Financial Aid FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m a prospective student who has never received Financial aid before, where do I begin?
The first step to receiving aid is to apply. This is done by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. There is no fee for submitting a FAFSA form. You will need Goddard’s Federal School Code to apply, which is 003686. In order to sign the FAFSA form you must apply for an FSA ID, at studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid. You will need your tax/financial information from two years ago to complete the form. The FAFSA form is the only application we require.
Where do I get a FAFSA form?
A: You can apply at studentaid.ed.gov. We strongly encourage students to apply online whenever possible. Online submission is quicker, easier, and may require less follow up paperwork. All students are encouraged to request the IRS retrieval option. By selecting the IRS retrieval option students will allow the IRS to populate the income sections of the FAFSA. This will save time and reduce typing errors. The FAFSA form uses the federal tax information from the prior-prior year. That is, for 2018-2019, the FAFSA will be based on your 2016 tax form. Remember, the FAFSA form is free and does not require a fee for filing.
How do I apply for a loan?
Use your FSA ID (from your FAFSA) to sign in.
When should I apply for aid, is there a deadline?
A student can apply any time after October 1st for the upcoming academic year. The FAFSA form is based on the prior-prior year’s taxes which should already be completed. If you are applying for a scholarship or state grant that requires a FAFSA form be submitted by a certain date make sure you submit the FAFSA well before the deadline, in case there are any errors that need to be corrected.
Should I wait to be accepted before I apply for Financial Aid?
A: No, you should apply for Financial Aid as soon as possible. If a student has already submitted the FAFSA before being accepted, sometimes their award letter arrives in the mail the same day they receive an acceptance letter from the Admissions Office.
I forgot to file my FAFSA and the residency is right around the corner, is it too late to apply for Financial Aid?
No, we suggest that if the residency is less than two weeks away you complete the FAFSA and email or fax a copy of the completed form to the Financial Aid Office, firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-322-1000 (fax). This will show us that you are applying for Financial Aid and we may be able to correct any errors made to the form in a more timely manner. If all of your paperwork is not complete by registration day, you will be required to pay a residency fee.
I have submitted my FAFSA form and been accepted, what happens next?
A: You will receive an award letter, usually via email with a listing of the documents needed to be complete, most found at the studentloans.gov website. If selected for verification, you will also be sent a verification form and additional documentation may be requested. If you do not utilize the IRS data transfer, you may be required to request an official tax transcript from the IRS. If you did not file, you may be required to request verification of non-filing from the IRS.
FAFSA forms need to be completed every Academic year.
What if I’m not a U.S. citizen?
You may still be eligible for Federal aid if you are an eligible non-citizen as defined on the FAFSA. The FAFSA says an eligible non-citizen is “If you are an eligible noncitizen, write in your 8 or 9 digit Alien Registration Number. Generally you are an eligible noncitizen if you are 1. a permanent resident with a permanent resident card (I-551); 2. a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or 3. the holder of an Arrival Departure Record (I-94) from the Dept. of Homeland Security showing any of the following designations: Refugee, Asylum Granted, Parolee, Victim of Human trafficking, T-Visa holder (T-1, T-2, T-3, etc.) or Cuban-Haitian Entrant.”
When do you start awarding aid?
For the Fall semester we start awarding aid near the end of March. Anytime after March we will award students as soon as they have been accepted and we have received their FAFSA form. For the Spring semester we will mail an award letter as soon as we have been notified of the student’s acceptance and the student’s valid FAFSA form has been received.
What is the impact (if any) of multiple family members on financial aid?
The FAFSA uses the number of people in the student’s household and the number of students in that household that attend college along with income and asset information to calculate the estimated family contribution (EFC). How it impacts the FAFSA is dependent on the other household member’s position—i.e. is this a dependent child, a spouse. A graduate student is only eligible for loan funds (no matter if they are single or married, with no dependents or with multiple dependents). For an undergraduate student, the more members in the household increases the eligibility for aid but income and assets are the major factor in determining aid eligibility.
What types of aid am I eligible for and how much will I receive?
The types of aid and the amount of aid you receive depend on your financial situation and your grade level.
Aid available for undergraduate students:
- Federal Grants: The Federal Pell Grant, for students with a low Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by your FAFSA form. There is also SEOG that is awarded in conjunction with a Pell Grant.
- State Grants: Most states require you to complete an additional application in order to qualify for a state grant. Check with your state’s Department of Higher Education to receive an application and deadline information. The amount of aid received varies by state.
- Goddard Scholarships: Please refer to the Goddard Scholarships page for a complete listing of the scholarships available to BA and BFA students.
- Federal Loans: Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Perkins, and Parent Plus Loan.
