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# Breakdown of Financial Aid Package, What Exactly Will I Have to Pay?

edited June 2012
Here is a breakdown of my financial aid package:

Source: Fall Spring Total
Faculty Scholarship (Grant) 24,750 24,750 49,500
Term-Time Job 1,500 1,500 3,000

Total 26,250 26,250 52,500

Budget Category Amount
Tuition & Fees 40,866
Room & Board 13,630
Personal Expenses 3,454
Travel Allowance 100

Budget Totals 58,050

Resources Amount
Parent Contribution 3,950
Student Contribution 1,600

Total Resources 5,550

Need (Budget - Resources) 52,500

Now, I have an outside award in the amount of \$4,000 (One year only, not renewable). Outside scholarships first reduce FWS or Term-Time job, then Student contribution. So, my Term Job will be fully "covered", and \$1,000 of my student contribution will be taken off.

I have a few questions:

1. What is the point of including the Job in my financial aid package? The school is not "giving" me that, I have to work for it, so why is it factored into how much I will have to pay for school?

2. Are direct-billed costs ((Tuition&fees PLUS Room&board) MINUS (Grant Aid)) DIVIDED BY two?

3. If the above is correct, then my direct-billed costs are ((40,866+13,630) - (49,500)) = 4,996 DIVIDED BY 2 = 2,498 (per term)????

4. However, with the scholarship, since \$1,000 of my contribution is covered, I will only have to pay \$600, Meaning my direct-billed costs for the first year is \$3,996, and what I pay per term is \$1,998? [/*]

5. So basically, \$3,000 of my scholarship went to "nothing"? Because it didn't affect my family's out of pocket contribution?

I am not clueless about financial aid, I'm just trying to figure out what we can expect on our first bill. Thanks in advance.
edited June 2012
17 replies
Post edited by CPUscientist3000 on

## Replies to: Breakdown of Financial Aid Package, What Exactly Will I Have to Pay?

• 78470 replies3536 threads Senior Member
My bet is that if you contact the bursars office at Harvard, they will be able to tell you exactly what amount you will be expected to pay on your first bill as well as when it will be due. Call them and ask.
Total 26,250 26,250 52,500
Budget Category Amount
Tuition & Fees 40,866
Room & Board 13,630
Personal Expenses 3,454
Travel Allowance 100

Budget Totals 58,050

Your direct billable costs to your university are \$54496. You got aid that will cover \$52,500 minus \$3000 which is your work study award. That means the amount you will pay directly to the university is \$4996 per year. In addition, you will have to pay for your personal expenses, travel and any discretionary spending but some of that can come from money from your work study job.

1. What is the point of including the Job in my financial aid package? The school is not "giving" me that, I have to work for it, so why is it factored into how much I will have to pay for school?

The point is that you can get a work study job and EARN the money for your discretionary expenses...personal expenses...actually your student contribution. That way you will have these things covered. They ARE giving you the opportunity to earn money by getting a work study job on campus. These are usually more flexible in terms of scheduling. I'm not sure why you think this is a bad idea.
2. Are direct-billed costs ((Tuition&fees PLUS Room&board) MINUS (Grant Aid)) DIVIDED BY two?

You will need to ask YOUR college this question. There is no way for us to know how often they send their bills. If your school bills twice annually, once for each semester, then yes...your billable costs will be half each time.
3. If the above is correct, then my direct-billed costs are ((40,866+13,630) - (49,500)) = 4,996 DIVIDED BY 2 = 2,498 (per term)????

Yes....you will owe the school \$4996 PER YEAR so if they bill twice a year, you will need to come up with \$2498 per semester.
4. However, with the scholarship, since \$1,000 of my contribution is covered, I will only have to pay \$600, Meaning my direct-billed costs for the first year is \$3,996, and what I pay per term is \$1,998? [/*]

You will need to check YOUR university on the policy of how they deal with that outside scholarship.

5. So basically, \$3,000 of my scholarship went to "nothing"? Because it didn't affect my family's out of pocket contribution?

I'm confused by this. You got a fabulous financial aid award. MOST schools include a student contribution, and apparently Harvard felt that your family could contribute as well. Call the school and ask them about this outside scholarship. See if it can be used to offset you family contribution. Some schools will allow this, expecially for very low income students...but it doesn't seem this would apply to you.

