What is Financial Aid
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is monetary assistance offered in the form of scholarships and grants, work-study programs, and loans available through federal and state governments as well as private sources. There are two types of financial aid available, “merit-based” and “need-based”. In most cases the amount of financial aid offered to a student will be based on a combination of factors involving both of these types of aid.
“Merit-based” aid is scholarships or grants that students can earn for their achievement in academics, music, athletics and/or other extra-curricular activities. Merit-based scholarships are not contingent on the student demonstrating financial need.
“Need-based” aid refers to assistance offered to students based on their or their family’s ability to pay for college. “Need” is determined by the difference between the total cost of attending college (including tuition, living expenses, books, supplies and travel) and a student’s expected family contribution to college expenses (as determined by a student’s FAFSA results). In other words, it refers to the amount of money you “need” to pay for college. Need-based aid is available in the form of grants and/or loans.
Work-study programs are need-based awards involving on or off-campus employment in which the student is able to earn money which is applied directly to college expenses. In some cases, these jobs can relate to an individual’s field of study.
For information on student loans, click here.
Published by the Department of Education, the Student Guide is the most comprehensive resource on student financial aid. See other StudentAid.gov resources here.
Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.
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Financial Aid Terms
Financial Aid Terms
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA is the financial aid form used to determine eligibility for need-based aid. Available online, the FAFSA is submitted to the federal processor for evaluation. The evaluation is then sent to the student and to as many as six colleges of the student’s choosing.
Student Aid Report (SAR)
Issued by the federal government and sent to the student after submitting the FAFSA, the SAR includes the information the student reported and an opportunity to make revisions or corrections. The SAR also informs the student of their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and guides financial aid officers in determining federal and institutional monies
After completing the FAFSA, students and parents may be required to provide copies of their income tax returns and W-2s, as well as federal verification worksheets to the university. The federal processor often requires verification because the FAFSA is frequently filled out before taxes have been completed, and figures are based on estimated or projected information.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The amount the student and parents are expected to be able to pay toward educational expenses for the coming year. The EFC is calculated from a formula established by Congress, based on the information provided by the student on the FAFSA. The EFC is used by the school to determine what need-based aid a student qualifies for and may or may not reflect the actual amount that a family may be required to contribute for school costs.
The Master’s University Financial Aid Application
This form is required by the TMU Office of Financial Aid in order to receive any federal, institutional or private aid. Both the Financial Aid Application and FAFSA are used to determine the aid offered to a student. Contact The Master’s University Office of Financial Aid if you have questions about this or if you would like our office to supply this form to you.
FAFSA Waiver Form
This form can be filled out by a student who wishes to be considered for merit-based aid only and does not wish to complete the FAFSA. It is recommended that a student thinking of waiving the FAFSA contact the TMU Office of Financial Aid before doing so.
Financial Aid Package
The Financial Aid Package informs the student of the types and amounts of grants, scholarships, loans and/or work-study the student has been awarded. The student will be offered the Financial Aid Package in an Award Letter. He or she can then accept or decline the awards offered online.
Available to all students who file a FAFSA, Stafford Loans are federally funded and available through various lenders. Repayment on Stafford Loans begins six months after graduation. There are two types of Stafford Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. The Subsidized Stafford Loan is available to students who demonstrate need. The Federal Government pays the interest on the loan until the student enters repayment. The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is available to students who do not demonstrate need and does accrue interest while the student is in school.
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Provided by the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), the PLUS is a loan for the parent of dependent students to help pay for college expenses. This loan is dependent on credit approval for the parent and may not exceed the institution’s estimated cost of attendance. For information on this loan, contact The Master’s University Office of Financial Aid.
Awarded by the Federal Government, Pell Grants are free money that does not have to be repaid. The student applies for the Pell Grant by filing the FAFSA and their eligibility is determined by the Federal Processor.
Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
Financed by the Federal Government, SEOGs are free money that does not have to be repaid. They are awarded to students with exceptional need as determined by the institution based on the student’s SAR.
Awarded to students with financial need, federal work-study programs offer on or off-campus employment by which a student is able to earn money which is applied directly to college expenses.
Circumstances not reflected on the FAFSA may affect a student’s EFC. Such circumstances could include unusual medical or dental expenses, tuition expenses for younger siblings in private school or a change in employment for parent or student. The student should report any such conditions to the financial aid officer at the college(s) where the student is applying for financial aid.
Prior-Prior Year Information
Financial Aid Application Process
Submit the TMU Financial Aid Application.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), listing The Master’s University as one of your school choices (Title IV school code: 001220).
Sign and submit our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
Submit all documents listed above and/or requested by the Office of Financial Aid by March 2nd for priority awarding. Some scholarships and grants may require additional forms which can be found here. If you are notified that you have been required for verification visit our verification webpage.
Once you receive an award letter from our office, follow the instructions to accept or decline your awards.
To apply for the Cal Grant, complete the FAFSA and submit a GPA Verification Form through your high school counselor or college registrar by March 2nd. If home-schooled, contact the Office of Financial Aid for information on how to submit your GPA to the California Student Aid Commission.
To Be Eligible for Federal Financial Aid, a Student Must:
Be a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident (international students, see below).
Be enrolled at least half-time (6 units per semester).
Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Not be in default on any student loans.
Meet Selective Service registration requirements (men only).
International students (non-U.S. citizens; non-permanent residents) are welcome to apply for financial aid from The Master’s University. However, international students are not eligible to complete the FAFSA or receive financial aid from the U.S. government. Information about applying for financial aid as an international student can be found here.