Awful financial aid... I think there is something wrong?

I recently got back the financial aid award from my top school and it was waaaay less than my family had expected. Basically, I would have to pay almost 100% of the tuition to go there. My mom is a single parent as my father died last year. We don’t own a house, and my mother is unemployed. The FAFSA said our EFC is 0. I’m not joking - I literally make more than my mom working part-time at the local pool.

What is most troubling is that I have wealthy friends at this school who own second houses, have both parents alive and working, etc. and their grants were much larger than mine.

Another note - I got the same amount of money from every school, all of which are need blind and promise to meet 100% of demonstrated need. I’m thinking that there may have been an actual mistake in the CSS or something that was never corrected? If anyone has advice, I would really appreciate it.

Sorry to hear that your dad died.

Please clarify…

What school is this?

What is your home state?

Was your dad’s income listed in your FA forms? Are you sure that this school knows that your dad is deceased?

did your mom receive a large insurance payout or something?

The school is Colby, and I live in CT.

Yes, they definitely do because I had to get the non custodial profile waived w/ proof of a death certificate. My parents were divorced before his death so my Mom didn’t get any sort of insurance payout.

First thing you do is go over your CSS Profile with a fine-toothed comb - check every line. If there’s ANYTHING you’re not sure about, come back here and ask. See if you can find a mistake.

If you can’t find the problem, call Colby’s financial aid office on Monday, explain the problem and ask to speak to a counselor. Then the two of you can review your financial aid application together.

I think a mistake was made. You need to contact them. Can you print out what you submitted?

It sounds like a big mistake on the CSS or FAFSA. Check them both and call the financial aid departments at one of the schools. Hopefully someone there can help you get to the bottom of this. If your EFC was really 0, then it must be a mistake. Good luck!

So your FAFSA SAR showed a 0 EFC, you logged in and checked? Make sure to check that first. If it is 0 then your FAFSA was okay.

If so, then you should have got a 5,775 Pell at the minimum, but your ‘meets 100% need’ colleges should have given you university grants, loans and work study to total the COA.

So make sure the CSS has the same numbers as the Pell. Check every number that is extra for error. Since it is just not one college, it seems the mistake is on your end. If there was a mistake that was never corrected, the only way to get it corrected is if you do it. You will have to print it out and make hand corrections. First look it over and let us know.

Something is very wrong. I’m guessing there was a huge error on your Profile…a misplaced decimal point making $1000.00 into 10000.00.

Thank you all for your responses! My Mom and I will look over everything today and call them on Monday. I’ll let you know what happens :slight_smile:

Ditto. Call and explain. If necessary ask for a personal meeting. Good luck!

I’m sorry for your loss.

I agree that something must be wrong on your Profile. What concerns me, though, is that the FAFSA should not have been changed simply as a result of something different being reported on the Profile … and the absence of a Pell grant leads me to believe that the FAFSA must have been changed. I assume you had to send a copy of your tax return. I wonder if they added back your dad’s income from the tax return. This would have been a mistake, of course, but it would explain a change.

Hang in there and try not to worry. Talk to them Monday, and you will have a better sense of what is going on.