Financial aid package help

<p>I'm starting college this fall, new to financial aid, so any help is appreciated!
My EFC is 0.</p>

<p>This is what my financial aid letter says:
Dean Of Faculties Award: $3000
Federal AC Grant: $750
Federal Pell Grant: $5550
Federal Supplemental Grant: 700
Frank OBannon Award: $3364
TOTAL: $13364/yr</p>

<p>Tuition + fees is approx $9000/yr
I'm living with the parents, so housing costs are out, phew.
I'm not planning on accepting any loans this year, I'd really prefer to graduate with minimum debt.
So does that mean that after tuition, I would have $4364 left for me to use for books, laptop and tings? Or does that just go back to the school? </p>

<p>Am I missing anything here? I was freaking out about paying for school, so the thought that financial aid will cover everything + seems too good to be true...</p>

<p>Also, are financial aid refunds considered taxable income?</p>

<p>Sorry if this seems obvious, just wanted some confirmation so I can stop stressing!</p>

<p>someone else will have to verify...but even if you are a commuting student, you still have living expenses. So...there would be an amount for your living expenses...and commuting costs in that cost of attendance, I would think. Find out the total cost of attendance for you as a commuter. Then you need to find out if you can accept financial aid awards in excess of the cost of attendance. Call the school and ask.</p>

<p>Ahhhhhh yes, thanks, I checked the website more carefully, it says a student’s total aid package cannot exceed the Cost of Attendance. But it outlines COA as Tuition and Fees, Room and Board, Books and Supplies, Transportation and Personal/Miscellaneous. So hopefully that means my books will be covered right? Does "supplies" = laptop? I guess that's something I should ask the college. Thanks very much for your time!</p>

<p>Congratulations! Though as Thumper has wisely said, you do have to verify through your school, just in case...we are, after all, just an internet site, how it usually works is that the money is for your commuting, books, supplies. The total Cost Of Attendance (COA) that can be covered by government monies includes costs that commuting students incur. </p>

<p>But do call the financial aid office and make sure you understand every letter and line of the awards.</p>

<p>Wonderful -- this looks like a very complete package for someone living at home. It will cost you something to commute -- if you drive, there's the cost of that plus parking (which might be expensive); if there are buses or trains, those also have a cost. </p>

<p>When you call, you might want to find out which awards are likely to be renewed for next year. I think that the AC grant may be going away.</p>

<p>Yes, this is almost certainly the last year for the ACG award:( Your package looks very good, I'm sure it's within COA or the school wouldn't have packaged you that way. Your refund will be given in two parts, by semester. The total amount of "gift aid" that you receive which exceeds the actual cost of tuition and required course materials (books, lab kits, etc.) will be reportable for income taxes. But you may not actually owe taxes unless you have other income or the excess grants/scholarships exceed your standard exemption (assuming your parents claim you as a dependent, so you cannot claim yourself). You can check the site for the amount of that exemption, it was over $5K for 2009.</p>

<p>Btw, where is the state aid in this package? Or does your state not give grants to students?</p>

<p>The state aid is the Frank O'Bannon Award.
No ACG next year? That sucks.
Hopefully it works out and I'll be set for this year at least. Parents really can't afford to pay.
Thanks for all the help!</p>

<p>A poster upthread has the right thought. Look at the renewal possibilites of all the grants and ais and be sure to try to keep your grades up to maintain those. If you must decline any this year you want it to be those that wouldn't be renewed under any circumstance.</p>

<p>Was your award based on you living on campus? If you've changed to living with parents, then they may adjust your aid. However, if this package was based on the school knowing that you'd be living at home, then great.</p>

<p>I also don't see any federal work study in this award. Even though you're living at home, your COA might be high enough to allow an award there and it would normally be given to kids with 0 EFCs first. You might check with the FA office if you're interested.</p>

<p>Definitely check the details on your Dean of Faculties award - is it merit or need based, renewable and, if so, does it have a gpa requirement and does it renew for the same amount (sometimes subsequent years are higher/lower, though usually it's the same amount). The rest look like fed/state big worries about the fed aid as you know that ACG will be eliminated, but Indiana's education awards can vary by fiscal year due to budget constraints. It would be a good idea to keep abreast of the news in that area so you have as much time to plan as possible...returning students get their FA awards much later than incoming freshmen. Good luck!</p>