Smart Money Moves
Your monthly guide to Financial Aid Information: Dec 2020
In this issue, you will find:
- Winston Salem Foundation Scholarship application opens Jan 1
- Crosby Scholars Scholarship Opportunities for Seniors opens Jan 4
- Learn more about Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans
- CSS PROFILE Fee Waivers
- Upcoming UNC School System Priority Filing Deadlines
- I filed my FAFSA, what happens now?
What if I make a mistake on the FAFSA?
What do I do if my FAFSA has been selected for Verification?
- Have Financial Aid Questions? Schedule a Zoom appointment!
The Winston Salem Foundation's One-Stop Scholarship Application opens January 1
The Winston Salem Foundation scholarships are accessed through a One-Stop Scholarship Application. This means that you will be automatically considered for the scholarships for which you are eligible—with just one application. You’ll need to complete the application in full and provide supplemental materials. We’ll take it from there!
Here’s how the process works:
- For U.S. citizens, first complete the FAFSA at fafsa.gov. (For non-citizens, enter WSF portal after January 1 and follow instructions.)
- Access our One-Stop Scholarship Application. You will create an online account that will be accessible to you any time—so you can save your work and return to it later.
- Complete the General Application, as well as any other opportunities you are prompted to complete. Be sure to meet the firm deadlines noted above.
- Receive notification of your scholarship(s). Merit-based scholarship awards are communicated in May, while need-based scholarships are awarded throughout the summer. Notifications are made by letter and email.
KEY DATES: 2020-2021 WINSTON SALEM FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS
January 1, 2021: WSF One-Stop Scholarship Application opens
(previously scheduled to open December 15)
March 15, 2021: deadline for most WSF merit-based scholarships
July 1, 2021: deadline for WSF financial need-based scholarships
Crosby Scholars Scholarship Opportunities for Seniors available in the Student Portal Jan 4
Apply inside your Crosby Scholars Student Portal beginning January 4, 2021. Students may apply for as many of our scholarships as they are eligible for.
Crosby Scholars Scholarship opportunities will be posted every Monday, so check your Crosby Scholars Student Portal each week!
Direct Parent PLUS Loans
As you explore options to help fund your seniors college education, you may hear about a type of loan that you as a Parent can borrow on behalf of your student to help pay college expenses. Federal Direct PLUS Loans are a great option if you need money to pay your child’s education expenses, but you’ll want to make sure you understand the loan terms before you get one.
After submitting the FAFSA, your senior will begin to receive Financial Aid offers from schools that will include grants, federal work-study, scholarships, school and state aid, and federal student loans. But did you know those federal loans may include a type of loan called a Federal Direct PLUS Loan that you can get as a parent borrower?
CSS Profile Fee Waivers
You are eligible to receive CSS Profile fee waivers if you are a first-year undergraduate applicant whose parents live in the U.S. You may receive a fee waiver if:
- You received a SAT fee waiver OR
- The parental income you reported on your application is approximately $45,000 or less for a family of four OR
- You are an orphan or ward of the court under the age of 24.
There are no fees for noncustodial parents if the parental income reported on the application is approximately $45,000 or less for a family of four.
Read the CSS Profile's FAQ for more details on the CSS Profile Fee Waiver program.
Don't miss these UNC School System FAFSA Priority Filing Deadlines
Make sure you know the institutional Financial Aid priority deadline for your school! Filing out and submitting your 2021-22 FAFSA by a school's Institutional priority deadline is the best way to ensure you will be considered for the most federal and state financial aid funds.
UNC School System FAFSA Priority Filing Dates
- Appalachian State University -- March 1st
- East Carolina University -- March 1st
- Elizabeth City State University -- March 1st
- Fayetteville State University -- January 15th
- North Carolina A&T State University -- December 1st
- North Carolina Central University -- March 15th
- North Carolina State University -- March 1st
- University of North Carolina at Asheville -- March 1st
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -- March 1st
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro -- December 1st
- University of North Carolina at Pembroke -- March 1st
- University of North Carolina at Wilmington -- January 1st
- University of North Carolina School of the Arts – March 1st
- Western Carolina University -- January 1st
- Winston Salem State University -- March 1st
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte -- March 1st
If you do not see your school listed, you can find their FAFSA priority deadline by checking the Financial Aid section of their website.
I filed my FAFSA, what happens now?
- Within 3 days to 3 weeks after filing the FAFSA, you will receive notification from the Federal Government that your Student Aid Report (SAR) has been processed. The SAR is a summary of the information you and your parent(s) provided on the FAFSA.
- If you do not hear from them, log in at FAFSA.gov and check your status.
- Look over your SAR to make sure you did not make a mistake on your FAFSA.
- The SAR won't tell you how much financial aid you'll get.
- If you have been admitted to a school, and you listed that school on the FAFSA, the school will calculate your aid and will send you an electronic or paper aid offer, called an Award Letter, telling you how much aid you're eligible for at the school. The timing of the aid offer varies from school to school. It depends on when you apply and how the school prefers to schedule awarding of aid.
What if I made a mistake on the FAFSA?
Once your application has been processed, you can correct your FAFSA online or on paper. (Making corrections online is the easiest and fastest option.)
You can also contact the financial aid office at the school that you have been accepted at to see if they can make the correction for you.
Note: The online FAFSA doesn’t allow you to change your Social Security number (SSN). If you made a mistake in reporting your SSN, ask the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend whether you should start over again and submit a new FAFSA.
Find more information about correcting your Social Security Number HERE.
What do I do if my FAFSA has been selected for Verification?
Verification is the process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on the FAFSA is accurate.
If you're selected for Verification, don't assume you're being accused of doing anything wrong. Some people are selected at random; and some schools verify all students' FAFSAs. All you need to do is provide the documentation your school asks for - and be sure to do so by the school's deadline, or your financial aid could be delayed or rescinded.
If you used the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) when filing the FAFSA, you will not have to verify that information. If you didn't use the IRS DRT and you're selected for verification, log back in at fafsa.gov to see whether you can use IRS DRT to fill in the relevant fields on your FAFSA. If not, your school may require you to submit a tax transcript as part of the verification process.