Wondering how much college will cost is probably the biggest concern many high school seniors (and their parents!) have right now, with the fall quickly approaching. Our Student Finance office is currently in the process of sending out financial aid estimates to students already accepted to PUC to help them determine how much they can expect to pay next year. If you haven’t received your estimate yet, or if you haven’t finished your application to PUC, this post will help you understand what you need to submit to ensure you get an accurate financial aid estimate. We’ll also break down a sample estimate to help make the process clearer to those of you who have received one but may be confused over how to read it.
1. Merit-based Aid You Qualify For
Any PUC scholarships you are eligible for or have applied for and received will be listed here. For this estimate, they are receiving $5,000 for our Academic Achievement Scholarship, meaning they have a GPA between 3.25-3.49.
2. Need-Based (FAFSA) Aid You May Qualify For
Listed here will be potential aid based upon the information you provided on your FAFSA; including any grants or loans you’re eligible for, such as Cal Grant. PUC also offers grants and loans to students on a case-by-case basis. When you receive your official award package, you can choose what aid you accept, so don’t be worried if there are more loans listed on your estimate than what you want to take out.
3. Other Aid You Could Receive
If you may potentially qualify for any other aid, it will be listed here, such as additional federal loans. You may also want to consider looking into scholarships such as the Union Education Endowment and 3-Way Scholarship which are offered through your local conference or church. For more information, contact your local conference office.
4. First Year Totals vs. Four Year Totals
This is definitely a little confusing! For our sample estimate, this student is estimated to receive about $31,811.00 in aid their first year, which leaves the remaining balance at $4,948.00. The four year total, however, is estimated at $37,016.00, as it is only aid given by PUC, which is the Academic Achievement Scholarship and the PUC grant times four. All merit-based aid is renewable for four years, and most need-based aid is likely to renew at similar levels each year.
5. Payment Options
You have a few different options for how you would like to make your payments for your school bill. You can choose the nine month option, which has you pay only during the school year, or you can pay every month throughout the year, including the summer months.
You can also choose to work to help lower your monthly payments, and on average a student earns about $2,000 towards their bill by working around 20 hours per week. Learn more about working on-campus by reading our “Working On-Campus Has Its Perks” post.
6. Completing Your Award
Obviously, our Student Finance office needs certain information from you in order to calculate how much financial aid (including grants, loans, and scholarships) you’re eligible for. If we’re missing any required documents for you, it will be noted here.
Things you must submit:
- A PUC Financial Aid Application
- Your FAFSA
- Your transcripts
Things you may need to submit:
- IRS Tax Return Transcript
- Parent’s 2014 W-2s
- Parent Income Worksheet
Learn more at http://www.puc.edu/completeyouraward.
There are several other things you can do to help lower your school bill. Contact your local church and conference office to see whether they have any scholarship opportunities for college-bound students.
I also recommend taking a look at a list of scholarship websites we’ve compiled on our website, which you can find at http://www.puc.edu/financeresources (click the “Helpful Resources” tab on the left). There’s plenty of money out there to help cover the cost of college, you just have to look for it!
After You Get an Estimate
Don’t hesitate to contact our Student Finance office after you receive your estimate if you have questions about what you’re eligible for or what documents you need to submit. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.862.7080 option 1.
Editor’s note: This is dated material and does not necessarily reflect how the student financial services office at PUC and the financial process currently operates. Please contact your financial counselor for more information.