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Old 04-05-2014, 08:28 PM   #1
Mom21
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How to read scholarship info on college website (FSU in particular)

My dd got a letter from the college she decided to go to about 2-3 months ago. The letter offered her a scholarship that was for about $9700. The way it was written looked like it was for all 4 years total. I was a little surprised as she had a high ACT, AP scores of 4 and 5's. Has a high GPA. Kept reading it over and that is definitely how it was worded for all 4 years.

Total I looked on her financial page, it says scholarship offered and scholarship accepted of 12,010. That amount is listed only under 2014-2015. Is it just listed that way but spread over the entire 4 years? I know I can call and I will on Monday, but just keep thinking about it and it would ease my very stressed mind.

If they are giving her that per year then with her prepaid tuition, and highest Bright Futures, most everything will be paid for. I do pay her car and insurance and gas, but I do that already. Of course a couple hundred in spending money but way better than the big price tag I was looking at.
Her father stopping child support in a year and not contributing to college has me stressed beyond belief. So has anyone had this same thing happen. Why would they give her more without a letter. She said when she accepted it was the 9700.
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:30 PM   #2
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My dd got a letter from the college she decided to go to about 2-3 months ago. The letter offered her a scholarship that was for about $9700. The way it was written looked like it was for all 4 years total. I was a little surprised as she had a high ACT, AP scores of 4 and 5's. Has a high GPA. Kept reading it over and that is definitely how it was worded for all 4 years.

Total I looked on her financial page, it says scholarship offered and scholarship accepted of 12,010. That amount is listed only under 2014-2015. Is it just listed that way but spread over the entire 4 years? I know I can call and I will on Monday, but just keep thinking about it and it would ease my very stressed mind.

If they are giving her that per year then with her prepaid tuition, and highest Bright Futures, most everything will be paid for. I do pay her car and insurance and gas, but I do that already. Of course a couple hundred in spending money but way better than the big price tag I was looking at.
Her father stopping child support in a year and not contributing to college has me stressed beyond belief. So has anyone had this same thing happen. Why would they give her more without a letter. She said when she accepted it was the 9700.
Did you fill out a FAFSA? If so, it may be including any Pell Grant money that she qualified for (or federal loan money). She may also have ended up qualifying for other scholarships after the award letter was sent out. Without actually seeing the account, it's hard to tell, so your best bet would be to call on Monday and check.
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JillyBean1899 View Post
Did you fill out a FAFSA? If so, it may be including any Pell Grant money that she qualified for (or federal loan money). She may also have ended up qualifying for other scholarships after the award letter was sent out. Without actually seeing the account, it's hard to tell, so your best bet would be to call on Monday and check.
I did fill that out as it is a requirement for her school. I'm sure she didn't qualify based on needs. I don't think I make a lot of money, but I guess they think I do. I will call Monday.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:23 PM   #4
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Every school is different but I can tell you that my daughter's scholarship was for $X, renewable annually for 4 years. IOW, she got $X as a freshman (divided equally between those 2 semesters). Then as long as she remained in good academic standing, the scholarship renewed for the same amount the following year. And so on until she completed 4 years of undergraduate studies.

The financial package that you are now looking at includes the $9700 scholarship that your daughter got for 4 years. It may also include one or more scholarships in addition to that scholarship. These could be one-time scholarships. Unlike the $9700, which should automatically renew each year, these other scholarships may not be offered to her in future years. However, there could also be other one-time scholarships for which she could become eligible as an upperclassman.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:36 PM   #5
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I just looked it up online and it does say,

"University Freshman Scholarship

A $9,600 scholarship distributed over four years. Recipients are selected from the best freshman students admitted to the University based upon high school grades and test scores."

Has your DD applied for other scholarships? If so, she may have received another one and it was added to her account. What does your FAFSA report say about your EFC amount (Expected Family Contribution)?

ETA: I also found this:
Q: How much money is awarded for a University Freshman Scholarship?
The University Freshman Scholarship is $9,600; $1,200 per semester for eight semesters.

