Show Me the Money

You’ve been asked to interpret a meeting with Ketsi and Jonie in the Financial Aid department.  The counselor that they will be meeting with is Sharon.  Before you start, be sure to meet Sharon.  You also might want to spend some time checking out these websites that provide some information about Financial Aid for colleges in general and for UMD in particular.

Do Some Research

Meet the Financial Aid Counselor

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Interpret the Scenario

The length of this text is 16:08.

Written Summary

The following summary is intended as a tool for preparation and as a guide for analysis.  It is not a formal transcription.

Sharon:Invites them to have a seat.Jonie:Introduces herself and

Ketsi.Sharon:  Says Hi.  Introduces herself.  Asks if Ketsi is an entering freshman or still in high school?

Ketsi:Currently in high school, will be a freshman.

Sharon:Asks if thinking about attending UMD?


Sharon:Asks what questions they have about financial aid.

Jonie:Asks about accessing money, and what kind of support UMD provides.

Sharon:  First, need to complete FAFSA.  Will give one to them.  Other questions answered in student guide book.  Before FAFSA completed, need taxes and W-2 forms and parents’ taxes.Describes government’s definition of dependent child, which is not what some students expect.

Jonie:So throughout college, she’ll be considered a dependent?

Sharon:Right, if doesn’t fall into categories previously described……Reference to scholarships, UMD’s financial aid website has a place to click for scholarships.  Admissions office also has information on this for incoming freshmen.  Normally, scholarships are for top 5, 10 or 25 % of class based on merit.  Other scholarships are Sep/SALT. ..

Jonie: Asks about if it matters that standards might be different from Ketsi’s school and others.That the top GPA at the Deaf School might be 3.7 compared to a 4.0 at another school.

Sharon:Directs Jonie to Admissions office for that answer.  More knowledgeable with financial aid. Another thing:  to receive financial aid, need to be admitted to university in eligible program, meaning a college like Fine Arts, or College of Education or SBE (School of Business and Economics), or CSE (College of Science and Engineering).   FAFSA allows listing 5 different institutions you are considering attending.  Each will receive report.  Not until you’re admitted will you be able to receive financial aid.  Asks if they have any questions.

Ketsi:Wonders about experience working with Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Sharon:Have students who receive funding from VR.  They require FAFSA to be done, too.  They try to award you based on info from FAFSA.  Starts over describing FAFSA.  It determines your need or EFC (Expected Family Contribution.)  That’s the key figure.  If EFC is 0 to 3700 dollars, eligible for federal Pell Grant.  Below 5800 dollars, eligible for Minnesota State Grant.  Rehab tries to eliminate loans for students.  Need to let counselor know that you are attending classes.  They send voucher to the billing office and also an authorization to the bookstore.  If eligible for state and Pell grants, you’ll receive a combination of those funds together.

Jonie:Asks if State of Minnesota and Pell Grants have to be paid back.

Sharon:Grants and scholarships are gift aid.  Only pay loans back.  Scholarship, grants, rehab funding, all considered gift aid.

Ketsi: Asks if Financial Aid covers all the costs including tutoring, food, dorm.Sharon:If living on-campus, all those things are part of bill.  Tutoring doesn’t cost anything, though.Just go to Tutoring Center.  Bill consists of tuition, fees, housing, possibly phone bill.  Any scholar-ship and grants go towards clearing that bill.  A variety of meal plans if you live on campus.  Some include all means, some only two meals a day.That’s a student’s choice.  Currently, housing runs about 2,300-2,400 per semester.  Cost to attend UMD is 13,442 per year—6172 per semester.  Can get financial aid up to 6172.  Tuition, fees, housing is about 4,000.  The difference would be for use at your discretion.

Jonie:Asks what percentage of students receive financial aid.

Sharon.Doesn’t know.  Office does have stats,  a high percentage.  Includes loans, though some students don’t consider that financial aid.  But it is.  Offer alternative loans, applications from different banks, and SEP loans where State of Minnesota is the lender.  Has lower interest.  Also the Federal Student loan.  Have annual loan limits.  2625 for freshman year.  Only half a semester, so1300 doesn’t go far.   Sophomore receives 3500 per year.  Juniors and seniors receive 5500 per year.  Maximum loan through college is 23,000.  Sounds like a lot, but is eaten up quick.  Most students take 5 years instead of 4.  Wise to talk with counselor and figure out what you want to do. Not come in undecided and take classes you don’t need.  Have additional services available to test your interests.  Encourages students to take advantage of these supportive services.

Jonie:This is very helpful.

Sharon:Once FAFSA filled out, may have more questions.  Can come back or call.  Once information is in system, can check on it.  You may have other questions, if taxes are not done, you can do this process…but we will request verification.  Would require copy of taxes and W-2s.  May have to verify SS# and citizenship.  Has a very good process.  Here to help.

Jonie: Clarifies:  First step fill out FAFSA; Next be accepted to University, then Financial aid Sent.

Sharon:First step is completing FAFSA.  To receive aid, must be accepted to university.  Rehab doesn’t require acceptance, just registering for classes.  For traditional financial aid, have to go through admissions process.  Admissions has application fee, and then an orientation which answers lots of questions.  There’s a financial aid counselor at orientation.  If additional questions, feel free to come into our office right next to admissions office.

Ketsi:Wondering about how to pay down loans.  Any jobs available on campus?

Sharon:Packet also determines eligibility for work study.Two forms of College work study:  need based and/or miscellaneous employment.  Miscellaneous is when department just hires you.  Need based where government pays 70 per cent and department pays 30 per cent.  Jobs posted on-lineat website.  Get paid for hours worked, bi-weekly check.  Awards usually limited to 1,500 becausemany people need it.  If can’t find a job within a month, the award may be taken back.  But can beadded back if you find a job.  Food service and the library hire a lot of students.  Can also approachother departments and ask if they are hiring.  Also a community service work-study program withplaces like Boys and Girls club and America Reads.  So, on campus and off-campus jobs.

Jonie:Appreciates the time to meet.

Sharon:Glad could do it.


Sharon.Bless you and have a good day.Take care.  Nice to meet you.  Be sure I’ll be meeting you again.

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Posted in: In Transition