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Education and Enrichment: What Will We Pay for College for 2017?

In the latest installment from our Education and Enrichment Ministry, Deacon John Wilson takes a realistic look at Fall 2017 college costs for your and your family.

Rising Education Costs: What Will We Pay for College?

Rising Education Costs: What Will We Pay for College in 2017?

Now that you have filed your youth’s FAFSA for Fall 2017-Spring 2018, you’re now anxiously waiting to hear what financial aid offers your youth will receive. There are some very accurate generalities you can make, however, about what you will pay for College for Fall 2017. This is based on taking a closer look at certain colleges’ known financial aid policies, and 10 years of our financial aid experience.

NOTE: These costs are estimated, but the amounts will be close enough to give you a general understanding of the “out-of-pocket” cost of college before you get the financial aid awards from colleges in late March thru April 2017:

  1. California State University (CSU) – Generally, parents who make more than $60,000 will pay $12,000 to $17,500 per year for their youth to be ON CAMPUS at CSU. As you will see, this is WAY BELOW the cost of nearly all private colleges. The $5,500 cost variation for CSU is due to the wide variations in on-campus costs among CSUs and the family’s number of dependents (2-4). In contrast, it’s only about $1,200 to $1,500 per year to commute to a “local” CSU if your youth takes the Direct Student Loan of $5,500 for the first year.
  2. University of California (UC) – Generally, parents who make between $60,000 and $90,000 and have up to 4 dependents on their 2015 tax return will pay $6,000 to $14,000 per year for UC, unless a merit reward is received.  As we move above the $100,000 family income level, UC gets closer and closer to the $18,000 to $24,000 net direct (out of pocket) cost per year (NOTE: When the family income is below $45,000 and up to $54,00, families will pay $0 to $6,000 for CSU or UC out of pocket).  
  3. Private Colleges – The cost here really depends on which private college your youth attends. Those which are the most well-known and popular with parents and youth (including Private Black Colleges – also called “HBCUs”), will cost $23,000 to $55,000 per year for families making more than $70,000 per year.  Even families making under $40,000 could expect to pay $12,0000 to $20,000 per year. This could be lowered by Merit Awards about $10,000 per year if your youth meets the university’s merit levels for GPA and SAT.

In conclusion, if:

  • your youth has a 3.0 unweighted GPA, and his or her SAT Scores are 1020 and above,
  • you and your youth are willing to look at other schools that are less expensive than the schools mentioned above and
  • you are great at helping to prepare youth for a great future and career –

then call us today at the West Angeles Education and Enrichment Program for more information: 323-733-8300 ext. 2629.

Deacon John Wilson is Director of West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Education and Enrichment Ministry (EEM). EEM is provided in accordance with the Urban Initiatives of the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) International, through the leadership of Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr. To find out more about the various programs and services provided, please click HERE.


Hear what parents have to say about the West Angeles Education & Enrichment Ministry in the testimonial video below –

Education Enrichment: 3 Important Financial Aid Questions to Ask Now

Attention Class of 2017 Parents!         

Most people believe that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the most important part of the financial aid process. This prompts many to mistakenly ask, “How much will I get from FAFSA”? Many people also believe that the Federal Government provides the financial aid award.

Indeed, without the timely submission of a FAFSA, there will be no financial aid. However, there are three other elements of the application process which are of the utmost importance in determining the financial aid your student receives.

Here are 3 important questions to ask during the financial aid application process:

Please click the image to enlarge or download the Student Aid Report infographic.

Please click the image to enlarge or download the Student Aid Report infographic.

  1. What is the most important document in the Financial Aid application process? The document that is the most essential is the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is formed from the FAFSA, by the US Department of Education.

The most important number on the SAR is the Expected Family Contribution (or EFC), which is found at the top of the SAR. This EFC is the number (in dollars) that is the Department of Education’s estimate of what parents are expected to pay for college. In reality, however, it will NOT BE. Most colleges and universities in NO WAY rely on the EFC to determine what parents will pay. They do use the EFC to determine how much need-based Federal and State Aid that will be received.

In that way, the EFC is most important for lower income families (with incomes below approximately $46,000 per year). However, the EFC is irrelevant for most families whose students are NOT Pell Grant eligible.

