Sending your child off to college is hard enough as it is. At OSU's Office of Financial Aid, we are here to help guide you through the Financial Aid process and answer any questions you might have. Below are some items that may assist you in completing your part of your dependent student's aid application. Other items will provide you with general financial aid information to help you better understand eligibility criteria, cost of attendance, aid types available and important dates and timelines to keep in mind throughout the year.
A few things to keep in mind when trying to understand Financial Aid:
Some things to remember
File the FAFSA Early: Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by applying as soon as possible after October 1st using previous year tax data from 2 years prior (for example, the 2018-19 application will use 2016 tax information). Improvements to the FAFSA application process now allow for direct data download from your IRS return! Follow the prompts while completing the application to authorize this information exchange.. Always remember that there is no fee to apply for federal aid. The priority FAFSA application deadline for OSU is February 28th. This date is used to determine eligibility for some need based aid programs as well as State and Institutional funds, however you may still submit your application after this date. Applications received after the priority deadline will still be eligible for federal aid such as Pell Grant and Direct Loans.
Apply for an FSA ID: The FSA ID is a username and password that is used to securely access Department of Education websites. You and your student each create your own FSA ID to complete and sign the FAFSA. It is also used to access other Department of Education websites, such as www.studentloans.gov, where you would complete your Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling. Parents can also use their FSA ID to electronically sign the PLUS Loan Promissory Note. More information can be found at the FSA ID website.
Student Eligibility: OSU uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine a student’s financial need and eligibility for various aid programs. A student’s financial aid award is designed to meet as much of their financial need and eligibility as possible, and is determined by the student’s need level and availability of funds. OSU offers merit-based scholarships, need and non-need based financial aid.
Student and Parent Contributions: According to the federal government, a dependent student and their family are expected to contribute toward the cost of the student’s education. The FAFSA takes into account a family’s financial picture, with allowances for federal and state taxes, college costs for siblings, asset protection, medical expenses, and other factors, and determines how much the student and the family can be expected to reasonably contribute toward their education. However, even if a student has no financial need as determined by the FAFSA, they are still eligible for some form of financial aid.
Special Circumstances: The FAFSA application uses tax data from prior years, which may not always be an accurate reflection of your current situation especially in these difficult economic times. The Department of Education allows for an institution to use professional judgment to change certain elements of the FAFSA application if adequate documentation can be provided. If you or your family has experienced a loss of employment, change in marital status, or other extraordinary circumstance since you completed the FAFSA, you may appeal to have your situation reviewed by our office. If approved, your aid eligibility and financial need may be recalculated, based on the new information. You must file your FAFSA in the standard way and then submit your additional documentation for your special conditions appeal. For more information regarding a special conditions appeal, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
Student Confidentiality: According to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)OSU cannot release a student’s financial records to anyone without the student’s written consent, regardless of the student’s age, who is paying the student’s bills, or has power of attorney status over the student. If a student wants someone else to have access their OSU financial aid records, they need to complete the Consent for Release of Confidential Information Form, which is valid until revoked. This form must be either submitted in person by the student with a photo ID or scanned and emailed as an attachement from the student's OSU student email.
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (FDPLUS)- The FDPLUS is a federal loan borrowed by the parent on behalf of a dependent student to assist with educational expenses. Students are awarded the maximum amount they are personally eligible to receive, after which PLUS loans are automatically offered to the parents of dependent students to meet the cost of attendance. As with all loans, you are not required to take it. Parents are required to complete a FAFSA application to be eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan, and the parent must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN) on the Federal Loan website. The PLUS is a non-need based loan with a fixed interest rate. Interest is charged on the loan from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full. Payment can be deferred while the student is attending school at least half-time, but interest will continue to accrue.
For applicants who have been determined to have an adverse credit history, but qualify for a Direct Parent or Graduate PLUS loan by documenting extenuating circumstances or obtaining an endorser must complete the PLUS Counseling. Students can review their file status by logging into their MyOSU account.
**Important note about Parent PLUS loan applications: The PLUS loan application will not be available for 2018-2019 until May 2018. If you attempt to apply prior to that date you will be told that OSU does not participate in the program. Rest assured, OSU DOES participate in the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan program. Applications for parent PLUS loan requires a credit check each time the parent applies for the loan and is only valid for 180 days. Applying too early may cause delays with processing and disbursements. Students can review their file status by logging into their ONID account.