Tag archive for "Financial Aid"

Pay for College, Undocumented Students

Colleges that Meet 100% of Financial Need for Undocumented Students

No Comments 22 December 2016

College affordability is a big concern for many students and their families. Paying for college is even more difficult for undocumented students. Luckily, there are several colleges that are dedicated to making undocumented students’ college dreams come true. These colleges meet 100% of the students’ demonstrated financial need with grants, student employment, scholarships, and, in some cases, student loans.

We have compiled an alphabetical list of colleges that meet 100% of financial need for undocumented students. If you are interested in learning more, check out these schools on College Greenlight. Please note that these colleges pledge to meet a student’s full demonstrated financial need. Most students will still have an expected family contribution they are responsible for.

Amherst College Amherst is committed to meeting 100% of the full demonstrated financial need of every admitted student, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Financial aid packages for non-U.S. citizens include on-campus employment and institutional grant aid, without loans. Undocumented and DACA students must submit the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form and federal income tax returns or income verification to apply for financial aid.

Bates College Bates treats undocumented and DACA students as domestic applicants and meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for those admitted to the college, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Undocumented and DACA students must submit the College Board PROFILE and provide federal tax returns or other income verification to Student Financial Services in order to apply for financial aid.

Bowdoin College Regardless of citizenship, Bowdoin is committed to meeting 100% of all students’ demonstrated financial need. The college will provide an institutional package comprised of grants and on-campus employment.

Bryn Mawr College The college does not separate undocumented students into an “international” or “domestic” pool. Bryn Mawr will meet the demonstrated financial need of any student, including those who are undocumented.

Brown University As long as students self-identify as undocumented and request aid at the time of their application submission, Brown will meet 100% of the student’s financial need. Eligibility for aid is solely based on financial need.

Carleton College Only students with DACA status are considered among all other legal permanent residents and US citizens at Carleton College. The college only offers admission to students whose need they are able to meet.

Colby College Colby is dedicated to meeting 100% demonstrated financial need of all students, regardless of background. Undocumented students are treated like international students.

Columbia University Undocumented citizen applicants at Columbia University are eligible for the same need-blind admissions policy that applies to US citizens, permanent residents, and eligible non-citizens. The university guarantees to meet 100% of all admitted first-year students’ demonstrated financial need for all four years, regardless of citizenship.

Cornell University – DACA students are recognized in the domestic financial aid pool and Cornell meets the full demonstrated need for all admitted domestic students. These students will be considered in the DACA/domestic aid pool for their entire time at Cornell.

Dartmouth CollegeDartmouth will meet full need of undocumented students with employment, scholarships and/or loans.  Freshmen must complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and the College Board’s Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC).

Duke UniversityUndocumented students must apply to Duke as international students; counselors can call and inform Duke that the applicant is undocumented. Eligibility is based solely on financial need. The university will meet 100% of demonstrated need.

Emory UniversityEmory considers students who are granted DACA status to be domestic students, and the university meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted domestic students.

Haverford College The college will meet 100% of demonstrated need for all students, regardless their background.

Macalester College Macalester is committed to internationalism and multiculturalism and meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. Undocumented students who are not permitted by law to work in the US will receive additional student loans to replace the amount typically earned through an on-campus job.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – An applicant’s citizenship status will not have any impact on their chances of admission at MIT or the availability of full need-based financial aid.

Middlebury College – Undocumented or DACA students should follow the same application process as any other student. Middlebury will meet 100% demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. To apply financial aid, just complete the CSS profile by the deadlines indicated on the site.

Oberlin College An undocumented/DACA student indicates their interest in applying for need-based and/or merit-based financial aid on the Common Application. If that student is accepted, Oberlin will meet 100% of demonstrated need.

Occidental CollegeOccidental considers undocumented students to be international students and the college will fully fund 2-4 international students every year. Undocumented students must apply for financial aid at the time they apply for admission.

Pomona College Pomona will meet 100% of need for DACA and undocumented students. The college will provide these students with the support and resources they need in the application process.

Princeton University – Admission to Princeton is offered to students regardless of their ability to pay, and the full need of every admitted student is met regardless of citizenship.

Rice University Rice will meet the full demonstrated financial need of undocumented and DACA students through scholarships, work study, and available loans.

Smith CollegeSmith meets 100% of the demonstrate need for all admitted students who apply for financial aid by the appropriate deadlines. Since federal aid is not available for undocumented and DACA students, Smith will provide institutional, need-based financial aid in its place.

Swarthmore College Swarthmore’s admissions process for undocumented and DACA students is need-blind. The college will meet 100% of demonstrated need with aid awards that do not include loans that need to be repaid.

Tufts UniversityTufts will meet 100% of demonstrated need of all-admitted students. While procedures for financial aid vary between domestic and international applicants, undocumented students are considered domestic and will receive institutional need-based financial aid like U.S. citizens.