- Direct Subsidized Loan amounts vary by financial eligibility and grade level. The maximum amount available for a Freshman (level 1 & level II) is $3,500 for the year ($1,750 in the Fall and $1,750 in the Spring). The maximum amount available for a Sophomore (level III & IV) is $4,500 for the year ($2,250 in the Fall and $2,250 in the Spring). The maximum amount available for a Junior (level V & VI) or Senior, (level VII & VIII) is $5,500 for the year ($2,750 in the Fall and $2,750 in the Spring.)
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan amounts for independent students as determined by the FAFSA form. The maximum amount available for a Freshman (level I & II) or Sophomore (level III & IV) is $6,000 for the year ($3,000 in the Fall and $3,000 in the Spring). The maximum amount available for a Junior (level V & VI) or Senior (level VII & VIII) is $7,000 for the year ($3,500 in the Fall and $3,500 in the Spring).
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan amounts for dependent students as determined by the FAFSA form. The maximum amount available for all dependent students regardless of grade level is $2,000 for the year ($1,000 in the Fall and $1,000 in the Spring).
- Parent Plus loans are loans borrowed by the parent of a dependent student to assist the student in paying for tuition. The amount of the Plus Loan varies depending on need.
Aid available for graduate students:
- Federal Grants: There are no Federal grants at the Graduate level.
- Goddard Scholarship: Please refer to the Goddard Scholarships page for a complete listing of scholarships available to MA and MFA students.
- Federal Loans: Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Graduate PLUS loan.
- The maximum amount available in Unsubsidized Direct Loan funds for graduate students is $20,500 for the year ($10,250 in the Fall and $10,250 in the Spring).
- Graduate PLUS loans are to supplement the Stafford Loans for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance.
- BA Psychology semester (pre-graduate preparation) and Education Licensure only students are eligible to borrow up to $6,250 in Direct Loan Funding
What is the difference between a loan and a grant?
Loans are a type of aid that must be repaid with interest. Scholarships and grants are gift aid, that means it does not have to be repaid.
Are there loan fees?
Federal Direct student Stafford loans have loan fees of 1.066% for 2018-2019.
Federal Direct PLUS (parent and graduate) loan fees are 4.264% for 2018-2019.
I’m a Veteran. What might be available to me for benefits?
The first step is getting in touch with the VA to determine your eligibility at GI Bill – Veterans Affairs where you can determine your eligibility. Types and amounts of benefits are determined by your status and length of service and there are differing plans that you can select. Goddard College also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Why am I able to receive more financial aid than the cost of tuition?
Some students decide to borrow the maximum amount of aid they are eligible for which creates an overage—we call this a refund (though not all students are eligible for a refund, which is based on their grade level and financial situation). A student can use the refund to pay for travel expenses for the next residency, to buy a computer, to buy books etc. The refund can be used toward any educational expenses. Refund checks are generated from the Student Accounts Office.
When do I get my refund?
This will depend on when your paperwork is completed and the type(s) of funds you are receiving. For a “refund” check to be issued to eligible students, all necessary faculty approvals of the student’s study plan(s) must be noted in the Student Information System (SIS). Vermont-based students may pick up the refund check from the Student Accounts Office on the last day of the residency; Washington state students will have the refund check mailed to their home address after the residency. Your refund will not be available if your paperwork isn’t complete by registration or if Goddard has not received the funds. Funds that may not be received until after the residency include State Grants, outside scholarships or loans, tuition or VocRehab payments, or other late awards. Your refund will be mailed to you as soon as all paperwork and funds are received.
What if I qualify for a refund but don’t want to borrow so much in loan funds?
We encourage students to borrow the smallest amount in loan funds they can afford while still having a successful semester. It’s better to live like a student now than to live like a student later. You may decline any or all of the aid you have been awarded, just make sure to contact the Financial Aid Office with any adjustments you want made. Students have 14 days after disbursement to change or decline their loan funds. Another way to reduce your loan payments after graduation is to make payments toward your Unsubsidized Loan while enrolled. Contact your Direct Loan Servicer if you would like to start paying down the interest on your unsubsidized loan.
There is an enrollment deposit required by the Admissions Office, will Financial Aid cover this?
No, your Financial Aid award covers expenses incurred after you enroll, not before.
I need money for travel expenses, I qualify for a refund, can I receive my refund check before I arrive?
A: No, funds do not get applied to your account until after you enroll.
How much financial aid will you award me? Will I receive enough aid to cover all of my expenses?
We always award as much aid as possible to try and cover the direct costs. However, lower level independent students or students who are ineligible for Pell and SEOG grants may not receive enough aid to cover their direct costs. If you have a balance due on your account you may contact the Student Accounts Office at email@example.com to set up a payment plan. Or, for those of you with excellent credit, you may apply for a private loan. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you are planning on applying for a private loan and check www.finaid.org.
Are there loan forgiveness programs available?
Loan forgiveness information can be found at studentloans.gov under the Managing Repayment Tab.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness
- Income Based Repayment
- There are also loan forgiveness program with Americorp
- Peace Corps
- National Health Services Corp
Find additional information see the Know Where to Go Repayment Cheat Sheet.