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Current time:0:00Total duration:10:05

Video transcript

so I'm here with Sean Logan who's a director of College counseling at Phillips Andover Academy and Jim ventra Ventre am i pronouncing it right Jim venturi yes curry who's the director of admissions and financial aid at Phillips Andover and what we're hoping to talk or start talking about in this video is is really just a financial aid prop process and in particular the FAFSA so I guess I should probably do that in all caps my first question for either of you is I guess what is the FAFSA and what it was it actually stand for right so the FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it's really important for students to realize that free part of this name because there are there is an opportunity to get on the web and go to FAFSA calm and somebody will happily help you with it but you need to pay for it so the first thing we talk with students a lot about is the FAFSA is a free form you should not be paying for it and as and the title again it's by the federal government they use a rubric to sort of figure out based on this form how much your family should contribute to a college education did I get that it's free application for federal student student yes yep made and and just to hit the point home of what you just said it should absolutely be free and there are places where the people will charge you to kind of optimize it or fill it out for you or it's correct so and so the first thing normally when you start to type in if you you know start to type in on a search engine FAFSA a lot of times fafsa.com pops up it's a legitimate site but they charge you something like eighty eighty five dollars to fill help you fill out the form so you want to go to fafsa.ed.gov to start this process ed gov and there will be free and and what is you know when you fill out this form in a future videos will actually take a look at the form itself but but what I guess you know what do you input into it and what comes out of it and who uses that information I think the for many students who are applying to college right now they are accustomed to telling their story in essays and in various pieces of their application and they have to think of the FAFSA as just the their family's financial story and financial story has many variables but most importantly the things that the FASFA asked for are simplified as things that would be questions that students could probably answer right off the top of their head in terms of their family income and whether they own a home or whether they rent where they live it's things like that and I mean I remember filling those and we were talking about this before I guess clicking record all of us I guess where were significant recipients of financial aid of need-based financial aid and I remember filling it out I remember I kind of had my mom's tax for which I had to fill out for right before filling out the FAFSA exactly but but that's essentially I remember at least this was in the early 90s kind of the inputs that that I needed to be able to fill out most of the form and that's correct yeah I mean one of the things that you know specifically looking at and working with a lot of low-income families one of the things to realize is is that it generally is actually a pretty simple form because there aren't a lot of things that make it complicated there aren't trust funds there aren't investments there aren't probably a lot of times sometimes there are homes that are owned but a lot of times they're just renting usually it's a paycheck that comes in and it's a sort of a standard you know paycheck that comes in for the year so it's a it's actually a pretty simple form it's just getting students to step up and do it is it's a real challenge and and the reason obviously it's pretty obvious why they care about income that's kind of you know just the total amount of money your family's making but then the reason why they care about things like home ownership and if I remember properly you know they remember they ask things about the number of siblings you have and they try to understand your family's expenses too and the whole reason is to kind of figure out their ability to pay for college that's right so at the at the outset students are asked questions to fill out and their family's financial circumstances that basically what the colleges are trying to do is come to a conclusion which allows them to have a picture of what the what the family is up against every month every week and what's at what's left in the bank so to speak at the end of all the family operating expenses and so what after you fill out the form you know where does that go does this is at the Department of Education site but do they process it or they just give the form to the universities what what happens after that yeah that's a great points out I think one of the misperceptions about the FAFSA is I'm going to submit this form to the government basically and then they're gonna crunch all these numbers and then they're going to determine a financial aid package for my family I think that's a really common misperception what the FAFSA all the FAFSA does is it looks at again your family's income number of kids in the family other assets those sorts of things and it determines an estimated Family Contribution what a college does with that varies greatly and I think that's something that you know families need to understand so it also all of this going to do is determine a number that number might mean you know your family should be able to contribute $1,000 towards it towards your son or daughter's education $5,000 or $0 for that matter but that's all it does I see and the reason why this I guess exists is so that colleges would have somewhat a somewhat uniform way of looking at this and they can feel good that the data is I guess real that's right and so one of the things in this estimated Family Contribution is sort of this the sense that the family is self reporting where they stand in their family circumstances financially and one of the things we want to caution about is that when you receive a sort of estimated Family Contribution or what they call the EFC you want to make sure that's in line with your expectations because sometimes that number can seem odd for the family when they when they understand where it came from and they may have made a mistake in some way on the form I see but then that estimated Family Contribution then that gets sent to the universities that you have usually at this point have gotten admission to well it'll go to every every University ahead of time so you know if the student applies to seven schools you're gonna want it there well before decisions come out they're usually very strict deadlines to get things there in time but then usually what happens in admissions office is if you know Sal if I'm reading your application in the admissions office and I say great Sal Khan is gonna be admitted I call down to our financial aid office this is all done electronically now but you know the financial aid officer what he will do is open up your electronic file and he will see the FAFSA sitting in there and then you will see that it say okay you know the the Khan family should be able to pay you know $1,000 towards Sal's education we cost $50,000 so now we're gonna have to create a financial aid package for $49,000 to make it possible for you to come here and and so that's before you've been officially admitted typically it's it's typically when you get admitted then the admissions office will say okay now calculate a financial aid package and and are these you know I can imagine a lot of students would worry about this are these kind of separate processes you know if or will the admissions officers be able to see the kind of estimated Family Contribution and does that have the potential to kind of affect your your chances of admissions oh absolutely I think that colleges are mindful of the programs that they have in place to support these students and so the the college's overall mission plays a role in how they're distributing financial aid and the way they view students that they're going to support through what they uncover in the FAFSA and Sal let me add to that this is too important I think definitions here one is institutions that are neat blind and institutions that are needs sensitive and that's an important question for students to ask as they're starting to research colleges typically need blind schools mean you know whether or not you're applying for aid has no impact on an admissions decision and we will fund you to a hundred percent of your demonstrated need based on the FAFSA okay so that's an important one needs sensitive and this is getting to your point there are schools and again the great majority of schools are need sensitive because they have limited budgets so they might take into account at some point in the process financial aid if again if we're sort of talking to really high achieving low-income students right now typically they're still going to make out very well because even though the school might take into account need and the student may need as much as a full ride if they're a really top top student that's still somebody they're going to support and probably pay for if you're a student that's not as strong that's when you might get caught in exactly what you're asking about is oh you need X number of dollars you're sort of right in you know a range where we have a lot of choices that may make you less attractive so again the the story I always tell students is the better student you are not only the more opportunities we'll have for admission but the better financial aid packages you'll be eligible for that's right and is it is it possible it might even go the other way where when they look at your need and they see wow you know this he he or she comes from a family that you know didn't have all the resources of many of our other applicants that that actually could be a positive when you when you when you apply oh absolutely I think the ed for example Andover operates on a need blind admission initiative and and we're looking for students who meet the demands of our program and when you see students who may not have had all the preparation in terms of leading up to coming to handover it's very compelling to find students who could manage the rigor of our program and and not have had that preparation and so we would we would be very attractive to them and want to provide a financial aid package that supports them at our school colleges operate the same way and Phyllis and are obviously you know well recognized high school and colleges you're saying are operating in a very similar way or many do exactly yes they do right very cool