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Before a student's financial aid can be constructed, the first two key requirements to have completed are a completed application to Gonzaga University as well as a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the correct year of admission.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides our office with information necessary to establish your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Once this EFC has been determined, a financial aid administrator will review your information and prepare an award package for you. This award is made for fall and spring semesters and takes into account any scholarships for which you are eligible based on academic merit.The Financial Aid Award package is put together in the following manner:
Each year colleges and universities are given a financial aid budget for institutional, state, and federal funds. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those whose FAFSA's are received before the priority funding deadline will be awarded limited funds first. If the budget for a fund is exhausted, those who have filed a FAFSA after the deadline may not be awarded a fund he or she would have otherwise been eligible to receive. When you are looking at prospective schools, it is important to note that each university has a different priority funding deadline. Make sure you are aware of all deadlines, and keep in mind that the FAFSA deadline and the deadline to apply to a school may not be the same.
For those students (or parents) who will not file a tax return by the February 1st FAFSA priority deadline, pay stubs, W2's, and the previous year's FAFSA information may be used as an estimate in order to complete the paperwork on time. Once taxes have been filed and you have an accurate 1040, you may log back into your FAFSA and update the information. Do not delay in filing your FAFSA, as you may miss out on many funding opportunities; and do not forget to update your estimated information to receive the best award possible.
Students who have applied on time, and who have filed their FAFSAs by the February 1st priority filing deadline, will have financial aid awards mailed to them in April. For students who file a FAFSA after the priority deadline, financial aid awards are completed and mailed on a weekly basis as the FAFSAs are received.
You generally have 30 days from when you receive your Award Notice to accept or decline your financial aid offer. It is important to return your award offer as soon as possible. If our office does not hear from you, we will award your funds to another student in need. If this happens, you may not be able to get these funds back.
Yes. Your initial financial aid award offer is based on the FAFSA information we have at the time the award is created. After that time, we complete the verification process by checking your FAFSA information against tax documents and other information, like family size, number in college, etc. Any discrepancies may cause a change to your financial aid award. Therefore, it is to your advantage to make sure the information on your FAFSA is as accurate as possible. Additionally, if you filed your FAFSA based on estimated income tax information, it is important to make corrections to your FAFSA as soon as you file your tax return.
Gonzaga University believes that you deserve to be recognized for your work in obtaining outside scholarships, and that you deserve the financial reward that comes with it. Therefore, we will not reduce your Gonzaga scholarships or grants unless the combination of your Gonzaga scholarships/grants and your outside scholarships exceed the cost of attendance. According to federal regulations, your total financial aid package cannot exceed the cost of attendance. Do be aware that outside scholarships can affect some loan or work study eligibility.
Financial aid is designed to help fund all your educational expenses. Depending on your expected family contribution (EFC) determined from the FAFSA, your financial aid award may exceed what you are charged for tuition, fees, and room and board. If your financial aid package exceeds the amount charged to your student account for tuition, fees, and room and board, you will receive a refund check through the Student Accounts Office. The remaining funds in this refund check may be used to for books, personal expenses, travel expenses, and any other costs necessary to attend college.
Unfortunately, there are times when a parent loses a job, there is a death or divorce in the family, your house is damaged by an earthquake, or some other out-of-the-ordinary event occurs. Gonzaga University believes there are some circumstances that warrant further investigation and review. If you have unusual family circumstances, please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office to determine what kind of documentation we will need to assess your situation. You might also check the Special Conditions Appeal Form to see if this tool fits your needs.
The verification process is a federal requirement which mandates financial aid offices to confirm the information provided on your FAFSA. We ask for documentation, such as income tax returns and verification of items you claimed on your FAFSA, such as family size, number of people in your family attending college, asset information, income exclusions, etc. We match this information with that on the FAFSA and revise financial aid awards if necessary. Approximately 30% of all financial aid applicants are randomly chosen for this review process. Gonzaga University will notify you of any documents we will need from you. In order to finalize your financial aid award, you do need to return those documents to us in a timely manner. Remember, until the verification process has been completed, your financial aid award can change. The more accurate your initial FAFSA information is, the fewer adjustments we will need to make to your award later.
For those students (or parents) who do not file a tax return by the time classes begin in the Fall, your aid can be held up. If you receive any Federal aid, such as a Stafford loan, Pell grant, etc., your funds will not be released to your account until verification is complete.
For students who graduated in 2009, the average loan debt of those who borrowed loans while at Gonzaga was $24,883. (A lot less than a new mid-size vehicle!) Gonzaga’s current Stafford Loan cohort default rate is 1.1 percent and the Perkins Loan cohort default rate is 1.77 percent. (National average is 5.6 percent.) We are pleased to be among the lowest default rates in the country.
There are times that receipt of a scholarship requires a thank you letter to be written to the donor. It goes without saying that these donors make a tremendous impact on our students by their generous donations of scholarship funds, particularly in such financial challenging times.To completely receive your scholarship simply follow the steps below.
Here are the steps to find out where to send your letter:
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