How it works Learning Objectives Today we will learn • • • • • • • • • Definition of packaging Funds we typically package Estimated Financial Assistance & its affect Steps to package awards Packaging categories & sequence Packaging models Overawards Hands-on example Notifying students of their awards So what IS packaging? Per the FSA Handbook • Packaging is the process of awarding aid without exceeding the student’s financial need • More simply: it’s how you decide what students are awarded (in what combination) Funds we typically package Federal programs • Pell, SEOG, Perkins, Federal Workstudy, Direct Loans, PLUS Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, TEACH, Iraqi & Afghanistan Service Grant State programs • TPEG, TEXAS Grant, TEG, BOT, CAL, Texas Workstudy, Set-Aside Funds Institutional programs Estimated Financial Assistance Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) is taken into consideration when packaging Examples include (but not limited to) • • • • • • • Pell (first source of aid) Other federal, state, institutional grants Subsidized & Perkins loans Work study Unsubsidized loans* * Indicates funds that can replace all or part of the EFC as long as PLUS loans* the COA is not exceeded. Private loans* Other Examples of EFA ROTC living allowances Scholarships (including athletic & ROTC) Employer reimbursement of tuition & fees Tuition and fee waivers Fellowships and assistantships Americorps funds Exceptions to EFA: – Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant – Prepaid tuition plan – Federal veteran benefits STEPS TO PACKAGING Steps to Packaging Determine the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) budget & Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Award Federal Pell Grant Calculate the student’s financial need Package campus-based, state, federal, and institutional funds Package or refer students to other supplemental sources of assistance Packaging Steps: STEP 1 • Determine the COA & EFC A typical COA consists of* EFC comes from…? o Tuition & Fees o Books & Supplies o Room & Board o Transportation o Personal Expenses * COA amounts are determined by the institution & could include PJ adjustments Packaging Steps: STEP 2 Award PELL Grant Pell Grant awarded based on EFC • Pro-rated based on enrollment status and EFC range Packaging Steps: STEP 3 Calculating Student’s Remaining Need Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution _____________________________ = Initial Need - PELL award (if any) - Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) __________________________________ Remaining Need to package other funds Packaging Steps: STEP 3 • Calculating students’ non-need eligibility Cost of Attendance - PELL - EFA - Need-based aid awarded ________________________________ Room for non-need based aid Packaging Steps: STEP 4 Package Campus-based, Federal, State, Institutional • Package other aid programs listed above according to your school’s packaging philosophy/policy • Keep in mind that each school is different! PACKAGING CATEGORIES & SEQUENCE Goals of an Administrator Provide as many students as possible with resources to meet their financial need Distribute aid in an equitable manner Provide assistance that will be the most beneficial to the student Manage financial aid funds Recruit and retain students Meet areas of national need Sometimes these are competing goals! Packaging Guidelines Responsibility for paying for college rests with the student and their family Federal Pell Grant is the foundation of undergraduate student aid packages Families can borrow from some aid programs to replace all or a portion of their EFC Scholarships cannot be substituted for the EFC Must take expected financial assistance (EFA) into account Packaging Categories Schools can organize their packaging categories based • • • • • • Enrollment status Classification Academic program or major field of study Application date Need Based vs. Non-Need Based Residency Criteria Packaging philosophy must be detailed in the school’s policy and procedures Packaging Sequence What gets awarded 1st? 2nd? Schools designate the order in which it awards funds from various programs Again, this can vary from school to school It can depend on the categories designated This should be noted in the policy and procedure manual for your institution PACKAGING MODELS Six Basic Packaging Models First-Come, First-Served Gift Aid First Self-Help Concept Special Targeted Groups Equity Concept • Absolute Dollar Equity • Fixed Percentage Equity Individualized Packaging First Come, First Served Financial aid awards based on the order in which completed applications are received by the aid office until funds are exhausted Benefits: • Rewards students who get their stuff done early Drawbacks: • May not have funds available for students that need it most Gift Aid Gift aid is awarded first and self help aid is awarded to meet any remaining need Benefits: • Decreases likelihood of loan debt Drawbacks: • Limited gift aid funding Self Help Self-help assistance is awarded after the family contribution and before any consideration for gift aid Benefits: • Places same burden on all students • Allows gift aid to those who do not have same access to self-help Drawbacks: • Increases likelihood of higher loan debt Targeted Groups Separate packaging criteria for specific groups of students in addition to specific criteria required by law or regulation Benefits: • Easier to tie packaging philosophy to institutional goals Drawbacks: • Tougher to defend – watch the “bait and switch” Equity Concept Absolute Equity • All students are funded up to an institutional maximum fixed dollar amount with gift aid before their remaining need is met with self-help. Fixed Percentage Equity • An institutional maximum percentage level of NEED or COST for all gift aid is used rather than a fixed dollar amount. Benefits: • Provides for an equitable distribution Drawbacks: • Difficulty in managing overawards and maintaining that equitable distribution Individualized Packaging based on the FAA’s evaluation of a student’s individual costs, resources and needs Benefits: • Each financial aid packaged is customized • Personal touch with each student Drawback: • Time consuming • High subjectivity Which Should You Use This depends on your institution Most institutions do not use one specific model… • A variation of one or more of these models is used by institutions to fit in with that school’s objectives OVERAWARDS & PACKAGING Overawards Overawards occur when: • Aid exceeds a student’s need or COA How does this happen? • EFC changes (due to verification or updates) • COA changes (possibly due to enrollment) • Additional financial assistance comes in (late scholarship, exemption payment) This is the student’s responsibility to report to us When overawards happen, we make adjustments HANDS-ON EXAMPLE Packaging Example: Self Help Sally is attending Cowboy College (CC). She is a dependent senior. CC employs a self-help packaging model and awards work study prior to loans. COWBOY COLLEGE COA $20,280 EFC $500 Scholarship $2,500 Pell Grant $5,280 AWARD MAXIMUMS Perkins $1,500 Work Study $3,000 Institutional Grant $3,000 Direct Loan $5,500 Packaging Example: Self Help • • • • • • • • • • • • • Cost of Attendance EFC Need Pell Scholarship (EFA) Remaining Need Work study Perkins Stafford Loan Remaining need before grants Institutional Grant Unmet Need Anything Else???? 20,280 (500) 19,780 (5,280) (2,500) 12,000 (3,000) (1,500) (5,500) 2,000 (2,000) 0 Remaining unsub eligibility? Packaging Example: Self Help What if you are informed that the student is receiving another $500 scholarship after you have packaged? • Does this fit in the COA as is? • Does it fit within the need? • If not what would you reduce? NOTIFYING STUDENTS OF AWARDS Notifying Students of Awards Institutions are required to inform students: • Amount of award(s) • Terms and conditions of award • Manner and timing of payments Institutions have the option of confirmation or notification • Confirmation – Student formally accepts awards • Notification – Student not required to accept award, but must notify school if they do not want aid Notifying Students of Awards What if there aren’t enough funds? • Caveat may be included on award notification stating that the award is subject to the availability of funds and may be revised if funds not available or eligibility changes Wrapping Up Today we learned • • • • • • • • • Definition of packaging Funds we typically package Estimated Financial Assistance & its affect Steps to package awards Packaging categories and sequence Packaging models Overawards Hands-on example Notifying students of their awards QUESTIONS?