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Financial Aid refund check/ What am I going to do with all this money!

pugfug90pugfug90 Posts: 1,595Registered User Member
ACG Grant year $750.00
Hope Book $300.00
Hope Scholarship $5,058.00
Federal Pell Grant $2,760.00
Federal SEOG $500.00
($9368 free)

Federal Work Study $3,000.00
($3000 job)

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan $3,259.00
Federal Perkins Loan $2,000.00
($5259 loan)
===
Award=$17,627 (and $1,555.00 in "family contribution")
===
Georgia State Cost of Attendance (assumed)
Books and Supplies $1,000.00
Living Expenses $12,466.00
Tuition and Fees $4,888.00
Transportation $828.00 (i'm living and bussing $30 a month, no need for parking)
Total: $19,182.00
===
This is for the whole year.
Housing $2,925.00
Fees $494.00
Tuition $2,248.00
My bill for this semester is $5667. So for the year let's say $11,334.

$17627-$11334=$6295. What the heck else can I spend for school with that?
---
*Do they let me buy food (kroger, not meal plans) with that?
*Let's just say I spend on housing and tuition and some fees only. So I can expect a $6K refund check?
*Are they going to continue to "overreward" year after year regardless?
Post edited by pugfug90 on
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Replies to: Financial Aid refund check/ What am I going to do with all this money!

  • simbasimba Posts: 6,092Registered User Senior Member
    You don't have to take loans
  • pugfug90pugfug90 Posts: 1,595Registered User Member
    It doesn't hurt does it? Gives me flexibility. Also, I heard that Financial Aid refunds money not used. So if they "refund" the loan, better to accept than not had it at all?
  • pugfug90pugfug90 Posts: 1,595Registered User Member
    Different take, with work study and grants alone, I can pay off housing and tuition with $1034 in "free" and "work" left over. And not even have to touch the $5259 of loans. With kind of living expenses justify "overawarding me?

    Also, this refund thing I don't get. If I don't use $5K in loans, will they give me a $5K refund? That wouldn't make sense, every kid could say I don't "need" this loan, get money, so yeah.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,570Super Moderator Senior Member
    I did the math, and your info makes no sense at all. Where do you come up with the bill amount? What were you actually billed for? What financial aid has been applied so far? I don't see how you get your figures.

    Assuming you somehow figured this out right ... Did you accept your loans? If so, why? Loans are not free. If you don't need them, don't take them out. And work study money is not awarded up front. You have to work for it. If you don't work, you don't get it ... and if you do work, you only get it as you earn it.

    I don't think things are as rosy as you seem to think. Break the bill down, and let's take it from there.
  • pugfug90pugfug90 Posts: 1,595Registered User Member
    Housing $2,925.00
    Fees $494.00
    Tuition $2,248.00

    For this semester. No aid has been applied, I think they say 2 weeks after school starts they do?

    I did accept the loans but the way I see it, if i don't need it, I'll just say so. See if they lent me $4K, I'll just "borrow" the money they lent me and pay it back that way :D Eh, is my logic off?
  • pugfug90pugfug90 Posts: 1,595Registered User Member
    See, say someone loans me $4K. I haven't spent it, I just give it back, no interest to be payed. The situation is even nicer for college since loans aren't due til after my major.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,570Super Moderator Senior Member
    Okay, I see the discrepancy. You have living expenses as $12466, but housing charge for semester as only $2925. Your aid was awarded on the basis of the $12466 for the year ($6233 for the semester). That is why you were over-awarded. Why the huge difference? And what about your board charges for the semester ... does the $2925 include room AND board?

    Do you understand that your parents will be taxed on the free money you receive in excess of tuition & fees? Keep that in mind.

    If your living expenses are on campus & are that much lower than the original figure of over $12k, you MAY have been awarded a Pell and/or SEOG in error. Also, the grant, if need-based, MAY have been awarded in error. I am almost certain the Subsidized & Perkins loans would have been awarded in error. You need to call & find out why the living expense in your aid package is so high.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,029Registered User Senior Member
    Well for a start the work study money will be paid direct to you as salary for a WS job assuming you apply for and get one. So that will not be a part of any refund. You will pay taxes and FICA on it so will not actually take home that amount. Also you will probably owe taxes on some of your financial aid - grants and scholarships over the cost of tuition and fees are taxable. Are you planning to buy any books? That will probably take care of a few hundred (estimate for the year at my Ds school is @ $940 a year which may be low or high depending on number of credit hours and whether she can get 2nd hand books). Are you planning to eat at all? The COA includes an amount for food. It is usually an estimated average but if you are not on a meal plan you can buy your food wherever you choose. (though at my Ds school excess money is not paid till the end of the semester).

