financial aid ROTC policy

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by calimom, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. calimom

    calimom Parent

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    According to HR 1777, ROTC scholarships cannot be included in Estimated Financial Aid (EFA). My son just received his financial aid award letter, and it lists the sources for his financial aid to be

    Pell Matching Grant - 5,500
    Federal Perkins Loan - 3,748
    ROTC Scholarship - 39,212
    Federal Pell Grant - 5,550
    Total - 54,010

    With the piece of information above, are they allowed to factor in the ROTC scholarship as a source?

    Here is the link to the HR 1777 that Obama signed in July of 2009:
    http://higheredblog.heag.us/archives/108
     
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Well this gets complicated. They can't factor in the ROTC scholarship and probably did not. Did you have a financial aid award pre-scholarship?

    Your son is lucky to have the ROTC scholarship to go to this school. He may be able to eliminate his loan which would be terrific for him.
    Keep in mind - his grants that go toward room and board will be considered taxable income.
    He did quite well.
     
  3. gojack

    gojack ....

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    The award letter just shows what funds he is getting, and from where.
    (from his university correct?)
    So this means that he is receiving;
    ROTC Scholarship for tuition,fees, etc
    + Federal Pell Grant - 5,550
    + Pell Matching Grant - 5,500
    + Federal Perkins Loan - 3,748

    :smile:>Total - 54,010 is what he is getting<:smile:

    If that is correct, he is getting the maximum on Pell (and the Pell match is by the University?)
    I thought 5,500 Pell was just if he had a family lost in recent conflicts/or 9-11 - did he?
    (not prying, just want to know if numbers have changes)

    (The loan amount is calculated to not go over total est. expenses.)

    If this is correct, he is getting pretty much 'all of it':thumb:

    http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/PellGrants.jsp
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  4. calimom

    calimom Parent

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    In 2009-2010 his school awarded an institutional grant ($10,000) and another federal grant (SEOG) ($4,000). Both were removed from his aid package and replaced with the ROTC Scholarship funding.

    In 2010-2011 he did not have a financial aid award pre-scholarship.
     
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Well he can't make money on financial aid. There is no way the college is going to award him a grant he doesn't need.

    As I see it, the intent of the new ruling is to make sure that ROTC students are not penalized for their scholarships. This is where it gets complicated.
    Let's say your son did not qualify for a Pell grant and last year he was awarded a $10,000 institutional grant. This ruling would protect that grant so he would be able to apply it toward his room and board.
    Another scenario would be if he was awarded the $10,000 institutional grant then a partial scholarship (the AF does this). The college would not be allowed to replace the grant with the scholarship.

    Financial aid is really complicated but basically the Federal Government won't allow you to "make money" off of it.
     
  6. gojack

    gojack ....

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    calimom,

    Both the FSEOG and the institutional grant are campus based aid.
    So you should be talking to your financial aid office.

    Every University is going to have different aid policies,
    to see if a mistake has been made, you will have to dig through those.

    The Federal FAFSA EFC score is supplied to Universities, but they can consider other factors as well.

    No harm in politely bringing HR 1777 to your financial aid officers attention.

    In the end, the question will be - Can you show real need,
    if you can, you may get additional help.

    But if you sons educational expenses are being covered by the funds he is getting,
    you will find no sympathy from any financial aid officer.
    They have limited resources and lots of needy students.

    Good Luck






    Campus-Based Aid

    The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Perkins Loan programs are called campus-based programs because they're administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school. Not all schools participate in all three programs. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out which programs they participate in.

    How much aid you receive from each of these programs depends on your financial need, on the amount of other aid you receive, and on the availability of funds at your college or career school. Unlike the Federal Pell Grant Program, which provides funds to every eligible student, the campus-based programs provide a certain amount of funds for each participating school to administer each year. When the money for a program is gone, no more awards can be made from that program for that year. So, make sure you apply for federal student aid as early as you can. Each school sets its own deadlines for campus-based funds, and those deadlines are usually earlier

    The FSEOG Information Site



    In 2009, a total amount of $958,816,000 was awarded to financial aid students. Those who have applied under the Federal Student Aid programs have accepted an average of $762.00 each, but the amount was not limited since students had accepted grants up to $4,000.00. The more severe the need of a student, the bigger the amount that is granted.

