What's the first step I need to take in order to get the Financial Aid process started?
Complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can do this online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Once this is complete it will come to the Financial Aid Office in 3-5 days and they will contact you regarding the next steps that need to be taken.
What is "verification" and what does it require of me?
One out of every three students who complete a FAFSA are chosen by the government to be verified. This simply means that the government is doing a random check to make sure you've reported the correct tax information on your FAFSA. If you are chosen, the Financial Aid Office will notify you by asking you for copies of your tax forms, W-2s and any applicable itemization worksheets. You will also be asked to complete a Verification Worksheet.
How will I know what I'm eligible for in Federal grants and loans?
Once the FAFSA process is complete through the Financial Aid Office, they will send you an Award Letter. This will show you how the government calculates your financial need, and then how much you are eligible for in a Pell Grant and in Stafford Loans.
Are there any other Federal grants available through Emmaus besides the Pell Grant?
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant each year goes to the neediest students at Emmaus, as decided by the FAFSA.This is given each semester and ranges anywhere from $200 - $600 per student.
What's the best way to get my hands on other scholarships outside of Emmaus?
The simplest and most effective method is through a company called FastWeb, at www.fastweb.com. This is a customized scholarship search that sends you automatic email updates about scholarships available to every student in the US. Sign up for a free account and you'll see updates almost immediately.
What's the difference between a Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan and a Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?
The Subsidized Stafford Loan is interest-free until 6 months after the student is no longer enrolled in at least 6 credits during a semester. The Government pays the interest during this time, and the loan can be deferred as long as the student is enrolled.
I've taken my maximum amount of Stafford Loan available, but I'd still like to cover my remaining balance with a Student Loan. Are there any options for me to do this through Emmaus, or do I need to go to a bank?
The Federal Plus Loan is another Government loan that a parent can take out for the student. The interest rates on Plus Loans are excellent, second only to the Stafford Loan. Emmaus also offers 4-5 different kinds of Alternative Loans. These loans are through private lenders, most requiring a co-signer.