Financial Aid
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        Applying for Financial Aid    

    Frequently Asked Questions

      When should I apply for financial aid?

      Continuing students should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by April 15th. New students should file the FAFSA by February 15th. Financial aid awards to students who file after these deadlines are contingent upon the availability of funds.


      What's the income cut-off for need-based aid?

      There is no set income cut-off for financial aid eligibility. This is because a variety of factors, in combination with family income, are used to determine a student's need. The number of people in the family, the number of family members in college, the age of the oldest parent, and the value of family assets, are examples of some other variables which are considered. This means, for example, that Family A, with five members and two in college, would be eligible for more aid than Family B, with three members and one in college, even if Family A and Family B have the exact same income.

      Be advised that Stevens also offers merit scholarships which are awarded to worthy students regardless of income or financial need.


      How is my "financial need" determined?

      A student's financial need is determined as follows: First, Stevens determines the Cost of Attendance for the current academic year. This figure includes estimates of tuition, fees, room, board, books & supplies, and other education-related costs, and is adjusted based on whether the student will live on or off campus or with his/her parents, and whether the student will be full- or part-time. Second, the student's Family Contribution (FC) is determined. This figure is an estimate of the amount that the student's family can reasonably afford to contribute to the student's education. For all federal financial aid programs, a statutory formula is used to determine the FC. This formula is applied to the information provided by the student on his/her FAFSA. For Stevens own grants, an institutional formula is used, which varies in some ways from the one used by the federal government. The FC is then subtracted from the Cost of Attendance, leaving the Financial Need:

      Cost of Attendance 
       − Family Contribution 
      =  Financial Need 

      The Office of Financial Aid does its best to fill as much of this need as possible with the federal, state, and institutional aid programs for which the student is eligible. The student and his/her family is responsible for any need amount that is not covered by financial aid.


      How many credits must I take to be eligible for financial aid?

      In general, most financial aid programs require that you be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible. (For financial aid purposes, half-time enrollment is 6 credits per semester.) However, some programs, like TAG and other NJ state grants, require that you be enrolled full-time each semester. (For financial aid purposes, 12 credits or more is full-time.)

      Remember, the financial aid package that you are initially offered is determined in part by the number of credits that you tell us (on the FAFSA and other aid applications) you plan to take. Whenever your enrollment status changes, you should inform the Financial Aid Office immediately so we may determine if your package will be affected.


      What can I do if my financial aid package isn't enough?

      If the awards that you are offered in your financial aid package do not add up to the amount you need to cover your educational costs, you may wish to look into the various available alternative financing options. These options include private education loan programs for parents and/or students and monthly payment plans. If you feel that you and your family have serious extenuating or unusual financial circumstances, you may submit a letter of appeal to the Financial Aid Office so that your aid package may be reviewed.


      What's "verification", and why was I selected?

      Verification is a federally mandated process which requires the Financial Aid Office to confirm the information that aid applicants provide on their FAFSA. Some applications are selected randomly, while some are selected due to a conflict in reported information, too many questions or sections left blank, etc. If you are selected for verification, you are not alone!

      Our office is required by law to verify at least 30% of our aid recipients each academic year. You will be notified in the letter in Part I of your SAR and/or by our office if your application was selected, and you will be required to submit prior year federal tax returns, a "Verification Worksheet", and possibly other documents, so that our office may confirm or correct your FAFSA information.


      My parents are divorced. Whose information do I include on the FAFSA?

      If your parents are divorced, you should file the FAFSA using the financial information of the parent with whom you are living, or with whom you have most recently lived. This parent will be referred to as the "custodial parent", even if there is no formal custody agreement, or if your parents have joint custody. If your "custodial" parent is remarried, you must include that step-parent's information as well. If your "non-custodial" parent is paying child support, that amount should be reported as untaxed income in Section E of the FAFSA.


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