This info might be from last year which is why your DD's scholarship is $100 more. Maybe the school deposits the full amount, but only $1200 per semester is allowed to be spent.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:23 PM   #6
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I looked all over for the letter today and couldn't find it. I found her scholarships from the other 2 schools, but not the one she actually accepted. I think my EFC was 6700. She has applied for no scholarships. Yet that has caused issues between us, but that's another story. She is in honors college, but didn't get a letter saying she was getting more for that as she applied for that after the first scholarship had been awarded.

I guess I won't get too happy until Monday after I call. Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:18 PM   #7
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I looked all over for the letter today and couldn't find it. I found her scholarships from the other 2 schools, but not the one she actually accepted. I think my EFC was 6700. She has applied for no scholarships. Yet that has caused issues between us, but that's another story. She is in honors college, but didn't get a letter saying she was getting more for that as she applied for that after the first scholarship had been awarded.

I guess I won't get too happy until Monday after I call. Thanks for the info.
Some scholarships she doesn't have to apply for. I know at UWF when I asked financial aid what scholarships I would be eligible for and when I could start applying for the 2014-15 school year, they said if I filled out a FAFSA I'd automatically be entered for whatever I qualify for, as far as what the school offers. Any outside stuff I'd have to do on my own, but there isn't really much a single 35 year old with no kids and both parents college grads qualifies for :/
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom21 View Post
My dd got a letter from the college she decided to go to about 2-3 months ago. The letter offered her a scholarship that was for about $9700. The way it was written looked like it was for all 4 years total. I was a little surprised as she had a high ACT, AP scores of 4 and 5's. Has a high GPA. Kept reading it over and that is definitely how it was worded for all 4 years.

Total I looked on her financial page, it says scholarship offered and scholarship accepted of 12,010. That amount is listed only under 2014-2015. Is it just listed that way but spread over the entire 4 years? I know I can call and I will on Monday, but just keep thinking about it and it would ease my very stressed mind.

if it's like dd's college website it will only show current and upcoming academic year, and if you go into the detail screen it lists out how the amount is allocated-names of specific scholarships and their amounts, names of any grants and their amounts, types of loans they are eligible to based on fafsa info and their amounts

If they are giving her that per year then with her prepaid tuition, and highest Bright Futures, most everything will be paid for. I do pay her car and insurance and gas, but I do that already. Of course a couple hundred in spending money but way better than the big price tag I was looking at.
Her father stopping child support in a year and not contributing to college has me stressed beyond belief. So has anyone had this same thing happen. Why would they give her more without a letter. She said when she accepted it was the 9700.
most sites also have another detail screen that shows the school's cost of attendance for the next (or current) academic year and what is being offered up-you can look at that to see if the scholarship is an amount spread over several years


as a head's up-make sure to find out what the conditions of receiving, retaining and renewing any scholarships are-with some our dd received it's as simple as sending in her report card next month with a one page renewal request each year, with others we've had to send in report cards every quarter to maintain current eligibility-with the one she received from her university there was a very specified thank you letter to the donor family that had to be submitted to the financial aide office for review and approval (the instructions on how it was to be done were a page and a half long) before the funds were authorized to her financial aide account AND the university tracks her grades on-line each quarter to ensure she's maintaining the required gpa (and to renew she has to re-do the full blown university scholarship application every year).
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:01 AM   #9
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I looked all over for the letter today and couldn't find it. I found her scholarships from the other 2 schools, but not the one she actually accepted. I think my EFC was 6700. She has applied for no scholarships. Yet that has caused issues between us, but that's another story. She is in honors college, but didn't get a letter saying she was getting more for that as she applied for that after the first scholarship had been awarded.

