I was curious as to know what were the financial aid packages of students from a lower socioeconomic status. I’ve always heard that UVa offers great financial aid packages. When I used the financial aid calculator for UVa though, I found that my package required 11,000 from self-help. I mean it is still a great deal especially for me as an OOS, but considering my family’s income is around 10,500 a year…you can understand the dilemma
You will find details at the UVa financial aid site, including some examples, Typically, an out of state US student of moderate income is offered up to 7k a year in federal loans and 4K a year of work study, which totals 11K. The out of pocket family contribution will vary with income and assets.
I’m not sure how summer earnings work into the formula, but you may be able to reduce the work study amount with a good summer job. Work study can only be earned while you are taking classes, and some people say it is hard to find $4k a year worth of work at UVa. You may be able to reduce your loans with outside scholarships.
Make sure you fill out the FAFSA and UVa also requires the CSS/Profile that you will find on College Board. This will determine how much the gov’t thinks you can pay for college. Without these, you will not get aid from the government or the University. Check UVa’s website for the deadline…they are very strict about that. The forms can be somewhat overwhelming, but someone in UVa’s financial aid office should be able to help.
The deadline is March 1st - don’t miss it, it is NOT a flexible date. FAFSA can take some time to complete, and you have to go through the process of getting/setting-up PINs for access. you will also want/need to have your family’s Federal income tax (1040) completed prior to filling out FAFSA. As kt stated, it can seem overwhelming the first year - but you need to get it going asap as you only have about 25 days left to get it all completed and turned in (faxed to them).
Follow everything here: http://sfs.virginia.edu/new/undergrad/2016
Also, as charlie said, they will generally designate $4K of aid for OOS students as work-study. You probably won’t be able to pull that off - especially in your 1st year, because it will take you some time to secure a job that first semester. However, $2400 is a very possible amount to make in work-study - and in general, $1600 is very possible to “save” in your costs through buying used books, and limiting your spending. You can make it work.
After you get an edu email address, sign up for Amazon’s student prime in August. (If you sign up too early, you won’t get to use the free 6 month period for both semesters). That will save you a fortune in shipping costs.
In general, Amazon has new and used books for much less than college bookstores. When buying used books, just be aware that some courses require an internet access code. It is possible to buy the codes separately, but not always easy to find. If an access code is needed, it may be cheaper to buy new than used. You also can look at Amazon’s rental service, or can sell textbooks back to them, or to another student. Don’t delay in selling textbooks, or the editions may change.
The UVa bookstores lists ISBN numbers, which you can put into a search engine to make sure you are buying the right edition.
You can also buy cheaper versions of some books using digital editions, such as on a Kindle. Some literature is available free online. However, for a full color science book, you may want a paper copy.
To add to charlie’s info: my son has also said that in some of his classes this year (he’s a 2nd year) the profs have either said: 1) you don’t actually need the book, or 2) you don’t need the current edition, so buy the last edition and save money. For his most expensive books he has waited until classes start to find out this information. But be aware, some classes also require you to have the book in hand day 1, so best to ask after you get your course schedule set up in the fall.
In addition to Amazon (which is great for books), check Half.com and Chegg as well. We saved over $1000 this year on books just by shopping smarter.
Also, as charlie mentioned, don’t forget to look at outside scholarships. While they won’t change your overall aid picture at UVa (they deduct dollar for dollar your outside scholarship $ from your financial aid $) they do however deduct the aid amount from your student loans first - which still helps you in the long run. So, a $1000 outside scholarship would reduce your student loan amount to be a loan of $6K instead of $7K, etc.
And lastly, remember that UVa provides its aid based upon the full COA (cost of attendance). That total COA includes more than $4000 for books/supplies, personal expenses, and travel. These are all areas of opportunity for reducing your expenses - if you are judicious in your spending.
You guys are all so fantastic!!! It makes me love the UVa community more that you guys are all so super supportive. I will make sure to check out everything you guys mentioned
Just a few thoughts about financial aid. UVa limits loans for low income families/students to 8k per year for OOS. However, do not be surprised if your EFC (expected family contribution) calculated by your FAFSA does not equal the EFC calculated by UVa financial aid, they have their own formula. What’s been said about 4k in work study is accurate, however finding a job even with work study at UVa is tough especially for first years.
