Guidance

2608 California Road
Elkhart, IN 46514
(574) 262-5600
Mr. Mark Tobolski - Principal

July 9, 2011

 

Financial Aid

Financial Aid programs help pay the cost of education after high school. If you want to continue your education, but think you can’t afford it, you should apply for financial aid.

 •      Visit the financial aid office of each college to which you apply. Learn the college’s due dates for aid, and ask if the college has its own financial aid form.
Attend financial aid sessions at Elkhart Memorial High School in February.
•        You and your parent should apply for a Personal Identification Number Pin # at www.pin.ed.gov.

If you filed the FAFSA, prior to March 1, you will:
•    Receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) in six to eight weeks. (Correct and return, if necessary.)
•    Receive a financial aid package from the college of your choice around May 1
 
Financial Aid FAQs
Commonly Asked Questions About Financial Aid
•     File parent and student federal income tax forms as soon as possible (preferably in January) so there is accurate data to use for financial aid forms.
•     Attend College Goal Sunday on February 20,2011 at EMHS if you need assistance filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 
•     Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) anytime after January 1 but no later than March 1. The application is available at www.fafsa.ed.gov
•     Read all financial aid notification and bursar notification letters carefully. Respond to any requests for additional information quickly, completely, and accurately. 
•     Check sources for scholarships for which you are eligible:
 
1. Each college/post-secondary institution
2. Those announced & posted in the Elkhart Memorial High School Guidance Office
3. Corporations where parents are employed
4. Military - ROTC, MROTC
5. Churches
6. Professional Associations
 
Ask your high school counselor for assistance if you have general questions. Specific questions should be directed to the college financial aid offices.
 
What is the FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is the form used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid including grants, loans, and work-study.
When can I apply?
If you are a senior in high school, you can begin filling out your FAFSA after January 1st. Priority is given to early filers and some forms of financial aid are on a first come, first serve basis.
Where do I find the FAFSA?

You can locate and complete your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov . Doing your application online minimizes errors and automatically skips questions that are not relevant to you. You don't have to be intimidated by all of the information that is requested. The FAFSA is easy to fill out and, in most cases, takes very little time. For assistance filling out the FAFSA, click the "Before Beginning the FAFSA" link on the FAFSA website or see you guidance counselor.
How do I apply for financial aid?
There is a standard procedure your family must follow to apply for financial aid. Notice that this process starts in early January and continues until late August. This process is separate from applying for admission to a college. It may seem complex, but if you take one step at a time, it will be easy.
Where can I go for help?

The financial aid office at the college that interests you or your guidance counselor can help you. They can tell you what forms to fill out and the steps to follow to get all the financial aid available to you. Follow their instructions carefully. Filling out a form wrong or turning it in late could cause you to lose money.

  The Forms:
To apply for financial aid you will need to complete:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
You must file this form to be eligible for federal and state aid.
You send the FAFSA to the Federal Student Aid Processing Center.
Institutional aid forms:
Some colleges require their own forms. After completing these forms, you return them to your college’s financial aid office. Be sure to check with each college you are applying to about financial aid forms and application deadlines.
Supplemental application forms:
One common type of supplemental application is the CSS Profile. This form is required by a small number of Indiana colleges.
When do I file the FAFSA?

The Priority Deadline date for the FAFSA is March 1st.
Be sure to apply as soon as possible after January 1 of your senior year (or the year when you plan to enroll in a college, university, or other school). You can apply for financial aid after March 1, but you will not be considered for State of Indiana financial aid programs.

We don’t have our tax forms completed yet; should we wait to file the FAFSA until we do?

Completed 1040's make completing the FAFSA easier, but it is not essential that your 1040 be completed. You are allowed to use estimated information on the FAFSA. If you use estimated information, you will be asked to verify that information later. To ensure you meet the March 1 filing deadline for Indiana, use either estimated or completed 1040 tax information.
Who completes the FAFSA?
The student applicant and the parent(s) with whom the student lives fill out the FAFSA. 
What if my parents are divorced, separated, or have remarried? If your parents are divorced or separated, you and the parent you live with fill out the FAFSA. If you also live with a stepparent, his or her information must be included on the FAFSA.
What should I do after completing my forms?
Make photocopies to keep for your files. Then get a certificate of mailing from the post office when you mail your financial aid application form. This certificate verifies the mailing date and destination of your form.
 
Types of Financial Aid
There are basically three kinds of financial aid awards. Eligibility for most of this aid is determined by filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Grants & Scholarships
These awards do not need to be paid back and are often called "gift aid."
Grants & Scholarships may be based on financial need or on a student’s merit or special talents.
Student Employment This is money that students work for as part of their financial aid. College Work-Study is an example of this.
Loans
Loans are money that you borrow for your education and are considered a type of financial aid. You will pay back your loan with interest.