DearSky

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Mar 22, 2009
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Estimated Cal Grant B - Access Grant 1,551.00
Federal Pell Grant Grant 5,550.00
UC Santa Cruz Grant Grant 13,929.00
UC Fee Grant Grant 672.00
Federal Perkins Loan Loan 549.00
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Loan 3,500.00
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Ln Loan 2,000.00
Federal College Work-Study Work/Study 1,500.00
Estimated AC Grant Yr1 Grant 750.00
Parent Loan Option-Submit Form Loan 701.00

Aid Year Totals 30,702.00
I received my Financial Aid Award from UCSC today. But I'm a bit lost on what I actually will have to pay. I understand that grants = free money and loans is what I pay back.

- What is the difference between subsidized/unsubsidized loans?
- Do I have to take all these loans? Can I request no-interest loans til I'm done with graduate school?
- What is the Parent Loan option? My parents aren't able to pay a penny for my tuition so I'm confused. My EFC is 0.
- Is this a good financial aid award or bad? It looks like almost 10k in loans for my freshman year itself. :X

Any advice is greatly appreciated!! Thank you! =]

EDIT:
I also qualified for:
You qualify for Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan based on program guidelines. Under this program, UC guarantees that your final aid award will contain enough grant and scholarship funds from all sources to cover your education and registration fees for the 2010-2011 academic year. Grant and scholarship funds may include Federal Pell Grants, state Cal Grants, private scholarships you have been awarded, and/or university grants and scholarships.

For more information about the University of California Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan go to http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/blueandgold/
The bolded is what is confusing me. It looks like it contradicts my financial aid award..
 
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dpmd

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The financial aid office puts together a financial aid package for you to be able to go to school there-based on what they think you will need to pay. The only part that is set in stone is tuition and fees (although looking at the site they might just call it fees). You have to give them that in order to go to school. It looks like that will be covered for you.

But in order to go to school you also need to live somewhere. They make up an amount they think it will cost for you to live somewhere (or if you are required to live on campus they put they amount they charge). If you don't have to live on campus and you can stay with family or friends, then you won't need as much.

They also estimate how much you will need for other things that you can try to save money on as well, like food (learn to eat ramen and other cheap stuff)/books (avoid buying-try getting from the library or borrowing from somebody, or buy used)/health insurance (if you can be covered for free under your parent's plan for example)/transportation (much less expensive if you rarely go anywhere)

They add up all the things they estimate into your estimated cost of attendance and from that subtract your expected contribution (0 in your case). It looks like they thought your would be about 700 short so they give you the option of having your parents take out a loan to help cover that. If you don't need that (because you did the stuff I wrote above) they don't need to get that.

You can take out however much loans you want up to the amounts listed. And the nice part is you can do it at any point in the year. So I would take the perkins loan first (no interest while in school, 5% interest when you are in repayment, and lots of ways to try to get parts of it cancelled). The next one to take is the subsidized direct loan (doesn't accrue interest while in school). Then later if you need more money take out some of the unsubsidized (does accrue interest, but you don't pay for it till later)

Work-study isn't a loan, you have to work in order to get it, the work is part time most likely at your school. They have to pay you at least minimum wage, and you only get up to 1500.

You got about 20K of free money and only about 6K in loans (if you take the whole amount). I would call that a good package.
 

DearSky

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Mar 22, 2009
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Ahh, I see! Thank you so much!

So if my tuition and fees are covered, what is left - housing, dining, books, transportation (if I want to visit home), and personal costs? Or is housing/dining covered by grants? People who live in residential halls are required to buy a 5-day or 7-day meal plan. And housing is quite expensive too..
 

TMP-SMX

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Your aid goes to your required tuition and fees first. Everything else goes to you to do what you wish. Just don't run out of money. The cost of attendance they calculate is an assumption of what most people require in your situation including all the money you should need to cover living expenses. You should do your own budget to see if you require all of the loans.
 
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But What if you wanted to live off-campus or with your friends that you did n't need to pay for rent,are they goona still give you the UC Santa Cruz grant?
 

TMP-SMX

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But What if you wanted to live off-campus or with your friends that you did n't need to pay for rent,are they goona still give you the UC Santa Cruz grant?
Yes. Your total cost of attendance would just be less but you still get all the grants. You would just take out less unsub loans.
 

DearSky

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Mar 22, 2009
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Sorry for bumping up my old thread, but I have a HUGE trouble (and the information on this page gives the quick 411 about my financial package):

I was awarded $750 as the "Estimated AC Grant Yr1"; however, on my college's pending financial aid disbursement information, this grant wasn't included.

Was I disqualified from the AC Grant?

