There are no arbitrary "cutoffs" in family income levels to eliminate an applicant for consideration for aid because several factors other than income will affect the calculation of eligibility. These variables include the size of the family, the number attending college at the same time, variations in student savings and earnings, and the relative strength of family assets.
You are required to apply for aid each academic year. Need-based aid can change from year to year depending on federal and state funding availability and changing family financial circumstances. For example, changes in family income, family size, and the number of family members in college affect aid packages. You should not expect an automatic increase in scholarship or grant assistance. Self-help components of aid, such as loans, increase over the years; also, corresponding improvements in family income help offset increased costs. Eligible students may borrow up to the maximum Federal Stafford Loan amounts as follow:
- First-year students $5,500
- Sophomores $6,500
- Juniors $7,500
- Seniors $7,500
To be considered for academic scholarships, you must submit a completed application for admission. There is no separate application process to be eligible for Hiram College merit scholarships. Any student qualifying for merit scholarships will receive notification following admission.
Once you begin study at Hiram College, your need-based financial aid will not be affected by grades unless you fail to make satisfactory academic progress or are placed on academic probation. Renewal of a merit award is governed by the specific stipulations of the particular scholarship you have received.
Is it necessary for my parents and me to file federal income tax forms before applying for financial aid?
No. However, the data contained in your tax forms will help you to complete the FAFSA. And, if you are selected by the federal government for verification, Hiram is required to obtain copies of your tax forms to finalize your aid award.
There are non-work study jobs available on campus. Jobs have historically been readily available to those who wish to work. You may also check the Financial Aid Office's Student Job Central Web site for job opportunities or attend Hiram's annual Student Job Fair that takes place each August.
Because of federal government regulations, colleges and universities, as a standard practice, consider such awards as part of your resources. You must notify Hiram's Financial Aid Office if you receive such an award. If adjustments to the aid package are required due to an overaward the student will be notified in writing of the changes.
Like all students, athletes are awarded financial aid based on their calculated financial need or academic accomplishments. It is important to note that the NCAA Division III and the North Coast Athletic Conference do not allow financial aid to be awarded based on the student's athletic participation or accomplishments.
If your family income changes in the middle of the year, you may ask the financial aid office to re-evaluate your family's financial circumstances based on documentation regarding these changes. Examples would include parental unemployment or death, or serious illness in the family.
The U.S. Department of Education defines "independent" differently than the Internal Revenue Service. To be identified as "independent" for financial aid, a student must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- be 24 years of age or older
- be a graduate student in an approved degree program
- be an orphan or ward of the court
- be married
- be a veteran
- have other legal dependents.
In all other cases the student is considered a DEPENDENT student and parent/step-parent information will be needed to apply for financial aid. This is true even if students are living, by choice, on their own. It should also be noted that independent students do not always receive more financial aid.