Q:            Am I eligible for financial aid?

A:            You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, such as a Resident Alien, with a valid Social Security Number, be enrolled or admitted to degree or certificate program, have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent, such as a GED, be registered with Selective Service, if required, be making Satisfactory Academic Progress if previously enrolled, and not be in default on prior student loans to qualify for federal student aid.

Q:            How do I apply for financial aid?

A:            You only have to complete the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid at Moore College of Art & Design.  Some colleges require a supplemental application. Additional forms are needed if you want to borrow loans, participate in the Federal Work Study program, or have been selected for verification.  The college sends instructions for completing these forms.

Q:            What does FAFSA stand for?

A:            FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  It is the form colleges and universities use to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and, in some cases, institutional aid.

Q:            Where can I get a copy of the FAFSA?

A:            You are encouraged to apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  The online application is faster and more accurate.  Additionally, you may be able to transfer tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA online using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  If you are unable to apply online, you should call the Federal Aid Processor at 1-800-433-3243 to request a paper copy.

Q:            When should I apply for financial aid?

A:            You should apply as early as possible after January 1st for the upcoming school year.  Moore’s deadline is March 1st.

Q:            Can I apply if I’ve already missed the March 1st deadline?

A:            Yes, the March 1st deadline is used to determine eligibility for some types of institutional and federal aid, such as Federal Work Study.  If you want to receive any financial aid, you should file the FAFSA as soon as possible, even if you have missed the March 1st deadline.  For Pennsylvania residents, PHEAA has a May 1st deadline for determining state grant eligibility.

Q:            Do I have to be admitted before I can apply for financial aid?

A:            No, if you are applying for admission to Moore, you should submit their FAFSA by March 1st to be considered for the maximum amount of aid even if you have not yet been admitted.  You will receive a financial aid award letter after you have been admitted.

Q:            Can I apply if I haven’t filed my taxes yet?

A:            Yes, you should use your best estimates to complete the FAFSA by the deadline even if you haven’t yet filed your taxes.  Once your taxes are filed, you can log into the FAFSA to update any data that has changed.  If you file taxes electronically, you are able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your tax information about three weeks after completing your taxes.  If you file taxes by mail, you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool about eight weeks after filing your taxes.

Q:            Should I apply if I think my family makes too much money?

A:            Yes, there are sources of aid such as Unsubsidized Direct Loans and PLUS Loans that are available regardless of need.  Additionally, if your family experiences a change in circumstances (such as the loss of job or other income, divorce, separation, or death of a parent), the Financial Aid staff can re-evaluate your need; however, a FAFSA is required.  The FAFSA is free, and you are not obligated to take any aid you don’t want.  However, a school cannot determine your eligibility or process federal aid unless you have completed the FAFSA.

Q:            Do I have to re-apply every year?

A:            Yes, because circumstances can change, you must complete the FAFSA by March 1st each year you wish to receive financial aid.  If you complete the FAFSA online, then much of the information will be pre-populated in subsequent years.  You will only need to update household, income, and asset information as well as any information that has changes from the prior year.

Q:            Whose information is needed for the FAFSA?

A:            Information about you and, if married, your spouse is required.  If you are a dependent student, you also must provide parental data.

Q:            My parents are divorced- do I have to provide information about both parents?

A:            You should provide information about the parent with whom you lived with most during the twelve month period prior to completing the FAFSA.  If you did not live with one parent more than the other, then you should provide information about the parent who provided the most financial support during the twelve month period prior to completing the FAFSA. 

Q:            Does my step-parent have to provide information on the FAFSA?

A:            If your parent whose information is reported on the FAFSA has re-married as of the date you file the FAFSA, then yes, your step-parent’s income and asset information must be included on the FAFSA.

Q:            How do I know if I am dependent or independent?

A:            The FAFSA contains a series of yes or no questions that determine if you are dependent or independent for financial aid purposes.  If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, then you are considered independent, and if you answer “no” to all of the questions, then you are considered dependent for financial aid.

Q:            What is PHEAA?

A:            PHEAA, which stands for Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, is the agency that administers the state grant program for Pennsylvania residents.  To be considered for a PHEAA State Grant, you should file your FAFSA by May 1st.

Q:            What different types of aid are there?

A:            Scholarships are a form of aid based on academic, artistic, or other merit.  Grants are a form of aid based on financial need.  Scholarships and grants are gift aid, which means they do not have to be paid back; they are free money!  Loans and work study are forms of self-help aid.  Loans have to be repaid, generally after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.  Work study is aid you earn by working on campus.  There are also some off-campus community service-type work opportunities available.

Q:            When I submitted my FAFSA, it said my Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is zero.  Does that mean I won’t have to pay for college?

A:            No, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an index that college financial aid offices use to determine the types and amounts of aid you are eligible for.  You may have to pay more than your EFC, or you may pay less.  Rarely would you pay exactly the EFC indicated on your FAFSA.

Q:            I got a scholarship from my high school or some other outside organization- should I tell the Financial Aid Office at my college?

A:            Yes, there is a limit to the total amount of aid you can receive, including outside scholarships.  Sometimes, outside scholarships reduce the amount you have to pay out of pocket or through loans.  Often, outside scholarships have no impact on the aid awarded by the Financial Aid Office.  Occasionally, outside scholarships impact grant or scholarship aid awarded by the college.  The Financial Aid Office will inform you if your aid changes upon notification of an outside scholarship.

Q:            What’s the most important thing I should know about the financial aid process?

A:            Complete all forms as early and as accurately as possible.  Never pay to apply for financial aid or a scholarship.  If you have questions, ask the Financial Aid staff.  Be sure to enter your name and Social Security Number exactly as they appear on your Social Security Card.