To be eligible to receive an Academic Competitiveness grant, students must:

  • be eligible to receive a Pell Grant; yes I was awarded pell grant
  • be enrolled in a degree-granting college at least half time and pursuing a certificate or degree; yes, I'm a proposed Biology major at a UC
  • have completed high school on or after January 2005; Yes, June 2010
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; Yes, a U.S. Citizen
  • demonstrate completion of a rigorous academic curriculum in high school as defined and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 once in college.
Requires a minimum of two passed AP or IB courses and subsequent test scores of at least 3 or 4, respectively
This category is what I have questions on. I passed with 3's on two of my AP exams (English Comp and Biology) but I failed my World History AP Exam (with a 2, during freshman year) and my Calculus Exam (again, a 2 >.< )
Was I disqualified because I scored 2's on my World History & Calculus exam?
I'm really worried because I'm $507 short of the Fall Registration & Housing Fees ($8,969.67) amount due in about a month. I have a summer job but that money was/is used for my textbooks, personal-expenses (such as dorm materials), and transportation. I've accepted all the loans offered by my school and the total pending financial aid is $8,212 (+$250 scholarship which makes the $507 I still need).

I thought I was okay and didn't look into any private loans. With less than a month until the fees deadline--I'm very, very worried and any advice would GREATLY be appreciated. :(
 

DearSky

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Mar 22, 2009
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Problem #2:

I just noticed my college decreased my Federal Direct Unsubsidized Ln Loan amount. It is only $451 now.

I think I know what happend--I had reported two scholarships since then [first post] that I won.
- $250 which will be paid directly to the school this fall semester by my high school
- $2,000 which will NOT be disbursed at once. my high school will "be paid in two or more equal payments" so I have no idea how much they mean by that.

So I think my college DECREASED the amount of unsubsidized loan amount because I reported these two scholarship awards..

Should I call the Financial aid office ASAP and see if they can fix that? Because the $2,000 scholarship won't be paid to me in one lump, but paid in "two or more equal payments"--- I have no idea how much the scholarship will be divided into NOR when they will directly send the amount to my university.

T__T
 

mamendon

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Welcome to UCSC. I'm actually going through the process of accepting loans here myself.
I would call the financial aid office to try to talk to someone about your specific issues of disappearing grants and loans, they are the only ones that can really provide feedback on that point. (though I think you are correct about them reducing the available loans since you reported increased income from the other scholarships).
I do know that sometimes they are a bit late in posting credit to the account, did it appear correctly in your aid offer for the year?


I think your aid package actually looks quite good from what you posted:
Grants - 22452
Subsidized Loans - 4049
Work/Study - 1500

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Ln Loan 2,000.00
Parent Loan Option-Submit Form Loan 701.00

I would immediately accept the grants, workstudy, and subsidized loans. I like the subsidized loans because interest does not begin to accrue until after graduation - the government picks up the tab while you are still in school.

The unsubsidized loans aren't bad but I wouldn't take it unless it was my only option since the interest begins to add up immediately.

UCSC also offers emergency short term loans (<$500, <30 days) if you are expecting a payment to arrive from your other scholarship soon, though it can only be used for living/transportation/book expenses and not university charges.

I suppose if all of that isn't enough, there are always private education loans from the banks....

Good luck!
 

DearSky

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Mar 22, 2009
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Thanks! But yeah, I'm very confused. UCSC just updated my student portal so now my aid summary looks like:
Cal Grant A 10,302
Federal Pell Grant 5,550
Academic Competitive Grant 750
UCSC Grant 5,850
Federal Perkins Loan 549
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan 3,500
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan 451
Federal College work study 1,500

& Two scholarships: 250 and 2,000
Why did they switch my Cal Grant B (Access) to A? I heard Cal Grant B was better in a long run so I selected that one.. but after they updated my portal, it changed.

So my pending aid for this year covers the total housing/tuition fee (the scholarship money isn't even needed anymore).
 

mamendon

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Maybe the financial aid office decided to give you Cal Grant A because then the school wouldn't have to give you a large UCSC Grant. :laugh:
I can't say I know very much about Cal Grants, but it seems that A is better (correct me if I'm wrong):
A: 10,302 * 4 Years = $41,208
B: (1,551 * 4 Years) + (10,302 * 3 Years) = $37110

I'd take the scholarships anyways - the school credits extra aid money back to you in the form of a check or direct deposit. If anything, it means you can turn down the unsubsidized loan for this year (though its not like they offered you very much).
 

DearSky

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Mar 22, 2009
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Ahh, okay! Thank you very much!

I turned down the Unsubsidizied loan (this is the one with the interest, right?) so my "Pending Financial Aid" page says I owe 140.67. I don't think they add the scholarship amount into the page so I think I'm good!

Do you know if the "total due" includes their mandatory health plan? Thanks again! ^^
 

mamendon

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Nov 12, 2006
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Both loans have interest, but the subsidized loan does not start accumulating interest until 6 months AFTER you stop being a student. If you somehow manage to pay it off within 6 months of graduating, you won't end up paying any interest at all.
The unsubsidized loan begins accumulating interest immediately, which can be a big downside especially if you are considering several years of graduate/professional school before working.

Yes, "total due" should include their health plan costs unless you opt-out. If you are still covered under one of your parent's health plans, then you should consider opting-out to save ~$1k per quarter. I'm not sure if doing so will cause a reduction in your financial aid though.
(I worked as a TA and they credited my account with the cost of the healthcare plan, but when I opted-out they took away those credits. I'm not sure if any of your aid works the same way)