By Melissa Spratt | September 4, 2017
Maybe you started your degree program years ago, but life happened and now you just need to finish a few semesters of credits to finally get that diploma. Or maybe you want to get to the next level with your job/career and earning your degree will help get you there. Whatever the reason may be, the next hurdle that often stops people is how to finance their education – and that’s where financial aid comes in to play.
If you are working towards your first degree (associate or bachelor’s), you probably have state and federal funding available to you regardless of your age or education level. It’s all based on the FAFSA. So the best and most important first step is to file your FAFSA. For May 2017-April 2018, you would need to file the 2017/2018 FAFSA (and be aware that you will use 2015 tax information when you file it). Starting October 1, 2017, the 2018-2019 FAFSA will open and will cover May 2018-April 2019 (and utilize 2016 tax information). For more details about the FAFSA, check out my blog post here.
Once you file your FAFSA, we can review your financial aid eligibility. Possible sources of funding including federal (Pell) and state grants (which do not have to be paid back) and Federal Direct Loans (which do have to be paid back after graduation). Even if you think you wouldn’t qualify for any aid, you are probably eligible for Federal Direct Loans.
There are two types of Federal Direct Loans:
- Direct Subsidized Loans – Borrower is not charged interest while in school at least half-time (6 credit hours). The yearly Subsidized Loan limit varies based on financial need and cost of attendance factors.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans – Interest begins to accrue (accumulate) at the time of disbursement. Unsubsidized Loans are available to all eligible students regardless of financial need, but subject to yearly and aggregate loan limits that are based on the student’s grade level in college and dependency status.
Once you have been accepted by Marian University and your FAFSA is received by the Office of Financial Aid, an award letter and loan request form with further instructions will be sent to you via the U.S. Postal Service. Newly admitted students are awarded on an on-going basis throughout the year as they are accepted into their programs. Returning students are awarded prior to the Summer semester, provided that a FAFSA has been completed for the appropriate aid year.
And, you are always welcome to contact us at finaidMAP@marian.edu or (317) 955-6040 to talk through any concerns you may have. Researching your eligibility and having a concrete idea of how much out of pocket cost you’ll have is an important part of your successful degree completion.