Packaging 101

Packaging Financial Aid
Nick Prewett
University of Missouri - Columbia
Crystal Bruntz
Avila University
Financial Aid Packaging?
• Strategy used to distribute limited
financial aid resources
• Combines various types of aid from
federal, state, institutional, and private
entities to meet student’s financial need
• Varies from school to school, depending
on types of scholarships and other aid
• Different philosophies
Packaging Goals
• Find the best combination of aid to meet the
financial need of the students you serve
• Distribute resources in an equitable manner that
are in line with your institutional philosophy
• Provide assistance that will have an impact on
access and affordability.
• Attract the type of students you want to your
Types of Aid
• Pell Grant (first source of
• Federal, State and
Institutional Grants
• Federal Direct Subsidized
and Perkins Loans
• Need-based employment
• Waivers of tuition and fees
• Fellowships or
• Long-term Institutional
• Athletic Scholarships
• AmeriCorps Funding
• McNair Scholars
• TEACH Grant
• Federal Direct
Unsubsidized Loans
• Parent Loan for
Undergraduate Student
Packaging Policy Should
• Set award amount guidelines for each program
• Specify portion of need school will meet if policy is
not to meet full need
• Set gap between need and financial aid package, as
flat amount or fixed percentage
Packaging Award Amounts
Packaging policy should:
• Specify whether minimum award amount set for
Federal Perkins Loans and/or Federal Work-Study
• Award only if need allows for more than established
minimum award amount
• Consider program maximums that increase each year
(e.g., Title IV loan programs)
Summer Terms
Important issues to consider when packaging aid
for summer include:
• Structure of the summer term for term-based
• Enrollment status
• Selecting the award year for a crossover payment
• Funds allocation for summer aid
• Use of a scheduled academic year (SAY) as opposed
to a borrower-based award year (BBAY)
Step 1 – Determining the Student’s
Cost of Attendance (COA)
Tuition & Fees
Room & Board
Books & Supplies
Loan Fees
Step 2 – Calculating the Student’s
Financial Need
Cost of Attendance
Financial Need
Step 3 – Determine Eligibility for
Individual Resources
• Determine Pell Grant eligibility first
– Generally awarded to neediest students (Pell
Grant recipients)
• State Grants
– Criteria set by the state
• Institutional Grants & Scholarships - criteria
set by the institution
Step 3 – Determine Eligibility for Individual
Resources continued…
• Work-Study
– Examples: FWS,
– Awarded within need and according to institutional
• Perkins Loan
– Generally awarded to neediest students and according
to institutional policies
• Subsidized Stafford Loan
– Awarded within need, maximums determined by
federal regulations
Step 4 – Develop Package
• Develop package using funds for which the
student qualifies
• Institution’s packaging policy can influence the
resulting package
• Total of package cannot exceed COA
Step 5 – Non-Need Based Aid
• Unsubsidized Stafford
• PLUS Loan
• Private Loans
Six Basic Packaging Models
1. Individual student
2. First-come, first-served
3. Distinct student group
4. Gift aid first
5. Self-help
6. Equity
1. Individual
• Awards are typically calculated by hand for
each student.
2. First-Come, First Served
• First-Come, First-Served
– Based on the order in which completed
applications are received by the aid office until
funds are exhausted.
– If you use a priority date, you are most likely FCFS
3. Targeted Groups
• Targeted Groups
– Separate packaging criteria for specific groups of
students in addition to specific criteria required by
law or regulation. (Good for institutional
– Do you award extra to First Generation students?
– Do you award extra to ……… ?
4. Gift Aid First Model
Cost of attendance (COA)
– Federal Pell Grant
– Estimated financial assistance (EFA)
= Remaining need for packaging
Grants and scholarships awarded first
Self-help awarded to meet remaining need
5. Self-Help Model
– Federal Pell Grant
= Remaining need for packaging
Self-help awarded first
Gift aid awarded only if need remains
6. Equity Model
• Assures certain level of gift aid assistance
• Cannot be used to award FSEOG
• Two types:
– Absolute equity
– Fixed percentage equity
Equity Model Continued
• Equity Concept
– Absolute Equity
• Students funded up to an institutional maximum fixed
dollar amount with gift aid before their remaining need
is filled with self-help.
