Your student is worried about getting into college/university. However, your concern is paying for Saint Augustine’s University (SAU). Parents there are help and funds, but you have got to do your homework. The good news is there is plenty of financial assistance for families paying for school. You just need to know how to get it.
This can seem like an uphill challenge, especially for a first timer. The financial aid process is not as difficult as you think. It takes patience, time management, and organization. I guarantee you will not fill out more paperwork or forms than when your student is headed to SAU.
The “magic number” of the financial aid process is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is the amount of money you and your student are expected to contribute to paying for college. However, this can be misleading but understanding financial aid terminology is the key to financial aid success. The EFC is based on the income and other financial assets of you and your college bound student.
How It All Works:
Calculating the EFC is not so simple, because it requires extremely detailed financial information about each applicant. That’s where the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and other financial aid forms play a role. The information from your student’s completed financial aid form is inserted into a series of formulas to calculate how much money your family can afford to pay for college/university.
Filing your Tax Return early & using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will have a positive effect on your student’s financial aid packages. If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you may be asked to provide completed tax information for verification. A Federal tax transcript can be retrieved from the IRS – visit www.irs.gov or call 1-800-908-9946 for more information. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available through your student’s FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid.
Individual college/university then use the EFC and their own fees to determine your student’s demonstrated financial need. Financial need in this context is the difference between the cost of a particular college/university and an applicant’s EFC.
Once the FAFSA is complete, submitted, and reviewed, SAU financial aid office will put together a financial aid package/offer letter. A financial aid package shows how an individual University plans to meet the financial need of your student if he or she attends that University.
Financial aid packages
Can contain any combination of the several basic types of aid: loans, grants, scholarships and/or work-study:
Loans may come from the federal or state government, or from other sources. They must be paid back by you or your student (depending on the type of loan). One common type of loan, the Federal Direct Loan, is subsidized by the federal government. As a result, your student doesn’t have to begin making payments on this type of loan until six months after he or she is out of SAU. Federal PLUS Loan is a low interest loan program for parents of eligible dependent undergraduate students.
Grants or Scholarships may also come from the federal or state government, the university, or other organizations. They are gifts and don’t need to be paid back. Need-based grants are based solely on your student’s financial need. Merit-based grants or scholarships may be given to students who have special talents or achievements in some area (such as academics, sports, music, or leadership). Merit scholarships are not limited to students who have financial need, although they could make up part of the financial aid package for students who do have need.
Work-study requires your student to work part-time at an on-campus job once he or she arrives on campus if awarded. This aid is given directly to your student in the form of a paycheck or via direct deposit. Usually, the Financial Aid Office with the assistance of Human Resource Office will often help to place students. Students can also find employment on campus and notify the Financial Aid Office. Students must have a FAFSA, meeting SAP and have an unmet need to be eligible for work-study.
Each university’s financial aid package will have different proportions of loans, grants, and work-study. You and your student should analyze each package to decide if it is affordable for your family.
Your Student’s Financial Aid Information
We send most of our correspondence regarding students’ financial aid directly to students via email. Students are encouraged to view My Falcon Landing daily the first few weeks of school for updates and changes to their financial package. If you want to stay informed and help your student manage his or her financial aid, there are a couple of things you should know:
Requesting Information About Your Student
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Saint Augustine’s University policy, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships is prohibited from releasing financial aid information to anyone other than registered students. We can discuss financial information with dependent students’ parents or custodial parents if the parents have completed the authorization form.
Accessing Your Student’s Financial Information on My Falcon’s Landing Portal
Students manage most of their business transactions, including financial aid, on the web via Student Portal – Saint Augustine’s University (st-aug.edu). Student and Parents can view in real time all transactions made to a student’s account. Student’s business accounts are handled by the Business Office at SAU.
How do I know if my student owes
Your student will only be billed for direct expenses, which includes tuition and fees, on-campus housing, on-campus meal plans, and the university health insurance (if they are not covered under another plan). We recommend using a budget calculator to determine if your student will owe a bill after their financial aid is offered. The student can view their bill on the My Falcon Landing Portal to see the current semester charges and balance.
Additional Resources for Parents
Parents can review the Financial Aid Toolkit from the Office of the U.S. Department of Education to get more in-depth information about financial aid, the FAFSA and how to make college more affordable at Parents | Federal Student Aid – Financial Aid Toolkit or College Foundation of North Carolina How to Pay for College: Resources to Help Pay Your Way (cfnc.org).
What happens if a student is offered a Federal Direct Loan?
Once a student is offered a loan, he/she must go online to accept or decline the loan in the Falcon Landing Portal. If a student accepts the loan, each student is required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling Session if they are a new borrower. Students who have borrowed in the past are not required to complete an MPN if it has not expired.
The loan will not be credited to the account until all three requirements have been met. Once the loan has been disbursed to the student account, the student will receive a notification of disbursement/right to cancel from the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships within 14 Days of their right to cancel.
Questions or Need additional Information
The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships website is provides a resources to parents and students to get the most updated information. You can always send an email to the office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions that cannot be answer from the website or you may call the office between normal business hours from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday, except on University closure.