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Busting Your Financial Aid Myths
Everyone knows college can be expensive! Financial aid is a great way to help students finance their college education, and UND encourages every student to fill out a FAFSA application as well as apply for scholarships.
The financial aid process can be tricky, but we’re here to help your family understand the FAFSA and financial aid once and for all! Take a look at some common financial aid myths that many students and families believe to be true.
MYTH: If a student’s parents make too much money, the student won’t qualify for aid.
FACT: There is no income cut-off to qualify for federal aid. Many factors besides income, including the size of a student’s family to the age of the older parent, are taken into account. Eligibility is determined by a mathematical formula, and not by the parents’ income alone.
At UND, 79% of undergraduate students share $100 million in financial aid, with an average award amount of $7,500 per student per year.
MYTH: Only students with good grades get financial aid.
FACT: While a high GPA will help a student with academic scholarships, most of the federal student aid programs do not take a student’s grades into consideration.
MYTH: The FAFSA is too hard and too time consuming to fill out.
FACT: If you have everything you need in front of you, including your 2015 tax documents, the FAFSA should only take about 30 minutes. There are detailed instructions for every question, and the form walks you through step by step, only asking the questions that apply to the student. Help is available on the FAFSA website through a real-time, private online chat or through a toll-free number.
Once your student's FAFSA is filled out, watch your mail for his or her financial aid package, which will include a guide to financial aid and an award letter. These will be sent out starting at the end of February and ongoing as FAFSAs are processed.
MYTH: If a student’s GPA and test scores are too low for the automatic UND Freshman Scholarships when they apply to UND, the student won’t have a chance to resubmit test scores or GPA if they improve once they are accepted to UND.
FACT: If a student has a test score or GPA that didn’t quite meet UND’s scholarship criteria, the student is encouraged to retake the ACT or SAT and work to raise his or her GPA. If a student has taken the ACT or SAT multiple times, the top score from each section (regardless of exam date) will be used to determine a composite "superscore" for scholarship eligibility.
Students can submit updated GPAs and/or test scores to the UND Office of Admissions as soon as possible but no later than August 1, 2017 to qualify for one of the automatic scholarships available to freshmen.
MYTH: If students didn't fill out their FAFSA applications before the February 1 priority deadline, it's too late to apply.
FACT: Students should continue to fill out FAFSA applications after the priority deadline, although funding is no longer guaranteed after February 1.