  • 6 Elite Schools have need-blind financial aid
  • Limited Financial Aid Available
  • History of funding at www.internationalstudent.com
  • Know the website of schools well
  • File CSS Profile or ISFAA
  • Submit Certification of Finances

Six schools, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Amherst, and MIT are all ‘need blind’ and ‘full need’ regardless of a student’s country of origin. This means that if accepted, international students will obtain the necessary financial aid to attend. Be aware, however, that though these schools advertise themselves as being “need-blind,” which technically means that financial circumstances are not considered in the admissions process, how this might actually translate into the reality of admissions warrants consideration. Specifically, in the state of Connecticut, Yale has 478 international students, of whom, 77 (about 16%) were awarded an average aid package of $31,000; compare this with Connecticut College (56 of 209, (or 27%) of its international students, were awarded an average aid packages of $38,000); and Wesleyan (49 of 143 (34%) awarded an average package of $41,751), and it becomes difficult to discern which institutions are actually ‘need blind’ and ‘full need’ and which are practicing.   

Obviously, gaining admittance to a school with a large endowment, and, for the most part the most selective schools in the country are well endowed, improves the chances for an international student’s gaining financial aid. For example, Stanford, with an endowment of $16.5 billion, and with 885 international undergraduate students, awarded 203, on average, $29,000 in financial aid last year. What’s difficult about figuring out the international financial aid puzzle is each college sets its own policies. As you’d expect, there are not a lot (almost no) government funds available for international students. Be almost assured that, if you gain acceptance into University of California at Berkeley, for example, it will be charging you full tuition, room and board; that’s the reason Berkeley has allocated an ever larger portion of its admits to ‘out-of-state’ (including international students); it wants to garner full tuition revenues to offset dwindling state funding. Discovering the best opportunities for aid are a function of investigation, application, and luck.

To get a sense of what financial aid might be available to international students, go to www.internationalstudent.com  and click on “Schools Awarding Financial Aid.” You’ll encounter some very interesting information. I viewed the international financial aid awards in Massachusetts. Obviously, Amherst and Harvard, with their need-blind programs, award a lion’s share of the aid, but, not far behind them, in Massachusetts, are Williams, awarding 89 of 140 international students average packages of $37,000; Wellesley with 68 of 184, $37,000; Clark, 103 of 166, $21,000; and Smith College, 120 of 200, $30,000. These schools might be very good places to apply for international students needing financial aid. One surprise was Tufts, which has pretensions of being ‘almost ivy.’ Of its 384 international students, 10 received financial aid, which amounted to slightly less than $20,000 each.

What is crucial is that international students gain an understanding of all the financial aid requirements at each campus of interest. That requires reviewing thoroughly each school’s website to discover financial aid eligibility and deadlines. Keep in mind, even with financial aid awards, all international students will need to submit a Certification of Finances, proof that you have the financial resources to pay should you gain admittance. Additionally, all the private schools to which you’re applying, will require either a CSS Profile, or the ISFAA (International Student Financial Aid Application) to determine your effective family contribution (EFC). The earlier you submit all of these materials to the admissions or financial aid offices, the better.

There are a lot of colleges within the borders of the United States. Most applicants clump their applications among a select 80-120 (the ones that accept fewer than 50% of the applicants who apply). If you peer beyond the well-worn paths you’re liable to find some interesting matches that might be well worth the search and effort. Financial Aid does exist at many schools for international students; you just need to supply the effort and tenacity to find it. Do so. And as Winston Churchill said: “Never, never, never quit.”