University of Chicago All students, regardless of citizenship, will have their full demonstrated financial need met. The university will also assist undocumented students in other ways, such as help with visa status.

University of Notre DameNotre Dame admits and meets the full demonstrated need of undocumented students.

University of Pennsylvania – The university will meet 100% of a student’s demonstrated financial need without loans. Need-based financial aid is awarded when the student is admitted to Penn.

Vassar College Undocumented students are considered international applicants at Vassar. The college will meet the entire demonstrated need of these students for the entirety of their enrollment at the college.

Wellesley CollegeWellesley is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted undocumented and DACA students. These students are considered international applicants.

Wesleyan University – Wesleyan meets 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students who apply for financial aid. The college treats undocumented students just like any U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Williams CollegeWilliams College will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for every admitted student, every year.

Yale UniversityYale admits students without regard to their ability to pay and the institution meets 100% of demonstrated need for all students without loans.

Federal Loans, Money, Private Loans, State Loans

How to Help Borrowers with Unpaid College Debts and Defaulted Student Loans

No Comments 17 November 2016

Students sometimes encounter roadblocks because they owe money to a college or have defaulted on their student loans. Low-income students are more likely to be affected by these problems. These tips will help counselors help them overcome these obstacles.

Problem: Colleges may legally refuse to provide official transcripts to students who owe a debt to the college. This can prevent the student from transferring to another college to continue their education. But, the student can’t afford to repay the debt until they graduate and get a good job. Or, the student may need financial aid to pay off the debt.

Solution: A counselor can help the student by advocating on their behalf with the college. Maybe the student can finish their degree at the original college, with just a little more financial support. Maybe the college can accept a payment plan instead of payment in full, and release the transcripts after the student has made a few consecutive monthly payments. Maybe the counselor can convince the new college to conditionally accept unofficial transcripts and let the student enroll with a promise to deliver official transcripts later. Colleges may be more willing to compromise when a counselor intercedes on behalf of the student. (Counselors should get the student to sign a FERPA waiver so that the college can discuss the situation with the counselor.)

Problem: The student wants to repay his or her student loans, but circumstances have overtaken them. By the time the student loan bill is due, they’ve already spent their paycheck.

Solution: Sometimes, students just have trouble managing their money. Ask them to track their spending for a month using a program like Quicken or Mint.com. Increasing awareness of how they spend their money is the first step in exercising restraint. It will also help them plan for their bills. Encourage them to enroll in auto-debit, where the monthly student loan payment is automatically transferred from their bank account to the lender. Not only will this help ensure that they make the payments on time, but many lenders offer a slight interest rate reduction as an incentive. Asking the lender to change the due date to a few days after they receive their pay check may also help. These problems can also be prevented by providing students with access to financial literacy mini-courses while they are still in school.

Problem: The student is getting harassed by collection agencies. They are afraid to open their mail or answer the phone. They need someone to help them figure out a way out of this mess.

Solution: Avoiding the problem will only make it worse. The simplest solution is to talk to the lender and ask about their options. If they are actively engaging with the lender, the flood of letters and calls will stop. They can also exercise their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to tell the lender to stop contacting them, which will end most of the calls and letters, except for notices about specific actions the lender is taking, such as filing a lawsuit. But, this will not address the underlying problem, which is the difficulty dealing with the debt. There are options for dealing with financial difficulty, such as suspending or reducing the monthly loan payments, and for rehabilitating defaulted student loans.

Problem: The student doesn’t know the status of his or her student loans, just that it is bad.

Solution: The problem might not be as bad as the student thinks. If the student is just a few months delinquent, as opposed to being in default, making a few payments might be all that is necessary to bring the account current. Start by compiling a list of the loans and the lenders. If the student doesn’t remember any of these details, have them login to the National Student Loan Data Systems (NSLDS) to check on the status of the federal loans. Information about private student loans, as well as federal loans, may be found in the student’s credit reports, which may be obtained for free at www.annualcreditreport.com. Then, have the student call the lenders to learn about their options.

Problem: The student wants to continue their education, but has learned that they are ineligible for further federal student aid because they are in default on a previous federal student loan.

Solution: Borrowers can regain eligibility for federal student aid by rehabilitating the defaulted student loans. There are two main methods. One is to make 6 consecutive, full, voluntary, on-time payments on the defaulted student loan. The other is to consolidate the loans into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan and agree to repay the consolidation loan with an income-driven repayment plan. This is a one-time opportunity, so if they redefault, they will have no choice other than to pay off the debt in full.

Uncategorized

What is the Federal Pell Grant?

No Comments 15 November 2016

The Pell Grant is a federal grant that helps students from low-income households pay for college. Grants are a gift of money that does not need to be repaid.

