To get to your Financial Aid application, check your Alerts on your Home page and click the appropriate link.
When you apply for Financial Aid, you do so for a particular Academic Year or Aid Year. You'll see that year in the title of the application—for example, 2011-2012 Financial Aid Application.
The Summary shows the basic financial stats at play in your application.
- Cost of Attendance (COA) is determined by the school. It is an approximate figure that includes the cost of tuition, fees, books, and other items related to your attending the school for that Academic Year.
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is gleaned from information you provide (often via the FAFSA). It is an approximate figure of how much you and/or your family will contribute towards the COA.
- Financial Need is the difference between the COA and your EFC.
- Grants/Loans Accepted indicates the total amount of each type of financial aid you have accepted.
- Remaining Need is the difference, if any, between your financial need and accepted grants and/or loans.
Aid Application Components (different from your Admissions application, if you have one) ask for information about your financial need to help the Financial Aid office determine what aid you're eligible for. To see what you need to do, click View instructions. If the component asks you to upload files, you can do so in the Files panel in the right column of the application.
If you're asked to submit any files or information electronically, you can do so through the Files panel. Just click Add Files, browse for the file (or files) on your computer, and then Upload.
Your aid officer will be notified by email when you upload files.
Once you've uploaded files, click the filename to view what you've submitted (or to view files your aid officer has uploaded).
Questions let you correspond with the Financial Aid officer in charge of your application. Either you or the Aid officer can start a question. You can carry on the correspondence right from your aid application or over email.
To start a question, you need to be in the aid application. Click Ask a question.
Select from General question or questions About specific application components.
Write a Subject—this can be the actual question expressed in just a few words.
In the Body, you can go into more detail.
When you're done, click Submit my question.
Questions have three statuses:
- Awaiting Student Response means you need to make the next comment.
- Open Questions are waiting for the aid officer to comment.
- Solved Questions have been resolved.
Click the question subject to go to the question's page.
The Question Page
Questions are comprised of a Subject and a series of comments between you and the aid officer. The Latest Comment is always at the top; scroll down for a complete, chronological Comment history.
To add a comment, type it in the text box and Submit it. Of course, you can also add comments via email.
When the issue has been resolved to your satisfaction, mark it as Solved.
Of course, you can also add to the comment history via email. When you receive an email about the application question, just reply to the email above the line that says, "To respond, just reply to this email and type your response above this line."
Whatever you do, don't edit the subject! The subject is how Populi matches your comments to the correct question on your application!
Grants and Loans
At some point during the application process (usually after your application has been accepted), you'll be offered Financial Aid awards. Awards come in two flavors—Grants and Loans—and originate from a variety of sources. As they're offered, you'll receive an email from Populi Notifications.
When you've made a decision, click either Accept award or Decline award. If you change your mind later on, let your aid officer know; they can make changes to your decision on their end.
To see how your awards affect your account balance, you'll go to My Profile > Financial—but there won't be anything to see until your awards are disbursed against your invoiced charges.