 

외국인 학생을 위한 재정보조

  • 여섯 명문대의 무조건적 재정보조
  • 대부분 제한적인 재정보조
  • 자료찾기: www.internationalstudent.com
  • 지원대학의 웹싸이트이용
  • CSS Profile, ISFAA, Certification of Finances 필요한 서류 제출할

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Amherst, MIT-이 여섯 대학들은 학생의 나라 출신과 상관없이 필요에 따른 재정 보조를 준다.  즉, 일단 합격이 되면, 외국인 학생도 필요한 재정보조를 받을 수 있다.  한편, 이 대학들이 광고하는 “need-blind”란 재정 상황을 입학심사에서 고려하지 않는다는 뜻이지만, 실제 입학심사에서의 영향은 알 수 없다.  특히, 커네티컷에 있는 예일대는 478명의 외국인 학생이 있는데, 그 중 77명(16%)은 평균 $31,000을 받았다; Connecticut College에서는 209명 중 56명(27%); Wesleyan은 (143명 중 49명, 34%) 평균 $41,751을 받았다.  그래서 어떤 대학이 실제로 ‘need blind,’ ‘full need’를 실천하는지 구별이 어렵다.

분명, 많은 기부금이 있는 대학, 명문대학이 재정이 풍부하며, 외국인 학생이 제정보조를 받을 기회가 높다.  예를 들면, Stanford는 기부금이 $16.5 billion인데, 885명의 학부생 중 203명이 평균 $29,000을 작년에 받았다.  외국인 학생에 대한 재정 보조는 각 대학의 정책에 따라 달라서 퍼즐처럼 한마디로 말하기가 어렵다.  한편, University of California at Berkeley에 외국인이 들어간다면, 등록금, 기숙사비 모두를 내야 한다; Berkeley는 ‘out-of-state’ (주민외, 외국인 포함)학생을 많이 뽑으려 한다.  그래서 주정부의 줄어드는 펀드를 매꾸려 하고 있다.  그러므로 재정보조의 기회를 잡는 것은 조사, 응시, 그리고 행운이다.

외국인 학생에게 가능한 재정보조를 찾으려면,www.internationalstudent.com        에 가서 “Schools Awarding financial Aid”를 클릭하면 된다.  아마 흥미있는 자료를 만날 것이다.  필자는 Massachusetts를 찾아 보았다.  Amherst, Harvard는 ‘need-blind’ 프로그램이므로 거대한 몫이 주어지며, 또한 Williams는 140명의 외국인 학생 중 89명에게 평균 $37,000을 수여하였고, Wellesley는 184명 중 68명에게 $37,000; Clark는 166명중 103명에게 $21,000; Smith College는 200명 중 120명에게 $30,000을 수여하였다.  이 대학들은 외국인 학생들이 응시하여 많은 장학금을 받을 수 있는 곳이다.  또한 놀라운 것은 Tufts인데, 거의 아이비 수준이지만, 384명의 외국인 학생 중 10명만이 겨우 평균 $20,000을 받았다.

중요한 것은 캠퍼스마다 다르다는 것이다.  그래서 대학 웹싸이트에서 정보를 찾아 재정보조의 자격과 마감일을 잘 챙겨야 한다.  또한 기억할 것은 모든 외국인 학생들은 입학 후 재정을 보조할 수 있다는 Certification of Finances를 작성해야 한다.  또한 사립대학을 지원한다면, CSS Profile이나 ISFAA (International Student Financial Aid Application)을 작성하고 EFC (가족 부담금)을 결정해야 한다.  재정상담실에 서류를 일찍 제출할수록 유리하다.

많은 대학들이 미국내 있다.  그러나, 대부분의 원서들은 우수 80-120 순위 대학들(대부분 응시자의 50%이하를 수락한다)에 쌓인다.  여러분이 쉽게 갈 수 있는 길이 아닌 대학을 찾고자 한다면, 서치와 노력을 해야 한다.  많은 대학들의 재정보조가 외국인에게 열려있는 것은 아니다; 그렇지만 노력을 들이고 찾으려고 애를 써야 한다.  반드시 해라.  윈스톤 처칠은 “절대로, 절대로 절대 포기하지 말라”라고 하지 않았던가!

"Need Blind Admissions" and the Financial Aid Process

"Need Blind Admissions" and the Financial Aid Process

One part of the admissions process that confuses many students and their families is dealing with financial aid. Some students are concerned that their application will be penalized if it appears that they are seeking financial aid. If this is a worry, they should review whether their target schools practice 'need blind' admissions in one form or another. In addition, there are other students who are challenged by the affordability of college and who actually want financial aid. Both sets of students will find this article useful.

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