Finances can be an overwhelming part of pursuing a college education. Knowing what your options are is key to making this a more obtainable goal. We sat down with Fontbonne University’s Director of Financial Aid Shawn McCaw to gain some insight into what options prospective students have. Check out our Q&A below!
What is financial aid?
Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career school. Grants, work-study, loans, and scholarships help make college or career school affordable.
What is the process?
When students apply for an undergraduate program, they are automatically considered for academic-based scholarships.
These scholarships are based on a student’s high school or transfer GPA. The scholarship amounts vary from $500 to upwards of a full-tuition scholarship. Students are encouraged to apply early to make sure that they meet all the deadlines.
The Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) is the next step in the financial aid process. Filling out the FAFSA allows students to potentially qualify for financial aid from the Federal Government, State, or need-based aid from their university. The FAFSA has a priority deadline of February 1. The application needs to be filled out each year and requires information regarding you/your family’s income and prior years filed tax return. (For example, The 2022-2023 FAFSA uses tax information from 2020. If a student is in a situation where their financial situation has changed – income, parental divorce, etc. – they can contact the financial aid office of their university to discuss the situation and go over the next steps.
What are the options?
There are many options for students seeking assistance. Detailed information, such as videos on types of aid, eligibility requirements, and more can be found on FAFSA’s website.
Student aid can be used to help cover tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid can also help pay for other expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. You can estimate your eligibility for federal student aid and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with our Federal Student Aid Estimator. Be sure to use the tool before you fill out the FAFSA form.
Below are the types of aid as defined by FAFSA:
- Grants- A grant is defined by FAFSA as a form of financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund, or you receive a TEACH Grant and don’t complete your service obligation). Learn About Grants
- Nonprofit Scholarships- Many nonprofit and private organizations offer scholarships to help students pay for school. It is sometimes based on academic merit, talent, or a particular area of study. Learn About Scholarships
- Work-Study- The Federal Work-Study Program allows you to earn money to pay for school by working part-time. Learn About Work-Study
- Aid and Other Resources- In addition to aid from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the federal government offers several other financial aid programs. These programs include:
- Tax benefits for education
- Education awards for community service with AmeriCorps
- Educational and training vouchers for current and former foster care youth
- Scholarships and loan repayment programs through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and National Health Service Corps
- Aid From Your State Government- In addition to federal aid, you may be eligible for financial assistance from your state. Contact your state grant agency for more information.
What unique options does Fontbonne offer to subsidize the cost of tuition?
- Fontbonne University offers select students the opportunity to have tuition and fees covered by state, institutional, and federal government through the Fontbonne PROMISE program. Fontbonne strives to make education affordable and helps students reach their academic goals
- We also offer discounts to alumni of the University to pursue their graduate education. Fontbonne also offers graduate discounts too:
- The University recognizes and appreciates the extraordinary commitment our military personnel has made to our country. To thank you for your service, we offer a 15% discount on Graduate tuition for active-duty military personnel and veterans.
- In appreciation of the services offered to our community by educators at all levels, Fontbonne University offers a discount to qualified individuals enrolled in master’s coursework. Qualified educators include those who work at least half-time in a nursery school, pre-K-12 school system, or post-secondary institution. Some academic support partnerships may also qualify.
- Many companies offer tuition assistance. Fontbonne has partnerships with many companies. All corporate partnerships are established for a 20% discount for the current employee, spouse, and child with any of Fontbonne’s official corporate partners.
How can students reach you if they have questions or need help thru the financial aid process?
The financial aid office is here to help and will reach out to students through their Fontbonne email. To make sure students are staying on top of deadlines and any missing information, it is key that they check their email. We are available to help students from the starting point of their education through their graduation. Our office can even help Fontbonne University Alumni navigate the repayment of their student loans.