Harvard is a very generous school in terms of financial aid. Congratulations on a terrific financial aid award. You really are not left with much to pay out of pocket for a school that costs almost \$60K per year.
• 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
Your direct billable costs to your university are \$54496. You got aid that will cover \$52,500 minus \$3000 which is your work study award. That means the amount you will pay directly to the university is \$4996 per year. In addition, you will have to pay for your personal expenses, travel and any discretionary spending but some of that can come from money from your work study job.

I am not clueless about financial aid, so I did do all of those calculations before asking questions.
The point is that you can get a work study job and EARN the money for your discretionary expenses...personal expenses...actually your student contribution. That way you will have these things covered. They ARE giving you the opportunity to earn money by getting a work study job on campus. These are usually more flexible in terms of scheduling. I'm not sure why you think this is a bad idea.

I am not stating that this is a bad idea, I was referring to the impact it would have on my direct-billed expenses. I already know that I can get a campus job, but it was included in financial aid and they used that job figure in the calculations of what i would have to pay.

You will need to ask YOUR college this question. There is no way for us to know how often they send their bills. If your school bills twice annually, once for each semester, then yes...your billable costs will be half each time.

yes, my college is on a semester system so it bills by semester.
You will need to check YOUR university on the policy of how they deal with that outside scholarship.

I know my university's policy:
Outside scholarships first reduce FWS or Term-Time job, then Student contribution. So, my Term Job will be fully "covered", and \$1,000 of my student contribution will be taken off.

I'm confused by this. You got a fabulous financial aid award. MOST schools include a student contribution, and apparently this school felt that your family could contribute as well. Call the school and ask them about this outside scholarship. See if it can be used to offset you family contribution. Some schools will allow this, expecially for very low income students.

Student and Family contribution:
Resources Amount
Parent Contribution 3,950
Student Contribution 1,600

I am saying my outside scholarship went to "nothing" because it is covering a \$3,000 expected term-time job offer, which is supposed to be used for personal expenses. But I will not get that \$3,000 to use, so what is the point that I got the scholarship or not? I could have just saved up \$3,000 from a summer job.

Outside scholarships do not reduce parent contributions, so the most it can cover of out of pocket is my \$1600, which mine covers \$1,000 of, but I don't get to use \$3,000 of it anyway.

I am a little confused, however. What was your FAFSA EFC? Did you qualify for any portion of the Pell Grant? Is this one of the very generous schools that meets need for folks with higher incomes?

My FAFSA EFC is a lot higher than what I have to pay out of pocket for this school, which is Harvard. But my family, like many, many other families, does not have the EFC amount readily available to pay.
Congratulations on a terrific financial aid award.
Thank you, we are truly grateful for it.
• 30443 replies59 threads Senior Member
Congratulations on your acceptance and your package. You seem to have a good handle on this. If the outside scholarship has to go towards college aid before it reduces your parent contribution, then yes, a portion of it went to reduce what Harvard is paying you in financial aid, since you don't have as great of a need due to the scholarship. Many schools do that and more, by not addressing the student expected contribution and going directly to the school aid usually after reducing loans and workstudy, so this is not unusual and is actually generous. The days when one could double dip, getting financial aid and merit money are pretty much gone. But at the time most kids apply for these scholarships, they may not know what school they are choosing and what they are getting in aid and how the scholarship is going to treated by the school they choose. In your case, your scholarship replaces your Work Study award and expected student contribution. The rest goes to the school.

The Work Study is replaced and so is a moot point for this year, but it could have gone towards what Harvard estimates as your personal expenses as they occur. Those are not direct billed. THe tution and the selected actual room and board are. Travel, books, personal expenses differ from person to person and can vary widely.
• 1245 replies61 threads Senior Member
Hi CPU - Long time no chat.

Couple of things.

Looks like this is a budget - correct?

Is the housing that you selected the same, more or less than what is on the budget. Is the food plan you selected the same, more or less than what is on the budget. This could easily move the budget up or down by a couple of thousand dollars.