About ordering using Amazon Prime, my S discovered that sometimes what’s offered on Amazon is better than what is in the book store. He ordered his Calculus II book using Amazon and had students asking him where he got his text book because the book store offered only a loose leaf copy. Take care with Amazon however because the UVa mailroom can add as much as two weeks to the delivery date of your mail. Many students find that if they order text books and have them delivered to their University mail address that they may not have them for the first week of class. My S ordered his over the summer so that they arrived at our home and then he traveled to UVa with his books. For second semester, he bought his books at the book store because there wasn’t enough time over Christmas break to order and receive them.
A shiny bound textbook is not necessarily better than loose leaf. Often a professor will use a campus printing office or local printing company to put together a text to try, including a revised version of his own work, before sending to the big publisher. The loose leaf text may be more up to date, expanded, corrected, and quite possibly cost less. Best to ask the professor which edition the course requires before laying out the dosh.
According to my S, the only difference was that one was loose leaf and the other wasn’t. That’s why he had so many students asking where they could get one because a bound copy was easier to tote around.
Yes, my daughter’s textbooks have often been much cheaper if you choose the looseleaf option and buy your own 3 ring binder. She goes to a different college, but has everything shipped to her sorority house (which gets direct deliveries from UPS) because the college mail system is incredibly slow (particularly at the beginning of the year). She wasn’t able to vote this year because that other college’s mail service took 2 weeks to give her her absentee ballot.
This source says in-state financial aid typically starts with work study of $3,000 a year work study and $3,500 of federal loans, and out of state is typically $4,000 of work study and $7,000 a year of federal loans. Perkins are used as needed to get to the $7,000 number. It says that a student can turn down this offer of part or all of the work study or loans, but turning it down won’t increase your AccessUVa dollars - you need to make up the difference somewhere else, such as working lots of hours during the summer.
UVa had a loan cap for out of state students for federal loans (which I believe is $28K, but it used to be lower). However, I can’t find anything recent in writing about it.
Of course, that just raises your overall annual income (summer income does not count as work-study) and then reduces your aid a bit due to that increased income. It’s quite the Catch-22.
@Charliesch you are correct about the cap on OOS subsidized loans being 7k, sorry for my mistake. I went back through my notes and found it although as you mentioned I can no longer find confirmation of this online. I had kept this link http://www.virginia.edu/financialaid/forms/Documentation/Access%20UVa%20Examples%20082013.pdf which still works showing the difference in aid from 2013 to 2014 when the changes to the accessUVA program took effect. For OOS and EFC=0 it shows loans of 7k per year. Here’s an article in the Daily Progress which also discusses the 7k per year cap. http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/loans-to-be-included-in-accessuva/article_917e9ed0-fd12-11e2-a84c-0019bb30f31a.html
But… the $7k/yr isn’t really the whole story. Yes, that’s in unsubsidized “need-based” loans only - i.e. Perkins and institutional unsubsidized loans. However, they may/will also put in as part of your aid package an Unsubsidized loan amount, as they did for my OOS son. So his aid package includes an additional $2k of unsubsidized loans per year, so his real loan total is $9k, not $7k.
While they state the following online: “Students who do not demonstrate financial need, in whole or in part, are eligible for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan.” This loan is in fact presented in the package (at least in ours) just like all the other need-based aid and appears to be counted as need-based aid to get us to the EFC number, which we owe on top of all the loans. So, while an extra $2k is a manageable amount, that $7k “max loan” line does seem a tad misleading.
While UVa provides very good financial aid, I do think they tweak things a bit and come up about $5k/yr short for many OOS families. They are way too high (about $2k) on the 4k Work-study expectation; the $2k unsubsidized loan adds that total to what you “owe”; and the UVa EFC is about 1-2k above the FAFSA EFC. So, all in all, about $5k off from what would seem optimal.
But don’t get me wrong - in our experience it’s WAY better than what most other schools offered.