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New Salem - January 9, 2008

Counselor’s Corner

Dr. Gaylynn Becker
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
New Salem High School

Have Financial Aid Questions?

Didn’t come to the Financial Aid Meeting last month?
Need help in applying for financial aid?
What is the maximum amount of financial aid?
Do I need collateral when applying for financial aid?
How is financial aid independence determined?
This article will answer these questions.

The first two questions can be answered by attending “College Goal Sunday” on February 10, 2008 at Bismarck High School. The North Dakota Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is sponsoring this session. Their goal is to assist you in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on this day. However, you must bring a completed 2007 Income Tax Return as well as your financial information. For more information about “College Goal Sunday” call Laura Teigen at College Information Service at 1-800-554-2717. Good Luck!

What Is The Maximum Amount Of Each Type Of Financial Aid?
The maximum amount of each of these sources of federal aid is:
Pell Grant ................$ 4,800.
SEOG Grant (about) ....4,000.
State Grant ....................600. - 1,000.
College Work Study .....Varies
Federal Subsidized Loan Limit
Freshman ..$ 3,500.
Third Year .....5,500.
Fourth Year ...5,500.
Total Undergraduate Loan Limit $ 23,000.
Total Graduate Loan Limit ........$ 65,500.

All of the types of federal financial aid listed above are need based. That means that the determination of whether or not a student receives a grant, loan or college work-study is based upon the students income and assets. If the student is dependent, it then also depends upon the income and assets of the parents. The lower the income and assets of the student and the parents, the higher the need for the student and as a result the greater the financial aid package the student will receive. The above forms of financial aid are determined by information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Do I need collateral when receiving a federal student loan?
No, student Loans of North Dakota (SLND) is the guarantor in case of default, bankruptcy, death, or disability. As a result, the guarantee replaces the collateral requirement. The Bank of North Dakota Student Loan Division can be contacted at 1 (800) 472-2166. If you are calling locally, the number is 328-5660.

Dependent/Independent Student Determination
When is a student considered a dependent and when is the student considered independent of their parents? This is an important frequently asked question. Sometimes it is not easy to answer. Currently, the determination is made based upon the following criteria:
1. Were you born before January 1, 1985?
2. At the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate?
3. As of today, are you married? (Answer “Yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)
4. Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
5. Do you have dependents other than your children/spouse who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2009?
6. Are both of your parents deceased, or are you (or were you until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court?
7. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?

If you (the student) answered “No” to every question, then you are considered a dependent and your parent’s income and assets are required and included in your determination of need for federal student financial aid.

If you (the student) answered “Yes” to any of the 7 questions, then you are considered independent for purposes of federal financial aid and your determination of financial need is not determined on your parent’s income and assets.

For more career information go to or call me at either New Salem High School at 843-7610, or at my residence at 222-3222.

Have an excellent academic day!