Stepping into the world of Social Work

Next Year’s financial aid

It’s that time again!

USC vs. Syracuse

USC vs. Syracuse (Photo credit: jeffdubyn)

Financial aid decisions and scholarships take time to arrange, so we apparently need to start applying for them about this time. Fortunately, my advisers at USC are very good at ensuring we are aware of deadlines.

First, having your taxes for the previous year completed is almost a prerequisite. You can do some estimating if there’s a reason you need to delay filing your taxes (perhaps you are having to pay rather than getting a refund) but then you end up having to fix the estimates anyway.

The next step is filing the FAFSA, a federal form about your financial status, that is shared with your school, or in the case of an incoming applicant, all of the schools you are applying to. This year, it even linked to our tax filing, making it only a matter of a few clicks. This was amazingly helpful! This will determine my eligibility for federal loans and work-study.

2010-2011 FAFSA Screenshots

2010-2011 FAFSA Screenshots (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

Then, in the case of USC Social Work, I also had to fill out an application for any funding they have that is specific to our school. This wasn’t difficult either, though I wished they could have allowed for another 200 characters or so in the box where you explained why you need financial aid.

We have also been advised to look for private funding that isn’t directly awarded through our school. I will particularly be looking for scholarships for those intended to benefit hearing impaired students.

The good news is that second year part-time students (as I will be) become eligible for things that were not available to us this year. The other great news is that it is very likely that I will be able to use work study funds for my internship hours. This will help quite a bit, particularly since I’ll need to go part-time at my job starting in September.

More on all of this as I hear. I will still need to be working with the USC financial aid department to provide a variety of documents, including information that my budget will be reduced due to going part time.

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