Financial Aid Support
Financial aid is an area of focus for the entire school year – summer included! There’s federal money available, but also free money through grants and scholarships. (Please see the Grants and Scholarships below). College is expensive, but it does not have to be if planned for in advance. In fact, college can be free, but it takes dedication to applying to the various postings. We publish information about the federal grant programs that we participate in on the financial aid website.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be renewed every year. How can you remember? Start preparing your information in December of every year so that you and your student can submit information on time. Think of it whenever you think of doing your taxes because the timeframes for submission are similar.
- The FAFSA opens October 1 of each year for the following academic year
- Students and families should set aside at least 30 minutes for filing the FAFSA
- It is helpful to gather income tax documents prior to filing the FAFSA as you will need the information to complete the FAFSA.
- Students should begin seeking scholarship opportunities as soon as possible; conduct internet searches based on the selected major, career path, as well as local churches, and civic organizations.
- Students should check the LION AID SYSTEM regularly for updates to their financial aid status. Most students at FMU will utilize federal student loan eligibility to assist in covering their cost of education. There are multiple scholarships listed throughout the webpages, not all are listed on the financial aid website.
Tips on Identifying Grants and Scholarships
- Refile the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and completing income verification forms at www.studentaid.gov. Students selected for verification are sent an electronic notification informing them of the forms they will need to complete. All of the forms are listed on our website, however, please be mindful that all students will not need all forms; only those they are instructed to complete.
- Staying on Top of Financial Aid:
- Students that have been admitted, can view their financial aid status via our Lion’s Aid system. This can be accessed from the Financial Aid website.
- Scholarship Searches: Scholarship searches breaks down into 3 different processes and students can search based on the following:
- Desired career field: students should research careers within their chosen field of study. Check professional associations as they often offer scholarships (i.e., NABJ: National Association for Black Journalists, NABA: National Association of Black Accountants, NASW: National Association of Social Workers, etc)
- If a student has a goal of working for a particular company, research them to see whether they offer internship opportunities that will help offset tuition and fees.
- Extracurricular Interests:
- Local churches, chambers of commerce and civic organizations all offer money! Most high schools have alumni associations that offer scholarships.
- Student should also check with their respective departments regarding scholarship notices the departments receive. For example, the School of Education has access to many.
- Student Loans: This is money that is borrowed and must be repaid including interest. Students that do not plan or take advantage of putting in the work it takes to applying for grants or scholarships have to turn to this option.
- Many families begin to consider loans. For families of those students that wish to reside on campus, consider utilizing federal student loan eligibility. The www.studentaid.gov website provides great details on the Direct Loan Program (Subsidized, UnSubsidized and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students -PLUS).
More on Grants and Scholarships
Grants and scholarships are free ways to pay off tuition easily, however, they require some input. Usually students must write essays, get letters of recommendation, submit videos, and/or have a demonstrated track record of being active. Although each grant / scholarship is different, they typically request similar documents.
Grants and scholarships are available for just about any category you can think of to describe a student. They’re easy to find but take time to properly apply for. Submitting information in a detailed and organized manner is very important. Sometimes students perceive the hunt for additional dollars to be difficult, but writing an essay about yourself to receive thousands of dollars is a decent trade off! These opportunities are ongoing and can be applied for every year. Some grants and scholarships are available as early as elementary school if you have other students.
- Essays: Students write essays often, but the essay should be written early enough to be reviewed so that the best version is submitted. (Note: There is a Writing Lab on campus that can review your essay within 48 hours!)
- Letters of Recommendation: A letter of recommendation can be received from someone who is not a friend or family member. Former teachers, coaches, community leaders, employers, religious leaders, advisors, professors, etc. can write these letters. This letter must also be requested early for timely submission with the other requirements of the scholarship.
- Videos: We’re in the age of technology, where things move quickly. Videos are fun and interactive. When scholarships ask for a video, a student should have a nice background, dress nicely and speak professionally. Some videos are more laid back and want the students to demonstrate their personality, while others are looking for a more scholarly approach. Each application will explain what is preferred.
- Track Record: Scholarship providers want students who are well-rounded. This means having a great grade point average (GPA), being involved in the community and/or on campus.
Tuition incudes the total cost of attendance which is the sum of tuition, housing, and personal expenses such as textbooks, travel and supplies. Each student has their own cost of attendance and financial aid packages are different from person to person.
“Clearing the Business Office” is a phrase you will hear often, and it describes paying a balance to an acceptable threshold. The goal is always to be in good fiscal standing with the university because having a balance can prevent further actions such as registering for a class on time.
Students are encouraged to maintain paperwork, emails and notices received regarding financial information every year. Do not throw anything away. Keep a physical file, or in a digital folder like OneDrive (students have access to this as soon as they’re admitted to FMU!)
- Cost of attendance – this is the total cost for one academic year which includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, living expenses and transportation
- Tuition – this is the total amount for the teaching or instruction during student courses
- Fees – these are additional costs such as parking decals, lab supplies, commencement/graduation, etc. Fees varies for each student.
For more information, visit the Tuition and Fees page on the Florida Memorial University website.
Financial aid staff are available for advising by phone at 305.626.3745 OR by email at email@example.com.