    The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) provides money for school to students with exceptional financial need.

    The federal government provides up to 75% of this money and the school provides the rest. This money is not guaranteed by the government and may vary form school year to school year.

    If the school does not use its entire share of the FSEOG money, the Department of Education will not allocate as much money to that school for the next school year.

    The amount received by each student depends on the student’s financial need, other financial aid awarded to the student, and the FSEOG funds available at the academic institution chosen by the student. The award amount is also dependent on the policies of the financial aid office of the school the student is attending.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  7. calimom

    calimom Parent

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    In 2009-2010 right after HR 1777 was put into effect, my son's school took his ROTC scholarship and applied it to the institutional aid (grants) before the family contribution. Is that the appropriate application of his scholarship in accordance with HR 1777?

    They effectively removed $7,200 worth of need-based aid. Is that because he did in fact qualify for the Pell grant last year?

    Prior to applying my son's scholarship to his financial aid, it looked like this:

    35,760 - family contribution
    9,240 - institutional aid
    4,000 - SEOG grant
    3,800 - Pell grant
    52,800 - total

    After applying his scholarship to financial aid:

    38,000 - ROTC scholarship
    3,800 - Pell Grant
    3,800 - Matching pell grant
    7,200 - Family contribution
    52,800 - total
     
  8. gojack

    gojack ....

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    HR 1777 only covers Federal Grants, not institutional aid.
    Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated on your ability to pay.
    (not their ability to pay)

    If you saw a year over year increase in your EFC, the question is did your income rise? or expenses fall?



    SEE: HR 1777 clarification memo: Linky

    "Q4: Are the education benefits provided under the DOD’s Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) considered Federal veterans’ education benefits and therefore not considered EFA even though they are not administered by the VA and are not provided to veterans?

    A4: As noted earlier, the amended section 480(c) of the HEA includes, in addition to education benefit programs administered by the VA, two ROTC programs that are administered by the DOD. These are the scholarship benefits provided under the Senior Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in chapter 103 of title 10 of the United States Code and the subsistence allowance benefits provided under the ROTC in chapter 3 of title 37 of the United States Code. Therefore, education benefits from these two ROTC programs must be excluded as EFA even though they are not VA programs and the recipients are not veterans."
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Not really. They reworked his financial aid package.

    I dont understand why a Stafford Loan is not in here? Is this a no loan school?

    Along with gojack post; the FAFSA EFC is only for determing Federal Financial Aid. Save for the Stafford Loan he got all the Federal Aid to which he was entitled.

    Colleges are free to determine their own "EFC" and they do. They use this for awarding institutional aid.

    What do you think your son is entitled to get that he is not getting?
     
  10. calimom

    calimom Parent

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    My son feels that he is entitled to having the scholarship remove his family contribution first, and with the balance leftover from the scholarship, he feels that that amount should then remove the need-based institutional aid, and he should get whatever is leftover of the institutional aid for rooming, books, meals, or travel, all of which are factors in calculating the financial aid budget per student. In this case, that amount would be $7,200. Instead, we get to pay $7,200 because he was able to receive a scholarship. If we had the money, then it wouldn’t be a big deal, but the family contribution was equated to a years worth of child support payment from 2008. We filed a non-custodial waiver because my ex-husband, a foreigner, would not provide any financial information. However, it was not accepted.
     
  11. gojack

    gojack ....

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    calimom ,

    It's possible to file for parental abandonment in some states...
    not an expert - but I know somebody who knows more than me.

