Your biggest concern is being a great role model for your growing family but that paycheck at the end of a hard 2-week stretch is also a driving factor for you. You want to find a degree that you can afford and that will help accelerate your career—the only issue is, you need to figure out the best options for you through financial aid, and you have several questions.
At first glance, financial aid may seem confusing. Financial aid questions are some of the biggest factors potential students use to decide whether or not to go back to school. For example, did you know that around 38 percent of financial aid dollars awarded come from federal loans, grants, scholarships, work-study programs, tax credits and other deductions?
Do you know if you’re eligible for any of this federal money?
We spoke to Jessica Crotty, Rasmussen College’s director of student financial aid, to get answers to all your questions about the confusing world of financial aid. Let’s take a look at what she had to say.
Financial aid questions & answers for NEW students
1. What is FAFSA?
Jessica Crotty: FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In order to qualify for federal aid (e.g., grants and loans) students must complete the FAFSA to determine their eligibility.
2. If you submit your financial aid application earlier, will you receive more?
Crotty: Some financial aid is first come, first served. Based upon that, it is best to submit your FAFSA early. However, it’s important to wait until you’ve filed your taxes before filing your FAFSA each year.
3. How many credit hours does financial aid cover?
Crotty: In order to qualify for financial aid, students need to be enrolled part-time, which is [at Rasmussen College] is at least six credits.
4. What are some of the scholarship opportunities available for students?
Crotty: Students can prepare for the scholarship search by researching opportunities that we offer at Rasmussen College. You can find anything from scholarships for full-time students to military students.
5. Does your GPA affect how much you receive in financial aid?
Crotty: In order to qualify for financial aid, students need to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), so it is important to maintain a positive GPA. Each Rasmussen College campus has a course catalog which describes this information further.
6. What are the federal school codes for each campus?
Crotty: [Rasmussen College’s] Support+ team of student financial service advisors works personally with each student to determine the financial aid available for them. School codes are dependent upon the campus you attend.
Financial aid questions & answers for CURRENT students
7. Which students receive financial aid refunds for taxes?
Crotty: Financial aid refunds for taxes are available to students who qualify for an education credit on their federal taxes, but questions specific to your tax return should be directed to your tax preparer.
8. What does the student financial services department do?
Crotty: At Rasmussen College, the student financial services department helps students with:
- Offer personalized explanation of federal financial aid eligibility and payment options
- Provide guidance regarding financial aid decisions and counseling to manage affordability
- Process student accounts and inform students of any adjustments to the financial aid schedule or eligibility requirements
9. When and how will students receive their 1098T for taxes?
Crotty: 1098T’s are mailed out on a yearly basis. They are postmarked by January 31 each year at the latest.
10. How can a student access their financial aid information online?
Crotty: A students’ financial aid information is not currently available online for Rasmussen College. If there is any information that you’d like to access, please contact your student financial services team.
11. How can a student make a payment?
Crotty: Payments can be made online through the campus tools tab and clicking on pay online.
12. Can a student receive money for living expenses?
Crotty: Each student’s financial aid eligibility varies based on the information from the FAFSA. We recommend you discuss this option with your student financial services representative.
Financial aid questions & answers for ALUMNI
13. How do I choose a student loan repayment plan?
Crotty: Our goal at Rasmussen College is to provide you with the guidance and information you need to make the best choices for your educational and professional future. Part of those decisions include building a long-term financial plan which will help you be confident in your ability to cover the cost of your education and manage your budget upon graduation.
As a part of this commitment, Rasmussen College provides loan repayment counseling services from the student loan management team while you're a student and after graduation. While this estimate represents only your financial obligations from attending Rasmussen College, our loan advisors are here to assist you with any questions you may have during repayment.
The bottom line
The financial aid process can be challenging and confusing. Hopefully our expert answered one or more of your financial aid questions.
If you’re just beginning your financial aid journey, know that it isn’t difficult to apply. You can immediately determine your eligibility for a range of financial assistance by filling out the FAFSA form.
After you’ve figured out how much financial help you’ll receive from the federal government, take a look at how college students are managing their money with smartphone apps . If your federal award wasn’t as high as you hoped, here’s how to successfully find local scholarships.