– Fixed Percentage Equity
• An institutional maximum percentage of NEED or COST
for all gift aid is used up to a fixed amount.
Packaging Model Variations
• May include:
– Increased self-help after first year
– Lower self-help for low-income or disadvantaged students
– Lower work-study for marginal students
– Increased school-year work expectation as students progress academically
• Must be in school’s policies and procedures, and consistently followed
Packaging Techniques
• Self-Help
– Self-help assistance awarded after the family
contribution and before any consideration for gift
– Do you believe that the EFC is a real number and
families should pay it?
• See Hagan Scholarship
Packaging Techniques
• Packaging to Cost of Attendance
– Student’s FA need is met as much as possible
according one or a combination of the previous
– Unmet COA is filled using remaining unsubsidized
Stafford loan eligibility, PLUS and/or Private Loans.
– Do you award PLUS to every student?
Packaging Techniques
• Many institutions do not use a specific model
by itself. Variations of the models can be used
to best fit the institutional objectives.
• Do you know what your institutional
objectives are?
Loan Fees
• Must add actual or average loan fees to COA
for Federal Direct Student Loan borrowers
• May include required fees for nonfederal
student loans
• Once loan fees are added to COA, gross
amount of loan is included in EFA when
calculating student’s remaining need for other
sources of aid
• Financial aid that exceeds student’s financial
• May occur when student receives additional
financial assistance, or has changes to EFC or
• Student’s responsibility to report additional
financial assistance
• Do you automatically repackage aid?
Award Notification
• Institutions are required to inform the student of:
– the amounts
– terms and conditions of his/her award
– manner and timing of payments
• Signature of acceptance by the student is no
longer required. However, many institutions
continue this practice.
Packaging Example - Mizzou
Gamma Sumcash
•Incoming first-year student, First Generation, AY 14/15
•COA = $20,000 EFC = $0
•Qualifies for state residency
•Has King of the Mountain scholarship of $2000
•Eligible for Pell Grant of $5730
•Maximum awards: State Grant - $1500,
Sub Loan - $3500, Unsub Loan - $2000 Work Study - $1200,
•Institutional grant to fill remaining gap in gift aid up to institutional
Package this student with the “FIXED EQUITY OF NEED” equity
model with a maximum of 50% gift aid.
Packaging Example - Mizzou
• Determine need
COA – EFC = Financial Need
$20,000 - $0 = $20,000 Financial Need
• Determine gift aid
Financial Need * Gift % = Max gift aid
$20,000 * 50% = $10,000
Packaging Example - Mizzou
Max Gift Aid
Pell Grant
King of the Mountain Scholarship
State Grant
Institutional Grant
Gift Aid Awarded
Remaining FA Need
Work Study
Sub Stafford Loan
Unsub Loan
Total Self-Help
Unmet FA Need
Total Package
Packaging Example - Avila
• Avila University, Kansas City, MO
– Small private school
• 1000 full time traditional undergraduate students
• 500 graduate students (4 programs)
• 500 adult non-traditional students
– Different tuition rates and packaging philosophies for each
– Equity Packaging formula for Traditional students
• Need-based institutional aid is awarded to students based on EFC
and Academic ranking (GPA and ACT/SAT)
• Receive a maximum percentage of aid against tuition. Different %
for First Year, Transfer and Athletes.
• Any gift aid outside of institutional funds is not counted, therefore
many students receive gift awards greater than % of tuition.
Packaging Example - Avila
Incoming first-year student, AY 14/15
On campus COA = $37,208
EFC = 2443
Academic Scholarship = $13,500
Need Based Grant = $2,000
– Varies based on EFC and Academic Scholarship
– Target Discount Rate
• Pell Grant = $3,280
•Maximum awards: State Grant - $1500, Sub Loan $3500, Unsub Loan - $2000, Work Study - $2000
Additional Guidelines
Enrollment criteria
Annual and Aggregate Maximums
Annual Minimums
Need Based vs. Non-Need Based
Academic Criteria
Residency Criteria
Nick Prewett
Director of Financial Aid
Columbia, MO
[email protected]
Crystal Bruntz
Director of Financial Aid
Avila University
Kansas City, MO
[email protected]

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