If you are a returning student here at Wentworth you may have received an email informing you that your financial aid award for the 2014-2015 academic year is now available from Wentworth. If you did not receive such an email we recommend checking your L-Connect account to see if you were selected for verification or if there are any other missing requirements which may be holding up your financial aid package. If there are no missing requirements we ask that you be patient as the awards are still being generated.
If you are one of the over 1,300 students to receive that email you may or may not have noticed some changes in your financial aid between last year and this year. There are several reasons this change could occur and we hope to ease some of your questions/ concerns in this post!
The most common reason that your financial aid may change could be differences in the Estimated Family Contribution between last year and this year. As a reminder the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is a number generated by the FASFA that estimates how much you/ your family will be able to contribute to your education within a given year. Year to year it is common for the EFC to fluctuate and that fluctuation may change your eligibility for financial aid. Let’s say for example that you were eligible for a Pell Grant last year but this year you do not see it on your financial aid package. It is highly likely that your EFC has increased and taken you out of the threshold for the Pell Grant. Unless your EFC decreases then you would not be eligible for Pell this year.
Since we package students on a first come, first serve basis there may be financial aid that is exhausted before we package students with later FAFSA dates. The FAFSA application for the next year becomes available on January 1st and you can start submitting your application as early as that date. You can use estimations on the initial FAFSA and after you file taxes make corrections based on the actual information later. We highly recommend student’s file as soon as possible as many need based funds such as Perkin’s or Gilbert Grants can be exhausted very quickly. If you had them last year and don’t see them on your package this year that may be the reason why in addition to the above mentioned EFC changes.
If you see an odd amount of Stafford loans on your account that isn’t in line with what you have been offered in the past you could be reaching the aggregate limit for Stafford loans. Dependent student’s have an aggregate lifetime limit of $31,000 and independent undergraduate students or students with prior PLUS loan denials have a limit of $57,500 for both Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. Once you have reached the lifetime limit there is no increasing that amount and you would not see Stafford loans on your financial aid awards in the future.
These are just a few reasons that your award may vary year to year. There are many more reasons that can be far less common than the ones listed above. If you do have more in depth questions that this post can’t answer we recommend contacting your financial aid counselor or submit a question here! Until next time!