A: Dependent students have to report their parents’ income and assets on the FAFSA as well as their own. If you’re considered a dependent student, your parents are expected to contribute toward the cost of your education. Federal student aid programs are based on the concept that a dependent student’s parents have the primary responsibility for paying for your education.
With that in mind, here’s how to determine your dependency status:
For the 2010-11 academic year, you’re an independent student if at least one of the following applies to you:
If none of these criteria apply to you, then you’re a dependent student.
A: Cost of attendance (COA) is the total amount it will cost you to go to school—usually expressed as a yearly figure. However, COA may be figured on a semester bases. COA is detrained using rules established by law. The financial aid director at the school you are attending will provide the cost of attendance.
COA includes tuition and fees; on-campus room and board (or housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and if applicable, dependent care. It also includes miscellaneous and personal expenses, including an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer. Costs related to a disability are also covered. The COA includes reasonable cost for eligible study-abroad programs as well.
For students attending less than half-time, the COA includes only tuition and fees and an allowance for books, supplies, transportation and dependent care expenses. Talk to the financial aid director at the school you’re planning to attend if you have any unusual expenses that might affect your cost of attendance.
A: Because the expected family contribution (EFC) formula must be applied to each family’s financial information, we can’t tell you if you’ll be eligible for federal student aid or estimate how much aid you might receive. You’ll have to apply for financial aid using the FAFSA to find out what you qualify for.
Again, after you get your SAR letter, contact the financial aid office at the school(s) you are considering or the school you’ll be attending for more information on your student aid financial aid eligibility. However, here’s the way it’ll be figured:
A: First, the school receives the loan funds and might require your parent(s) to endorse a disbursement check and send it back to the school. Then your school applies the PLUS Loan funds to tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. After that, if there are any loan funds left over, your parents will receive the monies by check or in cash, unless they authorize the amount to be released to you or put into your school account.
Don’t get ahead of yourself though, because whatever loan funds are left over must be used for education expenses. You’ll be required to keep records of these expenses.
A: Yep, they can cancel a PLUS Loan even after signing the promissory agreement.
A: Generally, your parent(s) must pass a credit check. If they don’t pass, they still might be able to receive a loan if they can demonstrate that extenuating circumstances exist, or if someone they know can pass the credit check and will agree to endorse the loan and promise to repay it if your parent(s) fail to do so.