 

  1. How do colleges and universities determine if they will award additional grants and scholarships if they are not looking at the EFC? The determination is made according to the laws of the state (in the case of state aid) and by the financial aid rules or policies of private colleges and universities. Incidentally, a University’s upper management, not its financial aid director, sets the policies that determine how institutional awards are given out to families. This is the reason why appeals for more financial aid are only actionable by the Financial Aid Office if something is wrong on the original SAR.

For example, in California, major grants such as university grants and Cal Grants are quite need-based, and are not available in a significant way above income levels of $55,000 for Cal State University and $75,000 for University of California. Other out-of-state public colleges and universities do have aid which meets all or most of the family’s unmet need based on the EFC, but most do not.

 

  1. Where else can significant college institutional funding come from? The answer? The student’s unweighted GPA and SAT/ACT scores, which brings us back to an important truth: because the EFC indicates to the college that they cannot award Federal or State Aid to a student –

Students must earn institutional (college or university) grants and scholarships to help their parents pay for college.

The EFC on the SAR should be read and known, but may not be truly relevant. Because of this, in the meetings and sessions of our program at West Angeles Church, we are helping our parents to determine what college will cost, before and after the financial award is generated. This is an important step in choosing and affordable college.

Feel free to join us in these sessions!

Please call the West Angeles Education Enrichment Program at West Angeles Church of God In Christ for more information. 323-733-8300 ext. 2629.


Deacon John Wilson is Director of West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Education and Enrichment Ministry (EEM). EEM is provided in accordance with the Urban Initiatives of the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) International, through the leadership of Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr. To find out more about the various programs and services provided, please click HERE. 

Education & Enrichment Testimonials from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

Our thanks to Discover Student Loans for use of the cool infographic. West Angeles Church of God In Christ is not an agent of Discover Student Loans; nor is the use of this infographic an endorsement of Discover Student Loans.

NEXT:  Can I estimate what I will owe for college for my youth? 

 

Education Enrichment: 5 Financial Aid Tips You Need To Know Now

Deacon John Wilson, Director of West Angeles’ Education Enrichment ministry, shares 5 important tips for properly submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

For students beginning at a college or university in Fall 2017 (Academic Year 2017-18, rising seniors), Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deliveries can and should begin October 1. As you probably know, proper and timely FAFSA delivery is required to get Federal or Institutional Aid from a college or university. It’s our advice that the FAFSA be delivered October 1 – 10. 

NOTEIn previous years, the FAFSA would have been delivered January 1-10t of the year of enrollment – in this case, 2017. The date was changed by the Federal Government by Presidential Executive Order earlier this year.

Here are 5 additional important considerations:

  1. The FAFSA should be delivered ONLINE at fafsa.ed.gov, although it could be delivered in the mail. If you deliver by mail, it will take 4-6 additional weeks to complete the financial aid process.
  2. Even though it’s an ONLINE application and it’s their FAFSA, YOUTH SHOULD NEVER DELIVER THE FAFSA UNSUPERVISED.
  3. It’s our 13-year FAFSA experience that 80% of all FAFSAs are delivered ONLINE with some sort of error – 25-30% with an error that significantly reduces or delays the financial aid award. This is why, for a very small donation, we deliver FAFSAs and follow up during the financial aid process. Outside services charge hundreds of dollars for this service.
  4. Before submitting the FAFSA, both youth and parent should order a FAFSA username and password at fafsa.ed.gov. However, it’s quite difficult to follow the online instructions for this. In fact, last year, which was the first year for ordering FAFSA usernames and passwords, we noticed that 60% had serious problems with initial ordering or could not complete the proper ordering of the password. Because of this, we have developed a detailed procedure that can be found HERE.
  5. The FAFSA 2015 taxable income data will need to be retrieved into FAFSA from the 2015 Federal Income Tax Return.

If you have further FAFSA or other financial aid process issues, please call our Office (West Angeles EEP) at West Angeles Church of God In Christ at 323-733-8300 ext. 2629.


Deacon John Wilson is Director of West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Education and Enrichment Ministry (EEM). EEM is provided in accordance with the Urban Initiatives of the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) International, through the leadership of Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr. Please contact EEM at 323-733-8300 X 2629 to find out more about the various programs and services provided, or click please HERE.