FINANCIAL AID CALENDAR
OCTOBER 1: PROMISE Scholarship Application available online at CFWV.com
OCTOBER 1: FAFSA available at fafsa.gov
MARCH 1: Deadline to apply for PROMISE Scholarship at CFWV.com (FAFSA and PROMISE application required)
MARCH 1: Priority deadline in West Virginia to submit FAFSA at fafsa.gov
APRIL 15: Deadline to submit FAFSA at fafsa.gov for West Virginia Higher Education Grant
________YOUR # 1 PRIORITY________
FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the most important thing you can do to secure financial aid for post-secondary education.
By applying for FAFSA, you are applying to most of the federal and state financial aid programs, as well as financial aid available from colleges and universities. Even if you are unsure about whether you will need financial aid or if you will qualify for financial aid, we highly recommend that you complete the FAFSA anyway.
The FAFSA is available after October 1, and should be submitted by March 1. The quickest way to file the FAFSA is by completing it online. If you prefer to fill out a paper copy of the FAFSA, you can obtain one by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID.
Keep an eye out for our Financial Aid Night and CFWV's College Goal Sunday, two free workshops to help students and parents complete the FAFSA.
CREATING YOUR FSA ID
THE FSA ID HAS REPLACED THE PIN AS YOUR ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE OF THE FAFSA
An FSA ID is comprised of a username and password and can be used to login to certain Federal Student Aid websites, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
Both the student and the parent/guardian must create a FSA ID. This can be created now. Go to https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm to create your FSA ID today!
Check out other videos about FAFSA and financial aid on FEDERAL STUDENT AID'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL!
AVERAGE COLLEGE COSTS
For more information about the cost of college, visit the COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY CENTER at collegecost.ed.gov
*Tuition and Room & Board figures reported by West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. "Other" fees (books, transportation, other expenses) reported by College Board.
WV PROMISE SCHOLARSHIP
The PROMISE Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship for West Virginia residents. Students who achieve certain academic goals are eligible to receive annual awards up to $4,750 to cover the cost of tuition and fees at public or independent institutions in West Virginia.
For more information and to apply for the PROMISE Scholarship, visit CFWV.com
Students must submit an application and FAFSA by March 1 deadline, even if they have not met all requirements by March 1.
financial aid resources
COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY CENTER
Free website with college search tools, college rating tools, and net price calculators,
FEDERAL STUDENT AID
Free website with information about financial aid and applying for FAFSA.
FAFSA 4 CASTER
Free website providing tool to estimate your potential financial aid eligibility.
SENIOR GUIDE BOOK
Resource provided by Berkeley County Schools. Check out financial aid information starting on page 38.
COLLEGE FOUNDATION OF WV
Free website providing financial aid resources, financial aid calculators, and scholarship information.
Free website providing financial aid information, advice, and tools.
Free website offering financial aid information to help make college affordable.
FREQUENTLy ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO I GET THE MOST FINANCIAL AID?
Apply for FAFSA before MARCH 1. Applying before this date will help ensure you get everything you qualify for. Also, check out local scholarships. Private scholarships are the largest untapped resource for financing a college education.
DO I NEED TO FILE THE FAFSA?
Yes! Even if you are unsure whether you will qualify for anything or if you will need to use any financial aid, it's best to apply anyway. It's free and you aren't committing to taking anything. You may need to apply for FAFSA in order to be eligible or apply for other scholarships anyway, like the PROMISE Scholarship.
HOW IS ELIGIBILITY FOR NEED-BASED AID DETERMINED?
Complex formulas and many factors are used to determine your financial need. Ultimately, your need is based on your EFC, or "Expected Family Contribution," and the cost of attendance at your school of choice.
IS BORROWING MONEY FOR COLLEGE FOOLISH?
Ultimately, this is a family decision. But it's important to be a wise borrower no matter what you decide. Only take what you need to pay for college each year. Also, consider other options for paying for college, like private scholarships, going part-time, starting at a community college, or living at home while attending college. Compare your costs at each college you're considering and choose the best investment.
Types of Financial Aid
SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS, & LOANS
SCHOLARSHIPS are a form of financial aid that typically does not have to be paid back. They may be funded through federal, state, and college resources, but may also be funded by a community organization or private party. Each scholarship has its own application process and selection criteria, and may be merit-based, need-based, or a combination of both.
GRANTS are a form of financial aid that does not have to be paid back. They are funded through federal, state, and college resources, and are awarded based on a student's financial need. You must submit the FAFSA for eligibility.
LOANS are a form of financial aid that is borrowed and will be required to be paid back. Loans are available through federal resources or private resources. You must submit the FAFSA to apply for federal loans. Most financial aid packages include some loans.
MERIT-BASED VS. NEED-BASED
MERIT-BASED ASSISTANCE is financial aid awarded to students based on their merit, or a specific skills, achievement, or characteristic. An example would be PROMISE Scholarship, which is awarded based on a student's GPA and Test Scores.
NEED-BASED ASSISTANCE is financial aid awarded to students based on their family's demonstrated financial need. The level of need is determined through federal, state and institutional formulas. You must file the FAFSA for federal and state need-based aid.