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Student mama question re:financial aid

490 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  CalebsMama05
I have recently applied for financial aid online through FAFSA. My EFC is 0. I haven't yet applied to any schools but I do have a few in mind. I was wondering if there was any way to see how much it would cost before even applying. Could I call the financial aid department and find out how much financial aid or grants I am eligible for even before applying? I'd rather not waste money on application fees if the cost of tuition is going to be too high KWIM? I'm just not sure how to go about finding out how much tuition is going to end up costing me.

How have all of you student mamas dealt with this? When exactly do you find out which grants you qualify for?
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It's kind of late to apply to most schools for the fall, just FYI... most of the deadlines are past. Even if you get in, you generally get a better financial aid package if you apply earlier.

The EFC is your estimated family contribution (what they expect you to contribute). The schools generally have a breakdown of the cost of attendance on their websites - tuition, housing, books, etc. Since your EFC is 0, they will try to award you that entire amount - that's how much you're eligible for - but since it's late they may not have those funds available. There are some that you're pretty sure to get, so if you go to the federal financial aid website and look up the maximum amounts for their programs you can see how much you'll be able to borrow, and how much of a pell grant you can get (if you're undergrad) but the rest is up to the school.

When I was undergrad I got a Pell and a couple of other grants to start with, which paid my expenses so I didn't have to borrow, and then after one semester (I started spring semester) I was awarded a regents' scholarship, which covered all my tuition... plus I kept the other grants.

Some schools (like Harvard) promise to fully fund you if they accept you as an undergrad (except for your EFC, which for you is 0)...but most don't.

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You can call the admissions office and ask them your questions directly. They will be able to tell you how much they think you'll get approved for and how many private scholarships and grants they have available, etc.

Since I have kids and haven't been in school in some time, I applied at my local community college and I attend it now. The Pell grant paid for my full year (including books!) and I only got a student loan b/c I wanted one. The financial aid dept. was able to tell me how much I was qualified for before FAFSA got back to me about it. I plan on transferring to a 4-year institution in the next year or so.
I think it never hurts to ask. I would ask them about usual financial aid packages for people with an EFC of 0. I would also ask whether they waive application fees based on need. I know a lot of schools do this.

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I was curious about this as well but i'm going to community college for the first year or two so its not very expensive ($33/pch last i saw)

good luck! I'm pretty much where you are as well. my efc is 0 too.
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