    So ...Questions for you;

    Your state of residence?
    Are you US citizen?
    Sons University?
    ex-husband is natural or step father of your son?
    If step father, from what age to what age (of son)
    ex-husband Citizen of what county (s)?
    Green card?
    ex-husband current residence in what country?
    year of divorce
    Sons age then / now
    Leave then divorce, divorce then leave?
    Divorce decreed what schedule for child support?
    Visitation?
    Has he followed divorce decree on child support?
    Has he had parental contact, when, how often?
    ex-hubby ever claimed son as a dependent on a federal tax return?
    the most recent tax year that this occurred
    Has your EX remarried?
    year that this occurred:
    Does your EX have other children?
    how many?
    restraining order/other issues?
    nature of current relationship with EX, you and son
    Any other facts relevant?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  12. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    The other posters are correct in that private institutions are not required award need-based FA.

    However, I'm curious how the SEOG (which is government money IIRC) disappeared. It is only $200 more than the "matching Pell grant" (which I think is some sort of institutional aid), but I think that award should not be affected by the ROTC benefit.

    If it makes you feel any better, goaliegirl's FA package from and OOS public had a need-based tuition discount that will not benefit her. She did get both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

    I noticed that you didn't mention Staffords. While many don't consider loans "aid", it does help manage the cash flow out of pocket. If you received Pell grants, Staffords are automatic.

    I think you've got to get over the idea that institutions package their FA to be blind to outside help. And while you've been dealt a bad hand with the non-custodial parent, CSS Profile schools (which it looks like you are dealing with) do look at that other parent as a source of income and can refuse to grant aid without cooperation.
     
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Well, that is not how it works. The scholarship goes toward tuition first.
    Then the college looks at what the remaining expenses are - room, board etc. Not sure how your son arrived at his figure on this or if it differs from the college.
    Anyway - they then compare that to your 'need' via their calculation of EFC and their own policy for awarding aid. i.e. some colleges won't award grant money toward room and board.
    Your son was lucky to get a "Matching Pell Grant" - IMO, this is very generous of the school.

    The Perkins loan was also very generous as this is a better deal than the Stafford Loan.
    Your son still qualified for a $3500 (assuming he is a sophomore) Subsidized Stafford Loan. He also qualified for a $2000 Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. He also is receiving $3500 in a tax free stipend from ROTC. YOU should not be paying for anything out of pocket.

    I don't quite understand this because your son is already getting the Maximum pell grant allowed by law. His FAFSA EFC must be around Zero already. child support - that should have affect his freshman year application but not this year, assuming it stopped when he graduated from high school.

    BTW - how much is room and board at this school?

    Finally, there is nothing wrong with calling or visiting the financial aid office. Speak to an officer about how his award was calculated. They should be able to tell you how they came up with the numbers.
     
  14. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    SEOG is a federal grant but not an 'entitled' grant like Pell. Some schools don't even have SEOG money and some have a very limited amount. The college make the decision as to who gets it (the neediest). It actually makes sense that it would 'disappear', although understandably disappointing to calmom and her son.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If I have calculated right, you are saying that the cost is 63K a yr for his education WITHOUT room and board, " he should get whatever is leftover of the institutional aid for rooming, books, meals, or travel, all of which are factors in calculating the financial aid budget per student "
    Pell Matching Grant - 5,500
    Federal Perkins Loan - 3,748
    ROTC Scholarship - 39,212
    Federal Pell Grant - 5,550
    Total - 54,010

    (54.5K in FA and 7.6K you owe = 63K). What college is he going to where tuition alone is 63K a yr?

    A couple of things
    1. Check and see if your school has a monthly payment plan. Our 2 kids schools offer them, you can choose from 10 pmts or 8 pmts. They take from your account every month a set amount. Neither school charges interest.

    2. If your credit score is high enough, apply for a 0% with a yr free of pmts. Next Tax return since he will be in school you should be eligible for tax credits. Use that return to pay off the card, if currently you can't afford the higher payment plan.

    3. His books are paid for to a certain amount. In the AF that amount is 900 a yr on top of the scholarship

    4. As JAM pointed out he will get 350 a month in stipend for being on scholarship, thus, he will have spending money to use as he deems fit. If he elects to put it towards the 7600, that means you are 4100 out of pocket.

