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Financial Aid

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SwingDoc

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I'll be starting school in the fall and have a few financial aid questions.

What is the $180 cap that I hear people talking about?

Also, how does the school determine how much you are eligible to receive, besides expected parental contribution? (I'm older and have been living independent of my parents for several years now - and do not expect them to contribute at all). I have a condo, which means I have a mortgage. My monthly payments are very reasonable, but I was wondering if they take personal existing circumstances under consideration.

If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it!! Thanks much.
 

mpp

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You start by completing the FAFSA. You do not need to include your parental information on this form. The FAFSA will determine an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your school will have an annual budget determined (call the financial aid office and ask for the annual school budget). This budget includes average living expenses. These may be more or less than your current living expenses. They will take that budget and subtract your EFC. The financial aid office will then determine an aid package to finance what remains of their budget after your contribution. The package might include grants/scholarships and will most definitely include some combination of subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans. These stafford loans cannot amount to more than $38,500 with no more than $8,500 being subsidized. The financial aid office may require you to provide parental information it you want to be considered for their own institutional grants and loans. Depending on your situation you may not be required to supply this information and still be eligible for institutional aid...depends on how lenient the school is. I do not know what you mean by the $180 cap. There is a maximum Stafford loan amount of $138,500. You can never have more than that (or that was the last figure I have...they may have increased this amount...check with the Department of Education) combining all undergraduate, graduate, or professional Stafford loans, subsidized or not.
 

Doc Ivy

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Hi Swing Doc,
I assume form your location that you must be considering Northwestern because they do indeed have a debt cap. What this means is that any need based financial aid in the form of loans that you take out cannot exceed a certain amount. If you choose to take out private loans to cover the EFC (expected family contribution) then that's up to you, and doesn't get forgiven when they are assesing your indebtedness.
The debt cap chages every year, and so if the cap is 180K then once you graduate if you have accrued additional debt beyond the cap say 200K , the excess 20 K is automatically forgiven.

As far as I know this is how NU works, I don't know about any other schools,
Hope that helps.
 

sacrament

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Originally posted by mpp
There is a maximum Stafford loan amount of $138,500. You can never have more than that (or that was the last figure I have...they may have increased this amount...check with the Department of Education) combining all undergraduate, graduate, or professional Stafford loans, subsidized or not.

I believe the $138,500 figure is for graduate students (non-medical). For medical students, the cap is $189,125.
 

paean

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You know, you really should check out the financial aid forum, and post questions about it there. That way, you can see if someone already asked your question, and the answers are available to all school types, not just allo.
 

KyGrlDr2B

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Thank you paean....shall I make you an honorary moderator??? :D And with that, we move this over to Financial Aid....
 
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