I guess I won't get too happy until Monday after I call. Thanks for the info.

depending on how much the cost of attendance at the school is, she may have qualified for some financial aide.

at dd's university the annual cost of attendance for a student who is not living at home is about $23,000-so someone with an efc of $6500 would have an 'initial need' of $16,500. the initial need is then reduced by any 'outside' resources (scholarships/state award programs) as well as 'inside' resources (university awarded/administered scholarships) to get the 'final need' for financial aide purposes. financial aide may end up offering pell or our state's need based grant, as well as work study and in some cases a tuition discount, and of course loans (the good, the bad and the ugliest types).

where it gets kind of tricky is with some state programs-while there are some great ones out there that appear to provide a good chunk of money so long as the student keeps a certain gpa, some also have provisions that require a student (separate and apart from their parents) 'self fund' a set annual percentage of the cost of attendance (the idea is that the student shows an active financial investment in their college education). dd was lucky-we had her apply for ANY AND EVERY scholarship she qualified for, and the state considers that as 'self funding' (so she got the max award) but some of her friends didn't read the fine print and just looked at the award amount so they didn't apply for any scholarships and as a result received a reduced award that they had to supplement with student loans (you can bet they applied for scholarships this year).


good luck to you and your dd-oh, and if she's going to let you help her navigate financial aide once she's attending make sure to have her fill out whatever form the school has with that office that allows you to call on her behalf.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:05 AM   #10
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Thank you barkley. I went back in and saw a view button I didn't see before. Sure enough, $5500 of it is loans. It shows accepted, but I didn't. I guess they just mark accepted until you go in and don't accept. I don't want to take loans if I don't have to. Oh well. One thing I saw is they only show the lower level of Bright Futures, and she should get the highest level. She just needs to get 2 more volunteer hours. Always waits until the last minute.

Thanks again for all of the help everyone. Wish I had seen the tiny little view button before.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:31 AM   #11
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Thank you barkley. I went back in and saw a view button I didn't see before. Sure enough, $5500 of it is loans. It shows accepted, but I didn't. I guess they just mark accepted until you go in and don't accept. I don't want to take loans if I don't have to. Oh well. One thing I saw is they only show the lower level of Bright Futures, and she should get the highest level. She just needs to get 2 more volunteer hours. Always waits until the last minute.

Thanks again for all of the help everyone. Wish I had seen the tiny little view button before.


talk to the financial aide office about the loans. we were advised to not formally decline them, but to just let them sit in the event an emergency came up and we needed them (they are not loans to the student until they've done loan paperwork and actually had the funds disbursed so if that's not done no debt in incurred).

on scholarships-call financial aide as well and see if the deadline has passed (if they do a one application for all scholarships like dd's university does) or if she can still do one. we found that around mid june the freshman specific scholarships that were offered to kids who opted to go other colleges get re-distributed to those freshman who have committed to attendance. every little bit helps.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom21 View Post
Thank you barkley. I went back in and saw a view button I didn't see before. Sure enough, $5500 of it is loans. It shows accepted, but I didn't. I guess they just mark accepted until you go in and don't accept. I don't want to take loans if I don't have to. Oh well. One thing I saw is they only show the lower level of Bright Futures, and she should get the highest level. She just needs to get 2 more volunteer hours. Always waits until the last minute.

Thanks again for all of the help everyone. Wish I had seen the tiny little view button before.
Unless you really really need it, the only loans I'd consider are the Stafford subsidized ones. The interest rate is really low (mine are around 3.5%), interest doesn't accrue while you're in school, repayment starts 6 months after graduation (but you can start at any time), and it qualifies for the income based repayment. I'm keeping my loans to just the subsidized ones, and I'll graduate with a BSBA in Accounting with about $25k in debt, which will be payments of $160-280, depending on if I go by a 20 or 10 year repayment schedule.

Loans can get you into trouble if you don't use them wisely. But the recent "OMG PANIC!!!!" in the news has people freaked out about them completely, when they really don't need to be. Just like any other form of credit, it is helpful when used properly.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:56 AM   #13
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When my daughter was a freshman we had trouble understanding the numbers -- we read them over multiple times and still ended up making phone calls to ask for clarification! My best advice: Call. Call anytime you have a question. And keep records of the answers and to whom you spoke.

Things that gave us trouble the first time around:

- One small private school sent a letter offering what initially looked like a great scholarship! We initially thought this was going to make the school almost free (even though it was far from her first choice), and we were very excited . . . but on second reading we realized that the number was divided over four years -- quite a difference. This meant that the school was still significantly more expensive than the state school she really wanted to attend. Why do they throw out that bigger number? It's an attempt to make the offer look more generous than it actually is.

