Frequently Asked Questions
We know that the process of applying for financial aid can be very confusing for families. We hope the resources on this page will be helpful to families who may be going through the process for the first time. You can find very clear explanations of many of the terms used in describing federal financial aid programs in Federal Student Aid's Glossary.
Finally, we have created a series of pages with the consumer disclosures mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act
Applying For Aid: 2013-2014 Academic Year
- How do I apply for need-based aid?
- What documents will I need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2013-2014 Academic Year?
- What is the deadline for submitting my Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
- What is Loyola's Title IV Code (information required on the FAFSA form)?
- How does the Department of Education come up with my "Expected Family Contribution ("EFC")?
Awards and Changes in Financial Aid or Aid Reconsideration
- How long does the financial aid awarding process take?
- What if I need more aid and/or the FAFSA does not reflect my present situation?
- If I move off-campus, how does this affect my financial aid?
- My financial aid awards were reduced. How can aid be reduced after it was awarded it to me?
Parental Income Tax and Additional Information
- Should I send in my tax forms and other paperwork before you ask for it?
- Must my parents and I complete our 2012 federal tax forms before filing the FAFSA?
- If my parents are divorced or separated, do I include both parents' income information on the FAFSA, even though they no longer live together?
- If my parents are divorced, and the parent I receive more support from remarries, do I have to include my stepparent's income information on the FAFSA, even though that person does not provide any financial support for me?
Q: How do I apply for need-based aid for the 2013- 2014 academic year?
A: Submit the 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information from the FAFSA will help us to determine the type of federal financial aid you are eligible to receive. Louisiana undergraduate students interested in applying for all available state aid programs (Including the"TOPS" Scholarship Program) also need to complete this form.
Families who are completing the form for the first time should review the section on Completing the FAFSA .
Q: What documents will I need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2013-2014 Academic Year?
A: You will need the following documents: (You can complete the FAFSA using "estimtated data". If you choose this option, you will need to send us a copy of all tax forms when they are completed and submitted to the Internal Revenue Service.)
- The 2013-2014 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet
- Your 2012 Federal Tax Return and all 2012 W-2 Forms
- Your spouse's 2012 Federal Tax Return and all 2012 W-2 Forms (if applicable)
- Your parents' 2012 Federal Tax Return and all 2012 W-2 Forms (if you are dependent)
- Bank statements for checking, savings, and investment accounts
- Learn about the new IRS Data Retrieval Tool (and why you want to use it).
Q: What is the deadline for submitting my Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
A: The FAFSA (with correct signatures) must be submitted by the priority deadline of February 15th of each year (incoming students) OR May 1 (returning students) . If the FAFSA is received late, you may only be considered for Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Grants, and Federal Parent PLUS Loan.
Q: How does the Department of Education come up with my "Expected Family Contribution ("EFC")?
A: Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the number that's used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The EFC is not the amount of money that your family must provide. Rather, you should think of the EFC as an index that colleges use to determine how much financial aid you would receive if you were to attend their school.
Q: How long does the financial aid awarding process take?
A: Need-based aid packages are calculated after the student has been
- Accepted for Admission
- Evaluated for all available institutional merit scholarships
- Has submitted a processed 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid ("FAFSA") to our office .We anticipate that the first group of award packages for incoming students will be released sometime around March 7, 2013.
Q: What if I need more aid and/or the FAFSA does not reflect my present situation?
A: Review the information posted under Finalizing Your Financial Aid Award. Contact your financial aid counselor for additional instructions.
Q: If I move off-campus, how does this affect my financial aid?
A: We use the same living expense cost figures to determine aid eligibility for both on-campus and off-campus students. The difference is that off-campus students are billed by Loyola University only for tuition and may receive some of their financial aid as an excess aid refund. The excess aid is often used to assist in paying for off-campus living expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, etc). Before you move off-campus, make sure you make a budget for the various costs associated with renting an apartment that you would not encounter as an on-campus student.
Undergraduate students whose permanent addresses are outside of the metropolitan New Orleans area are required to live on campus for their first two years of study.
Q: My financial aid awards were reduced. How can aid be reduced after it was awarded it to me?
A: Federal and state financial aid laws state that a student cannot receive a financial aid amount greater than the cost of attendance minus any other aid and their" Expected Family Contribution". If you completed your FAFSA with estimated income information OR if your FAFSA was randomly picked for verification by the Department of Education, your award will not be final until we receive all requested documents and make any needed adjustments to the original data you reported.
