At Hiram, we recognize that financial aid and scholarships can play a large role in making a college decision. And while it can feel overwhelming to understand each college’s financial awarding process, the Office of Financial Aid at Hiram is ready to help you and answer your questions. Andrea Caputo-Lehman, director of financial aid, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the FAFSA and financial aid at Hiram.
What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it is the application for all forms of federal financial aid. In addition, it is also the application for all need-based financial aid awarded by Hiram College.
What is the timeline that I can expect to receive my financial aid award?
Once you have been admitted to Hiram College and we receive your FAFSA, we will begin reviewing your financial aid application and your financial aid award should be sent within a week. Keep in mind that it takes 3-5 days from when you submit the FAFSA to the Department of Education for Hiram College to receive your information.
Is there a deadline for the FAFSA?
While the FAFSA indicates that filing deadline is June 30, 2022, you should complete the FAFSA as soon as you can. You do not have to wait for your acceptance to complete the FAFSA. We typically tell students to treat the FAFSA as part of the admission process or immediately thereafter.
Do I still need to fill out the FAFSA if I don’t think I’ll qualify for any grants or loans?
We always recommend completing the FAFSA at least the first year, even if you don’t believe you’ll qualify for any financial aid. You may be eligible for other grants and scholarships from Hiram College and if you will be borrowing student loans, you do need to complete the FAFSA.
Are there common mistakes that students make? How do you avoid them?
Probably two of the biggest mistakes that are made when completing the FAFSA is (1) not using the correct tax information and (2) for students whose parents are divorced, knowing which parent to include on the FAFSA. Using the correct tax information is easily avoided by importing your tax information directly from the IRS. This is an option within the FAFSA and ensures accuracy. For students whose parents are divorced or separated, you should include the parent that you live with more than 50% of year. Even in joint custody situations, there is one parent that is considered the residential parent.
If I make a mistake on my FAFSA can I go back and fix it?
Before making any corrections to your FAFSA, contact the financial aid office to make sure it is necessary.
Where can I find more information about the FAFSA?
We are available to assist you with any questions you might have regarding completing the FAFSA. You can also review information online at www.studentaid.gov.
Any other advice?
Couple things – if you used your high school email on the FAFSA, you should update it to a personal email address. This is how we will communicate with you and you will most likely lose access to this email after you graduate. And most importantly, know that the financial aid office is available to assist you along the way, from completing the FAFSA, to understanding your financial aid award, to making the numbers work.
If you would like to contact Hiram’s Financial Aid Office or set up a virtual meeting with a Financial Aid Counselor, call 330.569.5107 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.