What Does This Cost for Parents?
Parents pay a $35 application when they apply for financial aid at a school that uses our service. This is collected at the time they create their account. The fee is applicable for one school year only and only for the school to which they applied. Paper applications are no longer provided and every parent who applies must be able to access their online account.
Why Do I Have to Pay a Fee for This Application? Isn't This a Part of My Admission Fee to the School?
This is a service our company provides to the school to take the burden and legal responsibility off of them for vetting financial aid applications. The $35 application fee is paid directly to BeneFAQ (SchoolRIGHT, LLC) and is not a part of the admission fees that are owed to the school
Can I Complete One Application for All My Children at the Same School?
Yes. Parents complete one application for the entire family. Applications do not carry over from one school year to another nor can an application be seen by multiple schools.
I Don't Have A Computer, Can I Get a Paper Application?
Paper applications are no longer provided and every parent who applies must be able to access their online account. If you do not have a computer we recommend the following:
Ask the school if they have a computer you may use.
Check with your public library, church, or a friend to see if they have a computer you can use.
What Information Do You Collect from Me and Share with the School?
In addition to the basic information of name(s), address, phone, email, income, and necessary living expenses, you will need to submit the following:
First 2 pages of your federal income tax return, at a minimum. We may request other pages.
State tax return (if applicable).
Supporting documentation for other non-taxable income.
Four (4) most recent pay stubs for each wage income listed on your application. DO NOT SEND W2s!
Schedule C & SE if self-employed.
Forms 1065, 1120, 8829 (if applicable), Schedule K-1 (if applicable) for business owners.
We may ask for written explanations of your situation (i.e., such as if your monthly expenses exceed your income, if you desire to change your application after completed and want some expenses to be increased from your original entry).
Our goal is to get an accurate picture of your financial situation. You will upload documentation directly to your account and in some instances may reply to us via our inline messaging system or email. The school will be able to see all the answers on your application and supporting documents if they choose.
Do You Share My Information Elsewhere?
No. Your information is only seen by us and the school if they choose. We do not report any of your information to any other agencies. This is strictly for internal use to verify your financial need for the school. Most schools do not want to view documents that are submitted and trust our verification process to help them make award determinations.
Do You Run a Credit Check on Me?
No. Credit reporting agencies will not be aware of your financial aid application.
What is the "FACT" Report and How Do You Arrive at a Final Number?
The FACT Report (Family Anticipated Contribution Total) summarizes what discretionary money a family has at the end of each month, and reports a percentage of that amount as income that can be reasonably used toward tuition. The application summarizes the family's average monthly income for the year minus their average necessary monthly expenses and then multiplies that by various adjustment percentages that are determined by answers previously supplied on the application. This allows us to provide the FACT number that is reported to the school.
Why Can't I List All My Expenses on the Application?
Our process asks for reasonable and necessary living expenses of each applicant and is not able to account for every possible expense a family may have. Each applicant is afforded the same list so that no one is treated with greater favor. This levels the playing field for all applicants. That being said, applicants are always permitted to provide written details of extenuating circumstances so a school can determine if that will be a factor in their financial aid offer.
Why Is There No Place to List Food Expenses?
This is an automatic calculation based on the size of your household and the number of months each of them is being fed out of your budget. We use an amount of $188 per person, per month.
Why Do You Ask About Foster/Adoption Subsidies Since Those Don't Count As Income?
You are correct that foster care and adoption subsidy payments are not considered as family income for the express purpose of income tax reporting (IRS 1974 ruling), but may be regarded as income for other purposes such as determining financial assistance eligibility by organizations such as ours who process financial aid applications as those subsidies do include payments to you to help cover housing, food, and other living expenses for that child. Any applicant using our system must report those subsidies.
Why Do I Have to Report the Social Security Benefits of My Minor Children?
According to the SSA website, you must use the regular monthly SSI benefit for the child's food, clothing, or shelter. Therefore, we consider their benefits to be a part of your household income to help you meet living expenses.
Can I Make Changes to My Application After I Submit It?
You will need to ask your school to grant that permission to us and explain why. If so, then we can open your application up for you to make changes. We may require proof of expense entries that are changed.
How Long Will It Take to Process My Application?
From the moment we receive the last documentation or information requested we typically finalize the verification within 3 to 5 business days.