Awards may also be reduced if we discover a significant difference between the income and asset information reported on your FAFSA and the information documented on your 2012 federal tax returns.
Loyola University New Orleans is obligated to reduce your federal or state aid if outside aid or scholarships result in an over-award situation. For example, if a student receives a new scholarship midyear, causing him to be over awarded, then the aid package will need to be reduced to compensate for the scholarship. Had we known about this scholarship when the original financial aid package was calculated, the aid amount would have been lower in the original package. To adjust for an over-award, we normally reduce the Federal Stafford Loan OR Federal Work Study, before we would revise your remaining eligibility for grants.
Q: Should I send in my tax forms and other paperwork before you ask for it?
A: You should not submit tax forms unless specifically requested to do so. Paperwork that is not required causes us to take time away from reviewing information that was requested.
Q: Must my parents and I complete our 2012 federal tax forms before filing the FAFSA?
A: The FAFSA allows estimates for income and tax information if the applicant and/or applicant's parents have not yet completed federal tax forms for 2012. On #32 for students and on #76 for parents, select choice B ("will file, but have not yet completed my return"). If you do estimate, keep in mind that you must correct your FAFSA later (via the paper Student Aid Report or FAFSA on the Web) with the actual tax figures, since you are obligated by law to report an accurate picture of your family's finances. We prefer that you file the FAFSA with estimates instead of waiting for a completed federal tax return, if waiting for your tax return will prevent you from meeting our priority-processing deadline. The priority deadline for completing the FAFSA for incoming students is February 15 each year. The priority deadline for returning students is May 1 of each year. Students whose FAFSAs are recorded after the priority application deadline will be considered late, and will likely only receive consideration for the federal Stafford loan, federal parent PLUS loan, and all federal grant programs.
- Learn more about updating income information on your FAFSA by utilizing the IRS Data Retreival Tool.
Q: If my parents are divorced or separated, do I include both parents' income information on the FAFSA, even though they no longer live together?
A: The FAFSA worksheet (page 4) gives the following explanation:
“If your parents are divorced or separated, answer the questions about the parent you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months, or during the most recent year that you actually received support from a parent. If this parent is remarried as of today, answer the questions about that parent and the person to who your parent is married (your stepparent).”
Q: If my parents are divorced, and the parent I receive more support from remarries, do I have to include my stepparent's income information on the FAFSA, even though that person does not provide any financial support for me?
A: Federal financial aid law states that if your biological parents are divorced, and you live with the parent who has remarried, you must include the stepparent's income information on the FAFSA, since you are considered part of that person's household. This is the case even if your parent and your stepparent file separate federal tax returns. You complete the FAFSA by adding the amounts from both of the tax returns together.
Q: My Student Aid Report (SAR) indicates that I was selected for "Verification." What does this mean?
A: The federal processor randomly selects applications to undergo the verification process each year. If your family chooses to utilize the new IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update the income information on your FAFSA, this process should be very simple.
Q: When is the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid open?
A: The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is located in Thomas Hall , Room 410. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. On Tuesday mornings, we have mandatory staff training from 8:30 until 9 a.m.
- We can be reached by phone at 504-865-3231, by FAX at 504-865-3233, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Who Is Handling My File?
A: Each student is assigned to a counselor by his or her last name
MYTH: I consider myself independent because (either one or more of the following):
- My parents don't claim me as an exemption on their federal tax return.
- My parents cannot (or refuse to) pay any of my school expenses, I pay for everything.
FACT: Dependency, according to federal financial aid law, is not determined by any of the above situations. For example, a student who is classified as independent for federal tax filing purposes may or may not also be classified as independent for financial aid filing purposes. In general, your answers to the questions in "Step Three" of the FAFSA determine whether or not you can file the FAFSA as an independent student (which means you do not include parent information on your FAFSA). If you can answer "yes" to any of these items, then you are considered independent for financial aid purposes, and can complete the FAFSA without parent data.
- Publication 17 from the Internal Revenue Service , Your Federal Income Tax- For Individuals, covers the general rules for filing a federal income tax return. It supplements the information contained in your tax form instruction booklet. It explains the tax law to make sure you pay only the tax you owe and no more.
- Students should also review the information on the Internal Revenue Service's website on :
- Do You Need to File A Tax Return?
- Is Your Scholarship Taxable? (IRS Publication 970) - see pages 5 and 6
Updated September 19, 2013