Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to file for Need-Based Aid every year? When are the deadlines?

Yes! The priority deadlines are posted each year. March 15 is the preferred deadline.

Can my family afford McMurry?

The costs of higher education are a significant expense and parents and students are expected to contribute what they can toward those costs. If you think you will need assistance to meet these costs you should apply for financial aid. If you qualify for financial aid, the cost of attending McMurry may be no more than that of a large public institution.

What determines whether or not I will receive financial aid?

The primary factor is financial need. Financial need is computed by determining the educational costs (tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and a personal allowance) less family contribution (based on federal Student Aid Report). The difference between these is the need for financial aid.

What determines my family contribution?

The expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated on the Student Aid Report (SAR) and takes a number of factors into account including family size, number of students in college, taxed and untaxed income, taxes paid, assets, business value and debt, and investments.

How much income makes you ineligible for financial aid?

There is no cutoff. Income is only one of the factors considered.

My parents are divorced. How should I fill out my paperwork?

The federal government considers the financial information of the parent with whom the student has lived for the majority of the past twelve months, as well as the financial information of the spouse if that parent has remarried. This is irrespective of what any legal agreements may say to the contrary.

What are some of the mistakes people make about financial aid?

Five of the most common are:
• Not filing early enough
• Not reading the instructions
• Not fully completing the applications
• Not using the correct Social Security Numbers
• Value of military housing (BAS, BAQ or
dormitory) not reported on FAFSA.

Does a large family with more than one student in college at the same time have an increase in the amount of financial aid?

When there is more than one student in college (undergraduate) at the same time, your family contribution is divided among the college students. So, if there were two in college one year and only one the following year, 100% of the family contribution would be expected to be available for the remaining student. Therefore, the smaller family contribution will have greater financial aid eligibility and should qualify the student with two family members in college to receive more need-based aid.

Why does my award change each year?

At McMurry, eligibility for financial aid is based on Federal estimates of your family's ability to contribute to the cost of education. Keep in mind that your award is likely to change each year for one or more of the following reasons:
• Increases in the cost of education.
• Your family's income may change.
• Your loan amount may increase as you continue through school.
• The number of children in college may change.
• You forget to reapply for financial aid early and aid funds are depleted.

Is the FAFSA required to apply for the faculty/staff scholarship?

Yes, the faculty scholarship will cover the amount of tuition not covered by federal or state aid. Federal aid may be used to cover the exact cost of books. Pell grant may be used for on campus room and board.

Where can I get help with forms and answers to my questions?

The staff of the Financial Aid Office is happy to help you. Visit us if you can; otherwise, call, write or contact us via e-mail.

Where can I find out about scholarships?

Use the link provided by the McMurry Financial Aid Home Page to Fast Web to do a free on-line scholarship search. You can also get good information from your high school counselor or from books in your public library.

Documentation Questions

How do I know my application was processed? How can I verify that McMurry will receive the results?

About a week after sending in the FAFSA, you should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR); this is verification that you filed the FAFSA and that it has been processed. When you receive your SAR check to make sure McMurry (code 003591) is one of the schools listed. Questions about FAFSA processing can be directed to the Federal Student Aid Information Center (1-319-337-5665).

My SAR isn't accurate. Do I need to correct it?

Students should process the corrections through the FAFSA website.

Loan Questions

If I borrow from more than one loan program, I may have to pay several different lenders at the same time. May I consolidate my payments?

If you've borrowed from more than one type of loan program, you may be able to consolidate some of the loans and use one payment plan to repay the loans. In general, federal loans may be consolidated into one new loan at an interest rate of the weighted average of the original interest rates of the loans being consolidated. The length of the extension depends on the total amount of the loans consolidated.

What happens if I don't pay back my loan?

Not paying back your student loan can have serious consequences. If you go into default your lender can require you to repay the entire amount immediately, including all interest plus collection and late payment charges. The lender can sue you and can ask the federal government for help in collecting from you. The Internal Revenue Service may withhold your income tax refund and apply it toward your loan. You can not get any additional federal student aid until you make satisfactory arrangements to repay your loan. Also the lender may notify credit bureaus of your default. This may affect your credit rating which will make it difficult to obtain credit cards and/or car loans.

What if my educational or career plans change, or something happens after I'm out of school and working?

A change in career goals, the loss of a job, or other unexpected changes in your situation could make repaying your loan more difficult than you expected. In some cases, and at the lender's option, you may be permitted to temporarily stop making your payments, or you lender may accept smaller payments than scheduled. This is called a forbearance. In addition, for some loans, you may defer repayments temporarily, which may help. The promissory note for each loan you borrow outlines the specific terms under which you may be granted a deferment.

It's likely I'll have to borrow every year to pay for my college expenses. How much should I borrow so that I know I can afford to pay it back?

Planning ahead is essential to managing debt. If you plan to borrow each year you are in school, estimate the total amount you will borrow. Then use a sample loan repayment table to calculate how much you will have to pay each month. To decide how much to borrow, you can use the criteria lenders use when they consider and applicant's ability to repay: the total monthly payment for all debts should not exceed 8% of your gross monthly salary.

What is the difference between the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?

With the Subsidized Stafford, the interest is paid by the government while you are in school. The interest on the Unsubsidized Stafford is not paid while you are in school. You have the option of paying the interest or deferring it until after you graduate at which time it will be added to the principle of the loan.

What is a Federal Direct Stafford Loan?

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is provided by the federal government. Interest rates are low.STUDENT EMPLOYMENT QUESTIONS

How many hours can I work per week?

Twenty (20) hours per week is the maximum recommended for academic reasons as well as tax reasons. The number of hours are determined by the department where you work. Most jobs are a maximum of (10) hours a week.

Isn't work-study money nontaxable?

Work-study earnings are taxable income. If taxes were withheld from your paycheck you probably are eligible for a refund depending, of course, on your total annual earnings. It is in your best interest that you file a tax return with the Internal Revenue by April 15.

Can my fall/spring work-study award be used in the summer?

No, you must apply separately for summer work-study. You can not carry over any unused earnings to the summer. You must complete the financial aid paperwork to be eligible for work-study job during the summer. Complete your FAFSA now!