› Blogs › Admission ›Figuring Out your Financial Aid Package
As of this post, admission applicants for Early Decision and Early Action programs at Furman have received their financial aid packages. Regular Decision applicants…. hang in there. We will email those on or about April 1st. So, once you have the numbers in front of you, what’s next?
First, your financial aid award email (we used to call them “letters” in the old, pre-email days) will give you the list of resources for which you qualify to help pay for some of your Furman expenses. These resources may include one or more of the following:
- Merit/Athletic/Fine Arts/Departmental Scholarship funding: This is FREE money for you and is applied directly toward your costs (½ for fall and ½ for spring).
- Furman Grant/Pell Grant/state grant of some sort: This is also FREE money for you, but these programs are usually based on demonstrated need as calculated by the mighty FAFSA and CSS Profile. Like scholarships, grants are applied directly toward your costs (½ for fall and ½ for spring).
- Student Loan(s): Now, we know loans are not as fun as scholarships and grants. But, they are helpful for about 42% of our students, with the average indebtedness over four years being $25,903. This funding is applied directly toward your costs, just like the scholarships and grants. Going into debt with student loans, however, is YOUR CHOICE. Simply decline them if you don’t want them. Just understand that Furman cannot replace those loans with grant or scholarship money. So, talk with your parents before making any choice about the loans.
- Federal Work Study: This is a program that has been around since your parents were your age (and much longer). Simply put, if you were awarded Federal Work Study, you may earn up to the dollar amount we listed for you. This money is earned in part-time (10 or so hours per week) jobs on campus (and some off campus). This money is paid to you as the worker. What you do with that money is between you and your parents. BUT, if your parents expect you to use that money to pay down your student bill, then do that. Otherwise, it might not work out too well for you….
Now, there will be a paragraph that shows how much it costs to come to Furman for the 2015-16 year. Take that amount and subtract your scholarships, grants, and student loans, and you will see what the remaining costs are likely to be. This is only an estimate, though, since we don’t know your individual spending habits!!
Also in this paragraph, there will also be an indication of how much a parent may borrow via the PLUS loan, if that becomes necessary. A little less than 10% of our parents borrow through the PLUS loan.
Finally, you will see that you need to respond to us by May 1st. This is vitally important since we will likely reach our capacity by midnight May 1, so get that deposit in by that time!!
Furman’s financial aid office is more than just about money. We aim to listen and to build relationships over the four years most students are at Furman. That’s our goal. We don’t always get it right, but hopefully we improve each year. Let us know if you have questions or simply want to “chat” about financial aid at Furman, or anything else for that matter.
Forrest M. Stuart
AVP for Financial Aid