The work study program is given to almost 100% of people that get awarded any FA. It's standard practice. But be careful what you ask for. ALOT of schools will just take away your grant money if you receive any kind of outside scholarship.

And the billed costs are not necessarily divided into two parts equally. At my son's school, it is heavier the first semester. You will have to call and ask.

Remember you can ask for a Subsidized stafford loan if you need it. There would be no interest accruing while in college.

Also remember that all scholarship monies over tuition and fees are taxable, so you will have to pay tax on some of that scholarship money. See Table 1-1.Tax Treatment of Scholarship and Fellowship Payments1 Publication 970 (2011), Tax Benefits for Education
• 37 replies6 threads Junior Member
I didn't read through all the responses, but the work-study income does NOT count towards the income that Harvard will expect you to contribute for next year. So taking the work-study job, even if you don't need the money this year, could help you next year.

You're sure to have some living expenses come up that you don't anticipate now, especially if you become friends with much more affluent kids who go out a lot. (Watch out for those expenses!) Or if you need to pay to travel home. I was a work-study student at an Ivy League school and made most of my closest friends through my jobs, since they were in the same boat I was in (socioeconomically...). Good luck!
• Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama 84338 replies1048 threads Forum Champion
I'm confused....don't you get the \$3k scholarship in hand, instead of having to WORK at a job for the money???
• 1245 replies61 threads Senior Member
Mom - CPU received an outside scholarship for \$4,000. So she'll have \$4,000 in hand instead of working for it and paying part of the student contribution.

I think CPU was upset that work-study isn't really aid because you have to work for the money. But, Harvard could have just as well offered CPU a stafford loan instead of work study and then possibly it would have been perceived differently.
• 78470 replies3536 threads Senior Member
Even though Harvard has eliminated loans from its financial aid awards, students may still choose to borrow through one or more of the loan programs described below.

The above is from the Harvard website. They do NOT include loans in their financial aid packages. So...Harvard would NOT have awarded this student a loan. BUT this student can GET a Stafford loan if they choose to do so.
• 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
Thanks cptofthehouse. The scholarship isn't able to reduce the parent contribution at all. Their website says that since outside scholarships reduce need, they still expect parents to pay the same amount, and scholarships first go towards reducing work study/term time job, then it reduces my 1600 contribution. Anything more than that then reduces grant aid.

**** just a note, the work study and term-time job are different things at harvard. Term-time job is just a term used for people who don't have unmet need, so no preference in applying for jobs and I believe it is taxed.

Hi kleibo.

I don't get the scholarship in hand. It goes directly to the school from the scholarship people. I should have mentioned that in my original post. If it went to me I'd rather use it to buy my computer.

Also, I'm not eligible for a subsidized loan because Harvard more than met my need. And I didn't get a Work Study, because they more than met my need, so they just added in the fact that I could get a job.

Also, the meal plan is unlimited for all students and housing costs the same (unless I decide to live in university sponsored apartments, which I think costs different.)

I'm not upset that the job isn't really aid. I'm upset because from what I understand, since the job isn't really aid, why is my scholarship going towards it? What is it "replacing"? I won't be able to use it for personal expenses like I would money from a job. And it's not reducing my grant aid (the scholarship would have to exceed \$4,600).

I'm not saying I won't work, I'm just confused about this scholarship. Why aren't I able to use that \$3000 from my scholarship over the course of the year (\$1500 like they suggest I would earn), if it is "replacing" my *need* to have a job. Why is it going to my school in the first place? Even if I did get the scholarship in hand, I'd still have to report and send it.
• 78470 replies3536 threads Senior Member
It's going to your school because their billable costs get paid first. Luckily, you have the best of both worlds...some more money going towards your education...AND you can still get a job while in college.

Congratulations again. It sounds like you are a terrific student, and have gotten a terrific admissions and aid offer from Harvard.
• 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
thumper1--- but the scholarship doesn't get applied to their billable costs (except \$1,000 which is deducted from the \$1,600 I have to pay). this is what gets me. \$3,000 of it is replacing the expectation of a job, so why are they keeping it?
• 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
UPDATE

I emailed the Financial Aid Office. I don't think I will get any more responses until tomorrow, because our conversation happened a few minutes before they close for the day.

