Do I have to apply for aid every year?
Yes. Berea College students are required to file a FAFSA for every year they are enrolled at Berea College. The FAFSA must be filed to determine what federal and state financial aid programs the student is eligible for. Each year the FAFSA is available to complete beginning October 1st. Students are expected to complete their FAFSA by October 31st, the priority filing date.
What is a SAR?
A SAR is a Student Aid Report, which is compiled from the information provided on the FAFSA by the student and/or parent(s). You can see what your annual Expected Family Contribution is on this form. You need to read the information when you receive your SAR back because it also informs the student and/or parent(s) if the FAFSA has been rejected for reasons such as missing signature(s) or incomplete information. A rejected FAFSA can cause a delay in receiving all of the federal and state financial assistance for which you are eligible.
What is verification and what will happen if it is not completed?
Many Berea College students are selected for FAFSA Verification by the federal processing center. If you are selected for this process, we will send you detailed information regarding what is needed. We will be glad to help you through the Data Retrieval Tool provided on the FAFSA website at https://fafsa.gov. All verification needs to be completed by February 1 to avoid delays and problems disbursing aid to your account.
What qualifies a person as independent?
There are questions on the FAFSA that determine a student’s dependency status. To be considered independent of parent(s) or guardian(s) by the federal government for financial aid purposes, a student would have to meet at least one of these qualifications:
- Born before January 1, 1995
- Have or will have a dependent child for whom you will provide more than half of their support between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019
- Have dependents (other than children or spouse’s children) who live with you and you provide more than half of their support
- Be a Veteran of the U. S. Armed Forces
- Be serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
- Be married
- In legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
- Be an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
- After becoming age 13:
- both your parents were deceased
- you were in foster care
- you were a dependent or ward of the court
- Homeless or at the risk of being homeless
- Please see FAFSA questions and explanation for further details on the above items
Why does the term bill increase every year?
Your term bill for your housing, meals, and fees is going to vary each year. Many times that amount is going to increase. Here are a couple reasons why your term bill may be adjusted. Each year, you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form calculates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Depending on what information is provided, such as income, family size, and assets, your EFC can change. If the EFC has increased, the amount of financial aid would decrease. Another reason why your term bill might increase is because, as you progress through your program at Berea, you are expected to earn more money, thereby decreasing other forms of financial assistance.
How are outside scholarships disbursed?
Outside Scholarships (including the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, or KEES) may be used in several ways:
- to reduce term bill costs for housing, meals, and fees
- to replace some Berea College term bill grants (E.G. Miscellaneous Endowed Grant)
- to replace a portion of the Tuition Promise Scholarship
- to assist with other educational costs (e.g. books, art supplies) per Berea College policies.
Due to federal guidelines, scholarships or grants cannot be used to replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by FAFSA. Outside scholarships cannot replace expected summer savings from Berea College summer labor programs.
What aid is available for students who would like to study abroad?
Grants and loans are available for students wishing to study abroad. The amount of grants and loans are dependent upon the program, status, and the Expected Family Contribution of the student. Students are encouraged to talk with a financial aid counselor to see the amounts of aid available before committing to a program.
Is there aid available for the summer?
Students enrolled in classes may be eligible for some grants to offset their housing, meals, and fees costs. Grants for the summer are based on the student’s enrollment and financial need. Students are encouraged to save $1,000 throughout the summer to use for educational expenses for the upcoming school year.
What if I need additional financial aid after I receive my award notification?
When do I have to repay my loans?
Loan repayment starts six months after you have withdrawn or graduated from college. Depending on the type of loan, you will be notified by the appropriate agency collecting your payments. It is very important that you attend an Exit Interview before you leave campus so that your contact information is correct for future communication. If you only borrowed federal loans, you may complete an Exit Interview online.