- We did the FAFSA form for her freshman year, and she was offered loans. She had to officially contact the school and turn them down before her account could be "settled" for the first semester. Yes, they opt towards the idea that you're automatically going to accept the loans.

- One of her scholarships didn't "show up" until days before the semester payment was due, and we were both worried. I was at the point of taking the money out of my savings account and paying the tuition rather than see her classes dropped. But then it showed up. Apparently some of these things are "tricky" the first time around; at least it hasn't happened again since then.

- Her school automatically adds $790 for school-based health insurance to everyone's bill. To opt out of this, she has to go online and give our health insurance information. I'm sure lots of people don't catch that this is an option, and it's a money-maker for the school.


The good news: Since that first semester, we haven't had a minute's trouble with paying the bill. We haven't done the FAFSA again (everyone should do it the first year, but we learned that we weren't going to get anything), so the loan problem hasn't reemerged. The scholarship is now rolling along like clockwork, and she knows to drop the health insurance.

Also, it gets easier in the future because you'll no longer be choosing between this and that school. Once your decision is made, you're only focusing on paying the bill. It really is harder the first time.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:44 PM   #14
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Follow up any phone calls with an email: "thank you for takig the time to answer my questions yesterday. I understand that scholarship XXX is for $YYY per semester, renewable as long as Blah Blah Blah." Just to be sure what you understand is correct.

You might ask your D if she accepted the loans (possible not knowing). Colleges really communicate with the student, not the parents. Even when it comes to paying the bill. Our D has to renew a "release" each year for us to see grades,etc. She has no issue doing it, just has to remember to get it done. There is a similar form for medical issues (get that one signed by your student BEFORE there is a medical emergency).

Good Luck, as Mrs. Pete mentioned it gets easier after freshman year...
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:13 AM   #15
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When my daughter was a freshman we had trouble understanding the numbers -- we read them over multiple times and still ended up making phone calls to ask for clarification! My best advice: Call. Call anytime you have a question. And keep records of the answers and to whom you spoke.

Things that gave us trouble the first time around:

- One small private school sent a letter offering what initially looked like a great scholarship! We initially thought this was going to make the school almost free (even though it was far from her first choice), and we were very excited . . . but on second reading we realized that the number was divided over four years -- quite a difference. This meant that the school was still significantly more expensive than the state school she really wanted to attend. Why do they throw out that bigger number? It's an attempt to make the offer look more generous than it actually is.

- We did the FAFSA form for her freshman year, and she was offered loans. She had to officially contact the school and turn them down before her account could be "settled" for the first semester. Yes, they opt towards the idea that you're automatically going to accept the loans.

- One of her scholarships didn't "show up" until days before the semester payment was due, and we were both worried. I was at the point of taking the money out of my savings account and paying the tuition rather than see her classes dropped. But then it showed up. Apparently some of these things are "tricky" the first time around; at least it hasn't happened again since then.

- Her school automatically adds $790 for school-based health insurance to everyone's bill. To opt out of this, she has to go online and give our health insurance information. I'm sure lots of people don't catch that this is an option, and it's a money-maker for the school.


The good news: Since that first semester, we haven't had a minute's trouble with paying the bill. We haven't done the FAFSA again (everyone should do it the first year, but we learned that we weren't going to get anything), so the loan problem hasn't reemerged. The scholarship is now rolling along like clockwork, and she knows to drop the health insurance.

Also, it gets easier in the future because you'll no longer be choosing between this and that school. Once your decision is made, you're only focusing on paying the bill. It really is harder the first time.

parents (and their students) need to find out if their college/university REQUIRES a fafsa each year to even be considered for scholarships (including those that are non income based) before they decide to opt out of doing it each year.

the university our dd goes to has one scholarship application for ALL scholarships (with the exception of a very few some individual departments offer). a requirement of application is completing the fafsa. even the department specific scholarships require it. additionally, a number of private scholarships dd applied for last year (and is applying for renewal on this year), despite not being income based-require a copy of the current year's SAR attached.
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