If I am understanding, the TOTAL out of pocket cost is actually \$8,550, NOT \$5,550. They did NOT include on my financial aid papers that the \$3,000 contributes to my family's out of pocket expenses. They listed the \$3,000 job as though it was just a *possibility* to help with personal expenses. So, in essence, my bill will be \$4,275 per semester, and this one time scholarship will reduce it by \$2,000 per semester, bringing my semester bills to \$2,275.

So, even if I don't get an on campus job, My family will still be responsible for paying for the \$3,000.

Thanks to all the posters who contributed. It would have been better to have my award letter organized more clearly with the grand total out of pocket expenses.
• Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama 84338 replies1048 threads Forum Champion
You're getting about \$50k in grants

You're getting \$4k from a private scholarship.

If you hadn't gotten that \$4k in scholarship, you or your family would be writing Harvard a check for about \$5k....now you only have to write a check for \$1k. (unless I'm mistaken somewhere.)

Parent Contribution 3,950
Student Contribution 1,600

You're getting to keep more of the above...instead of giving it to Harvard.
• 5890 replies78 threads Senior Member
They're keeping it because, in their opinion, your family ought to be making some of the contribution towards your college costs. Virtually all of the other highly selective colleges do the same, or are even less generous in how they handle it. Wash U is the only school I can think of that would have allowed this scholarship to apply to some of the parental contribution expectation.

- Most schools allow it to apply against loans. (But you don't have any loans in your pkg)
- Most schools allow it to apply against your student contribution, but some don't.
- Most schools use any remaining balance to reduce the amount of school-provided grants.
- If there's still scholarship money available after school-provided grants have been all removed, then the funds actually do reduce your family's expected contribution.

If' you'd earned a \$55K one time outside scholarship, I think that your family would still be on the hook for \$3,050 in contributions unless you are by chance eligible for a Pell Grant. (I'd guess that would have been shown on your award if you were.)

Congratulations on a great award. If you earn some money that will further reduce what your family will need to contribute, and you might find that some of the costs in the school's COA are a bit inflated, possibly reducing it more. Either way, it looks very, very doable.
• 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
mom2collegekids--- We posted at the same time. I was also mistaken, as the award letter wasn't clear. I posted an update, which is what I took away from a conversation I just had with the admissions office.

arabrab -- I was confused as to why they were keeping it because they didn't make it clear that the \$3,000 was a part of my out of pocket expenses (see post #13).
I know why they would be keeping it otherwise, I expressed that in my OP and post #10.

EDIT: arabrab -- if i had earned a 55K schoalrship, my family would not be on the hook for anything, since the scholarship would cover/exceed the direct billed expenses (tuition, fees, room, board). Harvard would send me a refund for the excess.
• 1350 replies49 threads Senior Member
It is possibly me, but I seem to be confused as to what the real question is. What it appears to me is that the OP is saying

1) Outside scholarships should go directly to the student and not be factored into the aid package from the school. However it appears that Harvard has taken that into consideration in the aid package and reduced their aid correspondingly.
2) Work study etc is not real aid as the student has to work for it and again should not considered as a part of the aid package.
3) As a result of the college policy, OP may have to make some payments to the school, for which he/she will not get the money back till later. Hence OP wants to know how much he/she needs to come up with before joining?

Is my understanding of this thread correct? Or am I totally off base?
• 5346 replies104 threads Senior Member
mazewanderer--I don't agree with those points. I was just confused as to why they would keep the \$4,000, when it would only reduce \$1,000 of my contribution.

My grant aid from them wasn't reduced because I didn't exceed \$4,600 in outside scholarships.

And yes, the job (which is NOT work study) was included under aid, but it isn't aid they are giving me (of course).

The question I was asking was basically "where is the \$3,000 going towards if I was not responsible for paying that amount?"

HOWEVER:

I received more emails this morning, confirming what I interpreted. Yes, they did not indicate that the \$3,000 still had to be paid for by my family.

They said that if I paid my bill in full, I'd have money left over from the scholarship because it would exceed the cost of attendance, and I could use that for personal expenses. I don't understand the point of that, why would I pay the bill in full just to get a refund? I wish everything was more clear in the original aid letter.

Thanks again for all the replies.