    Finally, this may sound horrible, but in this economy, we all are facing the same issues. Our DD is going to her dream college, her number 1 choice in the application process, and fortunately for us it is IS. When we went through the application process we discussed the financial cost, and one that was on her list was OOS. We said you can apply, but if you don't get X amount of merit/financial aid, it will be a no go. Did it hurt us to say it? Yes, but it is/was a fact of life for us. We couldn't make money fall from the sky, and it was best for her to realize that now. Additionally, that one on the list would have been a school where she would have to fly to during the school yr, and we told her, realize you won't be bopping home for a 3 day weekend. When she graduated and the kids were all talking about where they were going off to come this fall, many of the kids said they had to go their colleges because their folks couldn't afford it. With the cost of colleges these days, and the economy, it is now common place that kids compromise.

    I just don't get how logically, if this college was so expensive, and obviously he is getting a Type 1, with all of the loans and grants that you are still out of pocket. GW was ranked as the most expensive in the country and it still is only 37K for tuition. Columbia is 35K. Why didn't you discuss how you were going to swing this when you accepted matriculation? Like I have said we all want our kids to get their dreams, but they are young adults, and now is the time they understand we will do everything possible to get it, but sometimes we can't do it. Sometimes life is about sacrificing a dream for reality.
     
  16. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Okay, I thought this was Army since she only specified ROTC.
    From previous posts, her son is on a NROTC scholarship at MIT.

    The tuition is $39000 and is covered in full by the scholarship. The Pell and Matching Pell as well as Perkins all go toward room and board.
     
  17. gojack

    gojack ....

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    MIT Undergraduate Tuition and Living Expenses
    http://web.mit.edu/facts/tuition.html

    Nine months' tuition and fees for 2009–2010 is $37,782. Additionally, undergraduate room and board is approximately $11,360, dependent on the student's housing and dining arrangements. Books and personal expenses are about $2,858.

    Total $52,000
     
  18. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Most colleges award SEOG on a first come, first serve basis to freshmen based upon FA filing date (after returning awardees re-up their award) and budget it for 4 years. They don't like taking it away from students, as it often throws theses students' budgets off and they are the ones who have the least ability to overcome that.

    There are some schools that do take the neediest across all 4 classes at one cut though. Now if they looked at his ROTC scholarship when determining who was neediest, that might be an issue (they are not supposed to look at data beyond FAFSA for awarding it). However, now that the money has been awarded, I don't know if the school can correct this, as the well may be dry.

    Even if calimom gets the award re-instituted for next year, MIT may take back the matching Pell (an institutional award).

    It sounds like MIT is awarding the FAFSA required money based upon FAFSA rules (although I would question the SEOG disappearing), but uses its own institutional formula to award their own money which is within its rights.
     
  19. calimom

    calimom Parent

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    The overall effect of his ROTC scholarship in the 2009-2010 year was a reduction in financial aid by $9,440 (SEOG- $4000, Institutional aid- $5440). I feel like because he has an ROTC scholarship, he is being penalized.

    It didn’t seem right to me, but based on your comments, I guess that’s appropriate procedure. Thanks for the input.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Update calimom, you said 09-10, that means he is a rising sophomore in college, not a freshman, am I correct? If so, why isn't your son working this out through the FA dept at MIT? Additionally, you should already know that as a Type 1 you get book stipends and monthly stipends as an ROTC student. The air travel should not be an issue, nor should book or spending.

    I feel for you, and honestly, you should be set as an example regarding ROTC scholarships. Just because it covers you now as an incoming doesn't mean in 2,3,4 yrs that it will cover you then, especially type 2 and 7, since it is a $ limit. You can find yourself in a quandry because you accepted a college based on FAFSA, only to find out that next yr the gap may increase and you can't find the bucks to pay for it.

    I still can't get where you say there is a 7600 shortage according to your numbers when it appears there is a 2K overage.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010

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