The Federal Pell Grant provides up to about $6,000 per year for students who are enrolled in an undergraduate degree or certificate program at an accredited 2-year or 4-year college or university. The Pell Grant can be used to pay for a Bachelor’s degree, Associate’s degree or a certificate. Students who have already received a Bachelor’s degree are ineligible, except for students enrolled in some teacher certification programs.

The amount of the Pell Grant is based on the difference between the maximum Pell Grant and the expected family contribution (EFC). The Pell Grant amount is also based on the student’s enrollment status, reduced proportionately for students who are enrolled less than full-time.

There is a 12-term limit to the Pell Grant program, the equivalent of 6 years of full-time enrollment.

Students who are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution are not eligible. Students who are subject to an involuntary civil commitment after incarceration for sexual offenses are also ineligible.

About a third of undergraduate students receive a Pell Grant each year. Most Pell Grant recipients have a family income under $50,000. Students with family income under $25,000 will usually qualify for the maximum Pell Grant.

Apply for the Pell Grant by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Pell Grant is disbursed through the college. Eligible students can get a Pell Grant from just one college at a time. Colleges apply federal student aid funding, including the Pell Grant, first to tuition and fees and other direct college costs. Any remaining credit balance will be refunded to the student to pay for textbooks and other expenses.

 

FAFSA, Money

FAFSA Tips for Low-Income Students

No Comments 15 November 2016

Every low-income, first-generation and underrepresented student should follow a few simple tips about applying for financial aid to help pay for college. They should always apply for financial aid, even if they think they are ineligible or don’t need it. They should apply for financial aid every year and apply early, to increase the amount of grants they get and allow them to work less. They can simplify the process by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. They should ask for help if they encounter problems.

Tip 1: Apply for Financial Aid Every Year

Every student should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. The financial aid formulas are complicated, so it is difficult to know whether you will qualify without applying first. For example, the number of children in your family in college at the same time has a big impact on the amount of financial aid you get.

Tip 2: Get Grants So You Can Work Less

The FAFSA provides access to federal and state grants, such as the Federal Pell Grant. Students who qualify for grants may be able to work less, which increases the likelihood of graduating from college. Students who work a full-time job are half as likely to graduate within 150% of the normal time-frame, as compared with students who work 12 hours or less per week. Even working just a few hours less each week will help, since every extra hour that can be devoted to academics increases the likelihood of graduating.

If a student will be quitting their job to enroll in college full-time, they should appeal to the college’s financial aid administrator for an adjustment to the financial aid package. Financial aid administrators can substitute an estimate of income during the academic year for actual income during the base year. If income has decreased, this should yield an increase in the amount of financial aid the student receives.

Tip 3: Always Apply for Financial Aid

Unfortunately, you can’t get aid if you don’t apply. Each year, millions of students don’t file the FAFSA. One third of them, about 2 million students, would have qualified for the Federal Pell Grant. Two thirds of these students, about 1.3 million students, would have qualified for the maximum Federal Pell Grant. Collectively, they are leaving more than $10 billion in federal, state and institutional grants on the table.

It is unclear why millions of Pell-eligible students don’t file the FAFSA. Some students said that they thought that they were ineligible or had no financial need, did not want to take on debt, had no idea how to apply for financial aid or felt that applying for financial aid was too much work. Some students may they think they can work their way through college, because they are working a full-time job while enrolled part-time at low-cost public colleges, such as community colleges. Independent students may not have the luxury of being able to quit their jobs to go back to college full-time. But, perhaps they could work shorter hours if they qualified for college grants.

Tip 4: Apply for Financial Aid Early

Even when low-income students file the FAFSA, they tend to file the FAFSA later than middle- and high-income students. Only about a third (33%) of low-income students file the FAFSA during the first three months of the application season, compared with more than half (58%) of middle-income students and more than two-thirds (71%) of high-income students. Students should file the FAFSA as soon as possible after the October 1 start date, to avoid missing priority aid deadlines and early state deadlines. For example, a dozen states award state grants on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are depleted. Low-income students miss out on billions of dollars of state and institutional grants each year because they file the FAFSA too late.

Tip 5: Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to Simplify the FAFSA and Avoid Verification

Low-income students should also take advantage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when filing the FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool transfers information from federal income tax returns to the FAFSA. Not only does this simplify the FAFSA, but it also reduces the likelihood that the student’s FAFSA will be selected for verification. Any data element that is transferred unmodified from a federal income tax return will not be subject to verification.

Many low-income students find it challenging to get through verification. They may be the first in their family to go to college, and their parents may resist providing financial information multiple times. Or, their parents may be incarcerated, institutionalized or disabled, so getting the information needed for verification may be challenging. Every time you ask for information, it erects a new barrier to college access.

