Private Counseling

This section is for any student and parent who needs more individualized, private FAFSA counseling. The following services listed below will be provided for a nominal fee. Please contact us if you are interested so we may begin this process today! 

• Upon request during a private consultation, we offer visual website screen-sharing with the parent and student if so desired
Sharing visual access to the website screen between the parent, student, and financial aid counselor is highly recommended as it can be very helpful in understanding the process of completing a new FAFSA application. With this step, students and parents have full control of the screen, though our Gruber Foundation financial aid counselor will also able to see the screen in order to help each step of the way and to provide guidance with any questions you may have during the application process. With this step, we will provide a link to a free software that will allow us to share screens during this process.

• We will also review any paperwork that you have available
The FAFSA will ask questions about your income, assets, and household size. Please have an available copy of your 2016 Federal Tax Return and information about any assets you have (not including the home you live in).

• Here is where we will assist the parent with logging-in to the FAFSA-on-the-Web site
This next step will be a step-by-step completion of the FAFSA application. On the FAFSA-on-the-web site, after entering the student’s FSA ID and password, you will then be instructed to click NEXT. The US Department of Education takes security very seriously, so never give your FSA User ID and Password to just anyone! Read the Disclaimer and click NEXT, then begin a new FAFSA Completion Form.

• We are here to help you and provide answers to all your questions as we view the site
Some of the various site screens are listed below;

– Student Demographic Information Screen
– Student Eligibility Screens
– School Selection Screen
– Dependency Determination Screens
– Parent Demographic Information Screen– Parent Tax Information Screen

• We will also help assist the family in how to manage and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
This step is for the parent, in order to access the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, a parent must now enter his or her User ID and Password. Again, these are secure credentials, so do not give them out to anyone else, including the Gruber Foundation assistant. You will then be prompted to enter your first and last name, date of birth, among other fields of interest. Afterwards, these same steps will be completed for any other parent/guardian, as well as for the student.

• We then help assist the family with how to complete the Asset section, if it is applicable
This is where you will complete any asset information, at this time.

• After this, we help guide the family on how to enter their Federal School Codes for selected schools
For this section, we will help assist the family in entering school codes for all schools to whom they want the result sent.

• Next, we explain to the student and the parent how to electronically sign the FAFSA
The student signs first after reading the full Certification Statement. If agreed upon, they will then click on AGREE and click on SIGN. The parent then does the same. Once complete, click on SUBMIT MY FAFSA NOW.

• If necessary, we will show you how to save your work and how to return to it in the future

• We will explain to your family how you will receive your results
The confirmation page will appear at this point. It provides information about the schools you selected, as well as gives you the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). It is recommended to print or bookmark this page to save it for your records. In about 3-5 days your child will receive an email stating that your FAFSA was processed and that your Student Aid Report or SAR is available for you to print and/or save. This report can also be accessed by logging back into the FAFSA site.

• Then, we explain how your results will be sent to schools listed on your FAFSA application
Your FAFSA will now be processed through what is called the Central Processing System and a number of edits and matches will take place. Each school that you listed will receive what is called an Institutional Student Information Record or ISIR. This has all the information on it that you entered into the FAFSA and it provides the official EFC. It will contain the results of those edits and database matches as well.

• We will also explain the receiving schools’ process, as well as how to request an award letter
Generally, schools review admissions applications and acceptances and use this information to determine if they will ‘package’ a student. The websites of all colleges will have a Financial Aid page and that page will tell you more about the specific policies and procedures for each school. In some instances, you may need to contact the financial aid office and let them know you would like to have an Award Letter issued to you. Most often, they will be looking for whether you have applied for Admission to the school. The website will also generally have institutional forms if that aid office requires additional forms. There will also usually be directions for any additional forms/documentation you may need to submit as a result of the edits and matches discussed.

• We include a brief overview of Federal Grants and Loans
Once the school issues an Award Letter, it will tell you the actual dollar amount of Federal Student Aid for which you qualify. Some awards may be grants. Grants are‘free money’ from the Federal government that does not need to be repaid. Grants are very income sensitive and unfortunately, often do not help middle-income families. Your Award Letter may have awards of Federal Direct Loans. Loans are available to the student in limited amounts. Student loans are not based on established credit and they go into repayment six months after the student leaves school. There is also a Loan Program for Parents called the PLUS loan. These are based on credit and go into repayment once the loan is fully disbursed which will happen shortly after the Spring Term begins. The great thing about PLUS loans is that you can borrow up to the student’s full Cost of Attendance (minus any other aid the student receives). You might also receive an Award for Federal Work Study. This is generally an on-campus job in which the student earns money to help with their educational costs.

• We will also explain the State Aid and Institutional Aid programs
Depending on the type of institution to which you apply, you may be eligible for State grants and/or Institutional Aid. Many State grant programs are designed to assist middle-income families a lot more than the Federal Pell Grant, which is directed more toward low-income families. Your FAFSA results are automatically sent to your State’s grant program to initiate the application process. Institutional aid is usually highest at a private college with endowment funds (as opposed to public/State schools). Often the private colleges will award their institutional aid to offset the overall tuition and bring the expense down closer to State school rates. These are just some examples. Every school has its own formula for awarding institutional aid and some may require an additional application in order to be considered for institutional aid.

• Finally, we briefly mention “safe” scholarship search sites and how to avoid scams
There are thousands of scam searches out there for faulty FAFSA services that charge an unnecessary fee. We want to warn you in advance that you should never have to pay a fee for a scholarship search. Also, stay away from bait-and-switch schemes. This is where a financial aid consultant (often posing as a company), will attempt to get you into a free seminar only to ask you to pay $1000-$2000 to be your financial advisor, and/or to take advantage of unethical methods to acquire financial aid for your child, such as switching assets from one child to another, which may harm your child’s chances of financial aid in the long-run. 

Please complete the information below if you would
like our free one-hour session 
completing your FAFSA application.

Select your special reference code when submitting this form.
Please email; or call 855-288-7737 for assistance.