Butler University’s Office of Financial Aid recently sent out the academic scholarship award letters, which has sparked many questions among admitted students. Before you begin, you might want to familiarize yourself with these common financial aid terms.
Still have questions? Let us help you:
Q: I haven’t received my scholarship letter yet, is it coming soon?
A: Most academic scholarship letters were mailed in late December and should have already arrived in your mailbox. If you haven’t received it yet and are wondering if you should have, please contact your admission counselor. He or she will be happy to assist you!
Q: If I didn’t receive a scholarship, what are my options?
A: First, we are very excited that you are considering Butler University as one of your top choices! Second, there are many options that students have when it comes to funding their college education. Here are a few to help you get started:
- Gift Programs: These can include departmental scholarships and grants. In fact, Butler University is the largest provider of financial aid to its students. To learn more visit www.butler.edu/financial-aid.
- Aid Programs: Financial aid programs include federal, state and university grants, federal student loans, and federal student work-study. For consideration of all aid programs, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To ensure maximum consideration and timely notification of any of the following awards complete the FAFSA online between January 1 and March 1 each year. For more information, visit www.butler.edu/financial-aid.
Q: Does Butler University accept outside scholarships?
A: Yes, we do accept outside scholarships! An outside scholarship is any scholarship not awarded by the government or the school, such as a scholarship provided by a private sector company, philanthropist, or foundation. We strongly encourage students to apply for as many outside scholarships as possible. Outside scholarships can quickly add up and many go unclaimed each year, so be sure to start applying for these as soon as you can. Here is a list of websites we recommend:
Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have specific questions and they will be more than happy to help!
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A few weeks back, we decoded admission specific language for you. Now it’s time to share the ins-and-outs of Financial Aid terminology. Before we jump into the financial aid process in the next few weeks, let’s define a few terms you might need to familiarize yourself with:
- Aid: Need-based aid refers to federal, state and university grants, federal student loans, and federal student work-study. For consideration of need-based aid, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We recommend each year that you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online.
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC): This is calculated by the federal methodology using information you provided on the FAFSA.
- Grants: Grants are a form of financial aid, based on need, which you do not have to repay.
- Merit & Talent Awards (also known as scholarships): Awards based on academic achievement or performance ability (scholarships). Those you do not have to pay back.
- Loans: Students and parents who wish to borrow from any of the loan programs (ex: Federal Direct PLUS Loan or Private Loans) must determine their borrowing needs for the entire academic year before beginning the application process.
- Verification: Verification is a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy. Some students are selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education and others are selected by the school. Not sure what to do if you’ve been selected for verification? Visit the eCampusTours website for more information. The Office of Financial Aid will also send you more information if you are selected for this process.
Now let’s cover some important dates:
- Gather the previous calendar year’s W2s and federal tax returns, and identification documents (social security cards, drivers licenses) for both the student and the parents.
- File the FAFSA (school code 001788) between January 1 and March 1.
- The Office of Financial Aid will use your EFC to determine how much aid you’ll receive.
- The Financial Aid Notification (FAN) will be mailed to you after March 15. This is a complete overview of the financial aid offered to students eligible to receive financial aid based on merit or need. The FAN also includes an average cost of attendance, which is used to determine financial aid eligibility. You’ll receive a financial aid award letter that tells you the amount of aid you’ll receive for the school year and in what form: loan, grant or campus-based program.
- Your offer of financial aid will be available to you online at my.butler.edu (Self-Service – Student Center – Finances – Review/Accept/Decline Financial Aid) after you’ve received your award letter. You can accept or decline each award, select a lender (if necessary) and report any outside scholarships.
- To help you consider your options, you can also fill out the Family Responsibility Worksheet (PDF) will guide you in evaluating the different financing options available and developing a plan for your investment in a Butler education.
We know that this is a quick overview of the process so for more in-depth information, please visit www.butler.edu/financial-aid.
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For many high school seniors, and college students alike, it might just be a few hours of your time. We know in today’s economy families are trying to make every dollar stretch as far as they can and sometimes the financial aid offered through federal and state government and colleges or universities just aren’t enough. Colleges and universities are spending every dime they have to help students just like you, but if you want a piece of the pie from all the dollars that go unspent every year you just might have to commit to a little time.
Outside scholarships are scholarships that are awarded outside of the normal financial aid processes and available through community groups, Fortune 500 companies and professional organizations. But how do you find these scholarships? There are a number of ways…I recommend starting with your high school guidance office. Your advisor has most likely been developing a list of scholarship opportunities from community and service organizations such as: Optimists, Kiwanis and Dollars for Scholars. Your parents may even be an unrealized source through their involvement in religious, social and trade memberships such as the Knights of Columbus, Masonic Lodge and the union local.
The corporate pages of Fortune 500 companies and scholarship search engines like Fastweb.com, College Board Scholarship Search and Sallie Mae’s Scholarship Search are just a few good online sources. Many corporations will provide college scholarships for students who qualify, so it does not hurt to search the corporate website for scholarships. The scholarship search engines will ask for students to register and complete a student profile so the student can be matched up with possible scholarship opportunities. There are no guarantees and you still have to apply for the scholarships, these websites do give you a start in locating scholarships for which you may apply. One piece of advice set up a separate email account just for your scholarship search; some sites, not all, will sell email addresses to keep the service free.
- Start now and keep looking. Not all scholarships are offered at the same time.
- Apply, apply, apply! Cast a wide net by applying for as many scholarships as you can – you are bound to catch something.
- Don’t discount any scholarship. A $100 can go a long way.
- Scholarship opportunities are not limited to graduating high school seniors. It is important that you apply every year.
- A little time and effort can net results. Don’t overlook a scholarship because the application requires an essay or additional information that may time to create. Consider the amount of time it takes in relation to the potential return.
Associate Director of Financial Aid