Financing your college education: Financial Aid & Scholarships
Financing your education may seem intimidating, don’t let it be. The financial aid process and filing your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a lot easier than you may think. Financial aid can come from a variety of sources such as federal and state governments, higher education institutions, civic organizations, employers, businesses, and other sources. If you do not think you qualify for financial aid, file anyway. Most people are eligible for some form of financial aid.
Financial aid is any money you receive to assist you and your family with financing your college education. There are three basic types of aid:
1) Loans which must be repaid with interest.
2) Grants and Scholarships which do not require repayment.
3) Employment which allows a student to work part-time, usually on campus, to earn money to
help with expenses.
92% of Bellin College students receive financial assistance through federal, state, and institutional grants, scholarships, loans and employment programs.
Applying for financial aid is not as difficult
as you might think and it’s FREE. To apply, simply complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. You, and at least one parent if you are a dependent, will need a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) and password. You may apply for a FSA ID via this link: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm; you will only need to apply once—you will use the same FSA ID throughout your college career (so make sure your ID and password will be easy for you to remember). The FAFSA will ask you and your family questions about your income, household size, net worth, demographic data, and other pertinent information.
FAFSA Filing Tips:
- The website is fafsa.gov – Do NOT use the fafsa.com website; this is a commercial site which charges between $80 and $300 to file your FAFSA for you; you can file for free at www.fafsa.gov.
- Not sure you will get aid? File anyway. Most people are eligible for some form of financial aid.
- Be sure to fill out the form completely.
- File only one FAFSA each academic year.
- Make sure the student’s Social Security Number (SSN) is reported correctly on the FAFSA
- The student and at least one parent, if a dependent, will need to sign the FAFSA; sign with a an FSA ID and Password.
- Answer all High School questions.
- When possible, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer actual income tax data into the FAFSA.
- List up to 10 colleges on the FAFSA to receive results.
- File the FAFSA early.
- Find out the college’s priority filing date and/or filing deadline — March 1.
- Double-check everything to make sure you do not have any errors especially with your personal information.
There are many online help features available and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool makes completing the income section a breeze—nearly every field is filled in automatically using actual income tax data from the IRS. This not only saves time, it also ensures accuracy of the data which may prevent the need for time-consuming corrections later.
Once the FAFSA is filed, sit back and wait to hear from the school. For early FAFSA filers, this wait can seem like an eternity; keep in mind that if the school needs something, they will contact you. Most schools don’t begin sending out aid awards until mid-to-late spring, depending on each school’s processing calendar. There will most likely be additional steps to complete depending on the type of aid to be received. For example, federal student loans require online entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note to be completed—instructions on how to do these will accompany the award notification from the school. If you take the process one step at a time and follow directions given by the school, you will see that it is not as intimidating as you once thought—it is actually pretty easy to apply for aid. If you do run into a stumbling block, contact the financial aid office for help.
In the meantime, keep an eye open for private scholarship opportunities and complete any outstanding admissions requirements.
Bellin College also offers a variety of scholarship opportunities to current and incoming students.
NEW! Admissions Scholarships available for the 2016-17 academic year. All undergraduate students admitted to Bellin College for 2016 are automatically reviewed to determine eligibility for an Admissions Scholarship worth $8,000 – $12,000.
Merit Scholarships are offered to undergraduate students with high academic credentials at the time of admission to a program of study. Merit scholarships are based solely on academic performance and are to be used to pay for educational costs incurred while enrolled at Bellin College. Awards will be distributed over a student’s entire enrollment at Bellin College.
Presidential Scholarships are annual awards for students currently enrolled at Bellin College or who will be enrolled in the upcoming fall semester in either nursing or radiological sciences. Scholarship award amounts are based on candidate’s ability to meet the eligibility requirements.
Find out more information and links related to financial aid and scholarships.
The Bellin College financial aid office is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Director of Financial Aid