Posts Tagged ‘FAFSA’

I Can’t Afford Holy Cross

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

TranKim-Senior.BLOG2Did you break out in a sweat, hyperventilate, or struggle to breathe for a second when you first saw the nearly $50,000 price tag for attending Holy Cross?  Without a doubt, $50,000 per year is a hefty price to pay for a college education whether it be in this dire economy or in a vibrant economy of several years ago, and some of you may have decided to not apply because of the sticker shock.  However, you might be surprised at how affordable Holy Cross can be for you and your family because of our very comprehensive and very generous financial aid package. 

 There are two major policies that you need to be aware of when it comes to financial aid at Holy Cross.  First, we apply a need-blind admissions process when reviewing your application which means that we do not take your family’s financial circumstances into consideration when looking at you for admission into Holy Cross.  If you have great credentials, you will be fully considered for admission into Holy Cross regardless of how much money your family has.  We do not look at you any differently if your family has a ton of money and can pay $50,000 out of your pocket or if your family is on the opposite end of the spectrum and can’t afford one penny of the $50,000 price tag.  Second, we are a school that is fully committed to meeting every family’s demonstrated financial need in order to attend Holy Cross.  In essence, if you are admitted into Holy Cross and demonstrate financial need, you can be assured that we will meet that need by 100%. 

 There are two caveats to that policy.  First, the need we determine is based on federal guidelines and looks at your family’s household income and asset values and is not based on what you determine to be your personal financial need.  Second, we only consider you for financial aid if you submit all of your paperwork to us on time by February 1st at the latest.  There are two important forms that you need to submit to Holy Cross in order to be considered for financial assistance:  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile.  To access these forms, please visit our financial aid site.   In addition, if you come from a single parent household, the CSS Profile will require you to submit the Non-Custodial Parent form that asks for financial information from your non-custodial parent.  Also, if your family owns a business or a farm, the CSS Profile will require you to submit a Business/Farm supplement that asks  income information from these two sources.  If either of these circumstances applies to you, it is very, very important that you submit the additional information that is asked of you.  If for some reason, you are not able to get the required information (i.e. your non-custodial parent has never been in the picture), you need to contact the financial aid office immediately to explain your situation and get instructions on how to proceed.  If you submit all the required forms in completion to Holy Cross, you will be fully considered for financial assistance from Holy Cross. 

With all this said, at the end of the day, you should never let a college’s price tag deter you from applying.  Every college has its own way of disseminating financial assistance and scholarship funds and you never know what you may qualify for and ultimately receive for financial assistance.  The most expensive schools can sometimes be the most affordable schools because financial aid provides you with enough assistance to lower the price tag.  Instead, you should choose a school that has the programs and the atmosphere that is the best fit for you, apply to those schools, complete all the necessary forms for financial assistance and scholarships and then see what you end up receiving in financial assistance.  Once you get all your packages, you can sit down and decide what schools are financially viable for you and your family.

 

Tran Kim-Senior

Assistant Director of Admissions

Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment

The Do’s of the Application Process

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

tranThis list is the culmination of my own experiences as an admissions officer as well as of my colleagues in this office and other admissions offices.  As you go through them, you may have a lot of “duh” moments and most of these are very much common sense but it’s usually the most obvious things that are the least visible to us.  With that said, I hope this list is useful to you as you focus in on the application process.

  • Meet all deadlines for Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision.  Not meeting a deadline reflects badly on your ability to be responsible and may make an institution feel like you aren’t that interested.  It may also reduce your chances of getting in because the class is getting filled and you may be too late to get a spot.  If you have an extraordinary circumstances, you should let an admissions officer know in writing or by phone so that we can take that into consideration. 
  • File your financial aid paperwork early and by the deadline at the latest.  Holy Cross requires both the FAFSA and the the CSS Profile forms to be considered for financial aid.  The FAFSA form is not available until January 1st but you and one of your parents can go ahead and file for a FAFSA Pin Number that will serve as your signatures on the forms.  The longer you wait, the bigger the risk that you may not get as strong a package and if you submit late, the chances of getting financial aid are even slimmer.
  • Pay close attention to what each school requires you to submit or strongly recommends you send in regards to standardized testing, essays, letters of recommendation, etc.  While strongly recommends doesn’t mean require in the sense that you are disqualified from admission, it does means that you may be placing yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t do what it is that is being strongly recommended.
  • Ask teachers early for letters of recommendations.  The earlier you ask, the more time they can put into it and produce a well written letter on your behalf.  It’s important to keep in mind that you will not be the only student who is seeking that student out for a letter of recommendation. 
  • Follow up with all counselors and teachers to make sure that they have submitted your paperwork on time and be sure to also send a thank you to them for doing so.
  • Proofread your essays very carefully before you submit.  I would encourage you to print out your application if you’re filing it online because what you see is mostly likely what we’ll see when we click on print so you want to make sure that it’s formatted to what you want it to look like.
  • Demonstrate your interest in a college institution before you apply.  A lot of students visit the schools that they get into and from there will make a decision as to where to attend without knowing that many admissions offices take applicants’ demonstrated interest into consideration as a way to determine whether or not the student would enroll if admitted.  Just like you all want us to like you and admit you, we want to be liked by you all as well and be admitted in essence.
  • Create a professional email address and check that email frequently.  Silly or suggestive email addresses, while comical for us to read, are not professional and do not reflect well on you.  It’s also important that you don’t use your parents’ email addresses as your own and we can typically tell when this is happening.  We like to see students take the lead in the application process because it shows that you’re ready for the independent environment that is a part of the college experience.

 

Tran Kim-Senior
Assistant Director of Admissions
Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment