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Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions at Gwynedd Mercy University

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Contact Financial Aid

Campbell Solution Center
Phone: 215-646-7300 ext. 595

Financial Aid Office
Phone: 215-646-7300 ext. 216

Q: Does the parental contribution toward college expenses increase as college costs increase?
A: No. The family ability to pay for college is determined by need analysis. If costs are greater, then the analysis will show that need is also greater. Aid awarded on the basis of need will be greater at the higher-cost college.

Q: How is the parental contribution affected if other family members are in college at least part-time?
A: Under "federal methodology need analysis", if any other dependent child is going to college at least half-time at least one semester, the calculated parental contribution is divided equally between each child.

Q: Are tuition, fees, room and board the only costs of education considered in need analysis?
A: No. Allowances are provided for books, supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses.

Q: Are most colleges able to aid all students who are accepted who demonstrate need?
A: The colleges may not necessarily be able to meet the full amount of demonstrated need in every case, but that should not deter you from applying to the colleges of your choice.

Q: What is included in a financial aid award "package"?
A: A typical package includes gift aid (grant or scholarship), a student loan with low interest rates and no payments while in college, and campus employment, usually requiring no more than 15 hours per week.

Q: If aided, will I get the same amount each of my four years?
A: Yes, assuming financial need remains essentially the same and you make satisfactory academic progress. Remember, you must reapply annually and meet all conditions of the aid award.

Q: If I am denied aid as an entering student, can I get aid later on?
A: Yes, although an analysis of your family's financial situation may not show a demonstrated need when you first enter college, circumstances such as a decrease in family income or a brother/sister starting college could cause the analysis to show need in later years.

Q: If I win a scholarship from a source outside the University, will it affect the amount of college aid available?
A: If your full need is being met, it's possible that an adjustment would be made. But if so, the adjustment would first be used to reduce self-help (loan and/or work).

Q: My parents tell me that I am 18 and on my own. Can I be considered a self-supporting student for the need analysis?
A: No. As an undergraduate you can only be considered self-supporting if you are age 24, married, a veteran, have a dependent other than a spouse, or are an orphan or ward of the court.

Q: My parents are divorced, and I live with my mother. Will her income and assets be the only information required for need analysis?
A: Yes, for federal methodology and completion of the FAFSA. However, colleges that use the Profile (as well as some others that do not) may require disclosures by the non-custodial natural parent. If the custodial parent is remarried, the step-parent's income and assets must be included on the FAFSA and the Profile.

Q: Should my parents wait until they have completed their IRS 1040 tax forms before completing the application for aid, the FAFSA or the Profile?
A: Not if the forms will be delayed beyond the deadline for submission set by the University to which you are applying. Estimates can be used.

Q: Can a computer search firm help me find aid that otherwise would be impossible to find?
A: It is not likely, and they charge $45 to $130 to provide a listing of aid possibilities. Often their databases are stale and with limited scholarship postings. The best scholarship search can be done by you for free on the Internet. Register with FastWEB, a database of about 200,000 private scholarships. They'll give you a listing of scholarships for which you may be eligible to apply and continue to send others to your e-mail address as they are added to the database.

Q: Where can I do further research?

  • Paying Less for College (Peterson's Guides)
  • Don't Miss Out (Octameron Associates)

These guides may be available at your high school guidance office or your school or public library where they are often on reserve.