If the student’s FAFSA is selected for verification, they may be required to provide an IRS tax return transcript. The online IRS Get a Transcript tool is not friendly to low-income students who do not have a stable permanent address. The IRS Get a Transcript tool can be used to mail the tax return transcript to the address on the federal income tax return. If the taxpayer wants an online copy, has moved since the tax return was filed or wants the tax transcript sent to the address of the financial aid office, they will need to verify their identity by providing a financial account number (e.g., credit card, mortgage, home equity loan or car loan) and a mobile phone number, both in the taxpayer’s name. Otherwise, they will need to file IRS Form 4506-T on paper, which can take weeks to process.

Tip 6: Ask for Help

Completing a complicated form can be challenging, especially one as detailed as the FAFSA. Luckily, there are many sources of free help completing the FAFSA. Counselors and mentors are available to answer student and parent questions. The U.S. Department of Education sponsors a toll-free hotline, 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243), to answer questions about federal student aid and the FAFSA. The National College Access Network (NCAN) provides free financial aid workshops and one-on-one help completing the FAFSA through Form Your Future.

Undocumented Students

Updated for 2016: Scholarships for Undocumented Students

2 Comments 08 July 2015

For many undocumented students, finding accurate and reliable scholarship information is exceptionally difficult. The vast majority of scholarship providers require applicants to have a social security number or proof of citizenship, limiting the number of good opportunities available to undocumented Americans.

To try and help these hardworking students, we’ve combed our scholarship database to find awards for undocumented, international, and immigrant students. In addition, we’ve listed many great scholarships that our partners and friends have created specifically for undocumented students. This list features these scholarships for undocumented students in chronological order, starting with the scholarship with the deadline that is coming up the soonest, as well as a separate list of scholarships for undocumented students with specific areas of interest.

Please note that many of these scholarships have not yet been updated with 2015 application deadlines, so they may list as “expired” in our database. Additionally, this list features scholarships that may not accept applications or have a deadline until next year. If you are interested in a scholarship with a deadline that has passed, make sure to take note and apply when it reopens which, for some may be later in 2015!

If you know of any scholarships that are not on this list, please send an email with a link to the scholarship to our content manager. 

 Golden Door Scholars

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for DACA and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) the wish to attend one of their partner schools.  The scholarship provides four-year tuition and room and board.

Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for undergraduate students attending American colleges and universities. American citizenship is not required.

A Voice for Animals Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This contest is for high school students who have participated in projects that promote the humane treatment of animals. Students are eligible regardless of nationality, citizenship, or country of residence.

La Unidad Latina Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for Hispanic students enrolled in an eligible bachelor’s or master’s degree program. Applicants must reside in the United States. Undocumented students and non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This essay contest is for 12th graders, college undergraduates, and graduate students worldwide; there are no citizenship requirements. To apply, applicants must submit an essay on the book, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Point Foundation Scholarship Program

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students who are involved in the LGBTQ community. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Foster Care to Success Scholarships

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for orphans and/or students who have been in foster care while living in the United States. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Ayn Rand Anthem Essay Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This essay contest is for 8th, 9th, and 10th graders worldwide; there are no citizenship requirements. To apply, applicants must submit an essay on the book, Anthem by Ayn Rand.

TheDream.US Scholarship Program

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for undocumented students who are DACA eligible and have applied for or received DACA approval. Applicants must attend a partner college.

Davis-Putter Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students who are active in movements for social and/or economic justice. US citizenship is not required.

Ayn Rand The Fountainhead Essay Contest

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This essay contest is for 11th and 12th graders worldwide; there are no citizenship requirements. To apply, applicants must submit an essay on the book, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Momeni Foundation Financial Assistance Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students of Iranian descent. Scholarships are available regardless of citizenship or country of residency.

National Peace Essay Contest for High School Students

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This essay contest is for high school students in the United States and its territories. Students attending high school in the United States are eligible regardless of citizenship.

Los Hermanos de Stanford Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for graduating high school seniors of Latino/Latina descent who are attending any two- or four-year institution of higher learning. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest

Deadline: December, 19 2016

This essay contest is for full-time college juniors and seniors attending colleges or universities in the United States. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Scholarships for Specific Fields of Study

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for Hispanic students who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, math, or a related field, and are members of SHPE. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Earl Warren Scholarships

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for college graduates who are planning to attend an accredited US law school. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Great Minds in STEM / HENAAC Scholars Program

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for Hispanic students who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, or math. Non-US citizens are encouraged to apply.

Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for rising college juniors and seniors who are studying television and film production. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

Women in Aerospace Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for women of any citizenship or nationality who are interested in pursuing a career in the aerospace field.

American Nuclear Society John and Muriel Landis Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students pursuing a degree in nuclear science, nuclear engineering, or a nuclear-related field. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

National Sculpture Society Scholarship

Deadline: This deadline has passed.

This scholarship is for students studying sculpture art. Non-US citizens are eligible to apply.

 


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