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Getting Started with your Financial Aid

Step 1: Apply through the FAFSA Step 2: Review Eligibility Criteria and Award Letter
Step 3: Complete Verification Step 4: Accepting Loans
Extra Steps: Did You Apply for a Cal Grant? Extra Steps: Renew Your Financial Aid Annually


Step 1: Apply through the FAFSA

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The Holy Names University FAFSA code is 001183. The Department of Education uses the information on your to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), so make sure you complete the form accurately. Use a zero instead of leaving number fields blank. The HNU priority deadline for undergraduate students is March 1st. This will allow qualified students to meet the Cal Grant deadline. The suggested FAFSA deadline for graduate programs is April 30th for timely processing of aid however, all FAFSAs will be considered. Files are reviewed in the order they become complete.

  • If you need further assistance in completing your application, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance by email at financialaid@hnu.edu or by phone at 510-436-1327.

  • The Department of Education’s FAFSA processor will notify all applicants that the FAFSA has been received and processed. This notification will be sent via email to the address the applicant enters on the FAFSA. Applicants should review the comments on the FAFSA and response to any requests for additional information or processing issues. HNU will also receive an electronic copy of your data shortly thereafter. The FAFSA information starts the HNU financial aid process for you. Please be sure to pay attention to any requests for additional information from our office and respond within 14 days. It is in the applicant’s best interest to respond in a timely manner since funds are awarded in a first come, first served manner and some funds will run out earlier than others.

  • Receive a Federal Student Aid Center-Student Aid Report (SAR).You will receive a copy of this report from Federal Student Aid Programs. It confirms that the agency received your FAFSA and has distributed the information to the colleges you listed on the form. The SAR will include the amount of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Step 2: Review Eligibility Criteria and Award Letter

  • Your eligibility for financial aid is then determined. There are two types of financial aid. Need-based aid considers an individual’s income and family circumstances. This type of aid is designed for students demonstrating financial need. Having an income does not preclude you from receiving need-based aid. The amount of aid you are eligible for may vary. Most grants and some loans are need-based sources of financial aid. Non-need based aid does not consider need or merit.

  • The Office of Student Financial Assistance will review documents for accuracy and completeness, and your enrollment may be verified. A financial aid counselor will calculate your aid package based on the need analysis report (Student Aid Report) prepared by the Federal Student Aid Center and will inform you of the types of financial assistance for which you may apply. Based on this information, you may complete the additional applications required to apply Federal aid programs such as Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Pell Grants, and campus-based aid programs.
  • The Office of Student Financial Assistance will notify students of their awards by mailing an award letter at the earliest possible date. An estimated award letter be mailed to each student who completes the application process notifying them of their eligibility for all funds.

  • Financial Aid Award programs are subject to institutional , federal, and state funding levels and eligibility requirements. forms, awards and requirements are subject to change.
  • Students qualifying for federal, state or institutional grants will have their funds prorated for enrolled semesters (generally divided one half for each semester) and applied to the student’s account with the university’s Office of Student Accounts.

  • This award letter will indicate that Holy Names has received your FAFSA record from the Federal Student Aid Programs and your eligible Title IV breakdown. At this point in the process, Holy Names University —and every other college which received your FAFSA—may be required to verify the information you entered on the form and processing the data. Students selected for verification will be contacted by the university.

Step 3: Complete Verification

  • The Department of Education uses a system of edits to select student financial aid applications in a process known as verification. Verification is not a punitive procedure but rather a method required by the Department of Education involving the collection of additional supporting documentation that is used to compare and correct inaccurate information that may have been supplied on the financial aid application.  The University is assigned the verification task on behalf of the Department of Education.  Approximately 30 percent of all FAFSA applications are selected for verification. Students whose applications are selected for verification will be notified by the Office of Student Financial Assistance and informed of any additional documentation/forms that must be completed.  Once the verification is completed, any necessary changes will be made and the student’s expected contribution may be recalculated.  The Office of Student Financial Assistance will make necessary adjustments if warranted, and send notification to the student.

  • In order to verify the student’s AGI, the student must use the FAFSAs IRS Data Retrieval tool to automatically import federal tax information on www.FAFSA.ed.gov, or request an official IRS Tax Transcript from www.IRS.gov and deliver this to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.  Financial aid applications will not be processed with an IRS extension.  Students or parents who were not required to file a Federal Income Tax Return will provide other information on the Federal Verification Worksheet that will be provided to the student/family.

  • Additional documentation may be required from low-income students or from students whose records include conflicting information.

  • In addition to the verification process, all student financial aid applications are matched with other databases to ensure accurate information and to flag potential problems.  The matches include the Selective Service Agency files, Immigration and Naturalization files, Social Security Administration files and National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS).  Errors or problems are indicated on the student’s Student Aid Report or Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) and must be resolved prior to the disbursement of any federal funds.  The Office of Student Financial Assistance will notify students of any database-match problems and will inform them of the process to resolve the issues.

Step 4: Accepting Loans

  • Process a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov The processor will send confirmation to the school that this process has been completed. The PIN number given by the DOE, which identifies each applicant, will be as the electronic signature.

  • Complete a Student Loan Entrance Interview (also at the www.studentloans.gov) site. The purpose of the entrance interview is to give you an opportunity to review the check disbursement policies, borrowing limits and to help understand repayment responsibilities as a student borrower. It will also show students options for deferring loan and other rights and benefits associated with these loans.
  • Students and families should know that no funds may be released or loans finalized until all federal requirements have been met.

Extra Steps: Did You Apply for a Cal Grant?

  • File the Appropriate information with California Student Aid Commission. Cal Grant awards are state-funded monetary grants given to students to help pay for college expenses. The awards do not have to be paid back. To qualify for Cal Grants, follow these steps:

  • Fill out and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is a federal form available at www.fafsa.ed.gov.This application must be filed by any student who wants to be considered for college financial aid. For a Cal Grant, the FAFSA must be completed and filed with the federal processor by March 2nd of each year.

  • File a verified grade point average (GPA) with the California Student Aid Commission by no later than March 2nd (new students, recent high school graduates and all applicants who have never applied for Cal Grants in the past. Some high schools automatically file their students’ verified GPAs with the Commission. Some do not. You must confirm whether your school will file your GPA for you, or obtain a GPA Verification Form, get it certified by a school official and mail it yourself. Students selected for Cal Grant A or B will receive notification from the Commission. New awards for Cal Grants A and B will be announced during the months of May through June 2009. Funds for these programs will be received October 2009

Extra Steps: Renew your financial aid annually

  • In order to receive financial aid each year you attend the University, complete the FAFSA process every year. The FAFSA for the coming year is always available on January 1 of the new year.


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