Applying for Financial Aid
Congratulations on taking the first step in making your financial aid plan for college. Our on-campus Office of Student Financial Services staff oversees comprehensive financial aid programs that often make a private education at Mount Ida College more affordable for families.
To give you an idea of our commitment to you, nearly 100 percent of Mount Ida students received a combined $21.7 million in institutional aid for the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition to grant and scholarship funds provided by the college, many students were eligible for additional aid from federal, state and private scholarship programs.
No matter which type of assistance you hope to receive, completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application is your first step. We have summarized the application process, including application instructions and important deadlines, and welcome your questions – at any stage – by phone at (617) 928-4785 or email at email@example.com.
It is important to note that whether you are a first-year or returning student, you must complete the FAFSA application annually as our Office of Student Financial Services staff must re-evaluate eligibility for federal grants, loans or work study, state grants and loan funds and institutional need-based funds.
Financial Aid Process Begins with FAFSA
To begin the financial aid process, please complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information you provide on this standardized form determines financial need, based on a number of factors.
Other than scholarships based on academic merit alone, most types of financial aid consider financial need as determined by the FAFSA and available financial aid funds from federal, state and private sources.
Because family circumstances change from year to year, a new FAFSA is required annually. The government releases a new FAFSA form each year on October1st. That is when the annual financial aid cycle begins.
To help you along the way, we’ve developed a comprehensive financial aid guide. Inside our 2016-2017 Financial Aid Award Guide and 2017-2018 Financial Aid Award Guide you’ll find full details on financial aid options and eligibility requirements, including a financial planning worksheet.
FAFSA Application Instructions
While our Financial Aid Award Guide provides everything you need to know, this short list can help you get started with your financial aid application (FAFSA):
- Gather income information from the previous year (***), including your and your parent(s) federal income tax return and W-2 forms.
- Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID at www.fafsa.ed.gov by clicking “FSA ID.” Both students and parents need their own FSA ID.
- Use your FSA ID and federal income and tax information to complete the online FAFSA form. List Mount Ida College as your school of choice, by using our Federal School Code: 002193.
Be sure to print out and keep copies of everything you submit.
* * * Two major changes to the FAFSA will take effect for the 2017–2018 school year. * * *
1. The FAFSA will be available earlier.
Beginning with the 2017–2018 school year, applicants will be able to complete a FAFSA as early as October 1.
2. The FAFSA will require information from an earlier tax year.
Beginning with the 2017–2018 FAFSA, students will report income information from two years prior, which in this case is 2015 income information—two tax years before the beginning of the school year. For returning students, this change means students and parents will utilize 2015 tax information to complete the FAFSA not only for the 2016-2017 but also the 2017-2018 Academic Year.
Financial Aid Administrators will be required to perform a comparison between a student’s 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSA for any conflicting information, and determine if once resolved, it produces a significant change in the student’s expected family contribution (EFC). If the result of the conflicting information is that a student is not eligible for the full amount of the 2016-2017 Title IV aid originally awarded, the college would be required to adjust any Title IV aid that has not yet been disbursed.
Furthermore, until the conflicting information is resolved for the 2 academic years, the college is unable to disburse any pending financial aid for the 2016-2017 academic year. If the conflicting information goes unresolved by the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, the student’s financial aid is subject to cancellation and may create a financial obligation owed to the college.
Important Financial Aid Dates and Deadlines
Typically, a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) takes up to four weeks to be processed through the federal systems before the Office of Student Financial Services receives your report. Please keep that in mind as you gather your information each year and plan accordingly. Since so much information requested on the FAFSA comes from federal tax forms (Form 1040 and W-2), it helps to have your taxes prepared and filed before completing your financial aid application.
While you can submit estimated numbers on the FAFSA, we recommend using final figures from your tax forms and filing your FAFSA as early as possible each year.
- January 1, 2016 – FAFSA application available
- March 1, 2016 – Recommended FAFSA deadline
- March 1, 2016 – Priority funding deadline for new students
- March 31, 2016 – Priority funding deadline for returning students
- October 15, 2016 – All required documentation for a student’s financial aid file must be received by this date. Financial Aid files that remain incomplete are subject to cancellation. Cancellation of financial aid funds may result in a balance owed to the college.
- October 1, 2016 – FAFSA application available
- March 1, 2017 – Priority funding deadline for all students
- October 15, 2017 – All required documentation for a student’s financial aid file must be received by this date. Financial Aid files that remain incomplete are subject to cancellation. Cancellation of financial aid funds may result in a balance owed to the college.
Once we’ve received your valid FAFSA application from the government, it typically takes two weeks for you to receive your award letter, which outlines the types of financial aid for which you are eligible. Students must be accepted to the college in order to receive an award.
Other Financial Aid Timelines
May 1 – Massachusetts state deadline
- For new and returning students, if you haven’t filed your FAFSA, complete it as soon as possible as the priority funding deadline was March 1st for new students and March 31st for returning students. Check out the FAFSA application process.
- For all first-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowers, complete the online Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note requirements.
- Explore your financing options to ensure you are satisfying the upcoming year’s tuition and expenses.
- If you find a difference between your tuition bill and your financial aid, please consider one or more of the following options, such as a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) or alternative loans. Please visit the loans page for more details.
- If you prefer making tuition payments throughout the year instead of in one lump sum, consider enrolling in the monthly interest-free payment plan with Tuition Management Systems (TMS).
- You may also choose to do a combination of the above options!!!
- If you are a new or returning student (enrolled in 9 or more credits) and plan to remain on your parent(s)/guardian(s) health insurance, you may be eligible to waive the medical insurance fee by completing the online Health Insurance waiver for Gallagher Student Health and Special Risk by the August 31, 2017 deadline. After this date, students not covered by comparable coverage, and students who did not waive (or whose waiver was denied), will be responsible for the insurance charge as it appears on the bill.
- Tuition bills are due. Having an approved plan in place will ensure you are eligible to begin your enrollment.
- Follow up with your lender to ensure your loan(s) are complete and ready for disbursement prior to your arrival for the semester.
- Submitting a financial aid appeal or having an incomplete financial aid file does not change the billing due date. Outstanding charges are due on the billing due date, please plan accordingly.
- All students are expected to be in Good Financial Standing with a $0 balance.