    Yes excess financial aid is generally returned to you. But don't forget those loans are going to have to start being repaid once you finish school (after 6 months for the fed. direct and 9 months for the Perkins) - you are looking at being a little over $21,000 in debt if you finish in 4 years. You are looking at loan payments of around $230 a month for 10 years. So if your costs are really going to be so much lower than the COA you may want to consider having less loans. Don't spend it for the sake of spending it and end up with more debt than you need.

    You are not actually 'overawarded'. Your financial aid package is based on an estimated COA which is based on averages for most students. If you are able to live on less then don't gp into unnecessary debt.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,570Super Moderator Senior Member
    If you are living at home & the housing cost is actually board (student meal plan of some type for commuter students), your aid package should have been computed on the commuter budget. If it was awarded on the residential budget & you don't live on campus, your aid package WILL be adjusted accordingly (as you will find out when it gets applied).
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,029Registered User Senior Member
    I Cross posted with kelsmom.

    Kelsmom - why would his parents be taxed for the money in excess of tuition and fees. Isn't it the student that gets taxed for it? That is what I have been assuming will happen in my Ds case.
  • Proud HuskyProud Husky Posts: 254Registered User Junior Member
    "I haven't spent it, I just give it back, no interest to be payed."

    It doesn't matter if you don't spend it. Once you take/accept the loan, you'll have to pay interest soon after you graduate. Loans do not equal free money. Plus you should be thinking about building your credit history (so you can buy a house in the future, etc.). Why would you want to take a loan if you'll have to pay it back later? Once you have this money now, you'll be temped to use it and then how are you going to come up with the money to pay it off? If you've been given enough aid that you don't need loans, why put yourself in debt?

    As for the "refund," I'm assuming your school has direct deposit. Once the semester starts, they will deposit your funds (excluding work study which as mentioned above is paid to you as you earn it). Check with your school, but your tuition and fees will most likely be deducted automatically with the rest of the funds deposited into your bank account (or some other method). It will be your responsibility to manage your funds.

    Also work study does not mean you automatically have a job. It really means you are work-study eligible, so you can find a job on campus that hires work-study students. swimcatsmom is right: you'll have to apply for a job in order to get paid.
  • pugfug90pugfug90 Posts: 1,595Registered User Member
    ACG Grant year $750.00
    I'm pretty sure that that is in error, since I thought it was for good grades, but apparently it was for those who took AP, but hey:D

    The $12466 is GSU's figure in general. I'm not sure how they reckon anyone spends that much to "live" (btw you just made me realize that housing is included in living).

    What's room and board? I'm living in a 4 bedroom suite. No food payed, though if I want, a meal plan is 400-1200.

    Besides the face that I've been overawarded (well now that i look at it, not that much, grants and job are barely enough for tuition/housing/fees and just $2500 per semester extra in loans), what can GSU expect, 12K in "living expense", 6K in housing, whats the other 6K for?
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,570Super Moderator Senior Member
    swimcatsmom, you're right. It is the student who is taxed. I find that odd, since the kid is a dependent & the parents are expected to pretty much foot the bill. But none of it seems to make sense, anyway.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,570Super Moderator Senior Member
    Financial aid packages can be adjusted at any time. I would suggest making sure you still have the amount you received on your initial award letter. I can't believe the school can award based on that budget, given your actual costs. Maybe they can, but I would make sure. Some schools do pad their budgets quite a bit, but yours seems like an unusually big cushion given your actual costs.

    A point to consider: if you take the loan & don't spend the money, that money is in the bank. Say you have several thousand in the bank. You HAVE to claim that next year when you apply for aid (don't lie). You may well reduce your free money eligibility in the future by sitting on money you don't even need. Run the numbers in a FAFSA calculator & see what happens.

    Bottom line advice from me is take the free money, work the job, and say no to the loan (or to some of it, anyway).
  • pugfug90pugfug90 Posts: 1,595Registered User Member
    kelsmom, you mean unused loans will rollover, so I won't have loan after loan each year, but excess loans from previous to be used in later times?

    Also, this refund check thing confuses me. My grants and $3K job will be enough and $1034 extra. Is refund checks only for grants, just giving me a measly $1k check, or also loans? In that case, if they give back loans (that was never my money), that's rather unlogical to me but I'll take what I can get:D

    Also, I can't find it, but my school says after if "fees" have been paid, 2 weeks after school starts, financial aid will pay for tuition and all. So do they expect me to pay for books, then prove I bought at "x" and compensate me there?
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