Financial Aid Process
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What is financial aid?
Financial aid includes need-based grants, scholarships, loans and work options. These funds come from a variety of sources including Hope College, federal and state government programs, and private organizations.
Your financial aid can be considered either gift aid or self-help aid:
- Gift aid (such as scholarships and grants) does not need to be repaid
- Self-help aid must be repaid (loans) or earned (work study)
- WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AID
For most financial aid programs you must:
- Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen enrolled in a degree or certificate program
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Not be in default on a federal student loan
- Not owe a refund on any federal financial aid grant
- Have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent
- Have a valid Social Security number
Students typically apply for financial aid as a dependent student, submitting their parents’ income and asset information. However, if you meet one of the criteria established by federal regulations, you can file for aid as an independent student.
- HOW TO APPLY FOR AID
If you’re interested in receiving aid, you'll need to complete:
The priority consideration date for aid applications is May 1 of each year. Be sure to list Hope College on your FAFSA. Our school code is 002273.
The FAFSA is a roles-based application. The application is organized into sections for each role. Roles include you (applicant) and your parents (if you are a dependent student). You and your parent(s) are considered contributors to the FAFSA. Contributors must provide the required information and sign their respective sections in order for the application to be complete.
When you file the FAFSA you will need a FSA ID (account username and password) for each contributor. The FSA ID is used to provide consent to transfer your tax information from the IRS into your financial aid application. The FSA ID is also used to electronically sign your financial aid application and documents.
In cases of divorced parents, you should apply for aid using the income figures of the parent (and his or her spouse, if remarried) who provided the majority of your financial support in the prior year.
- HOW AID IS DETERMINED
Once you have filed the FAFSA, you will receive a FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) that includes your Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is what our office will use to determine your eligibility for a variety of aid programs and your financial need.
To determine your financial need we also review your Cost of Attendance (COA). All schools create a COA based on several factors including tuition, housing, food, books, transportation and personal expenses. These factors will have a different cost at each school, therefore the COA is different at each school.
Your financial need is determined by taking your cost of attendance (COA) minus your student aid index (SAI). Understanding the cost of attendance, your student aid index and financial need will help you understand your award notification.
- Verification & Follow Up Requirements
After you complete your application our office reviews your eligibility. You may be required to submit additional documentation to verify the data on your FAFSA. This verification process is required by the U.S. Department of Education.
If you are required to submit additional documents, our office will send you a written request with details. It is important that you submit any required documentation as soon as possible to avoid delays in receiving your award notice.
If no additional documents are needed to complete your file, your award notice will be sent beginning in mid-March (incoming students) or late-May (returning students).
Filing your application after May 1 may result in a delayed award notification.
- Understanding Your Award
Financial aid funds come from a variety of sources, including Hope College, federal and state government programs, and private organizations. Our office is available to assist you with your financial aid related questions. Learn more about terms, conditions and policies related to your award offer.
- Special & Unusual Circumstances
Students and families may experience financial changes or circumstances that are not reflected on the FAFSA. In these instances, a student may submit documentation for a professional judgment review.
Special Circumstances are situations related to financial changes such as:
- Changes to family income and assets
- Recent unemployment
- Death of parent, divorce, separation
Unusual Circumstances are situations related to a student’s dependency status such as:
- Human trafficking
- Refugee or asylee status
- Parental abandonment or incarceration
- Unable to contact parent(s)
- Contact with parents poses a risk to student
Parents who are unwilling to contribute to educational expenses or who do not claim their student on their federal tax return are not unusual circumstances; a dependency override will not be granted in these situations.
Anderson-Werkman Center100 East 8th StreetSuite 230Holland, MI 49423