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How to Apply for Financial Aid Assistance

Steps to Follow to Apply for Financial Aid
The process of “need analysis” is required to determine which financial aid program(s) will assist you in meeting your educational goals. To determine the award package, 2011 income (taxed and untaxed) and for some students, current assets (excluding home equity) will be analyzed. To expedite this process, please follow the steps below.

How to Apply for Financial Aid
Planning ahead and applying for financial aid can help students obtain an education, which might otherwise be outside their financial reach. To be considered for federal and state financial aid, students must complete the process of “need analysis.” Need analysis is the method used to estimate the amount of money students and their families can reasonably contribute toward the cost of education. For the current school year, a student’s awards will be determined using the previous year’s income (taxed and untaxed) and current assets. Other factors that are considered include the student’s marital status and the number of dependents.

The data to complete a “need analysis” is collected when a student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Information on completing the FAFSA is available in the Financial Aid Guide, available from a financial aid or admissions advisor at all campuses or online at www.westmedcollege.edu. The Financial Aid Guide explains how to submit a FAFSA, which students must complete and sign with the federal processor for evaluation. To expedite the application process, students are encouraged to apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. WestMed College computer labs are available for students’ use.

Important Note: If a student (and parent, if required) has a personal identification number (PIN), the application can be signed electronically. Sign up for a PIN at: www.pin.ed.gov.

Step 1 — Application
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. If you are a dependent student, at least one parent must sign the FAFSA.
  • San Jose Campus - Enter the Title IV code: 040883, 3031 Tisch Way, 1st floor, Ste 8PW, San Jose, CA 95128-2541.
  • Merced Campus- Enter the Title IV code: E02077, 330 East Yosemite Avenue Suite 201, Merced, CA 95340-9165.
  • Remember to also list your housing status (on-campus, with parent, or off-campus).
  • Sign the FAFSA online using your PIN (available from www.pin.ed.gov), or mail in your signature page within 14 days, so your application may be processed.
  • Application deadlines: The federal processor must receive the FAFSA by June 30, 2013 for the 2012-2013 school year.

If you need further assistance in completing your application, contact the Financial Aid Office at the campus you attend. An appointment may be required.

Step 2 — What You Should Expect
After filing the FAFSA, you will receive the following responses:

Federal Student Aid Center
Student Aid Report (SAR) — All applicants who apply for financial aid will receive an e-mailed SAR. Please review the report for accuracy, and make corrections if necessary. Please retain a copy of your SAR for your records. Note: If you do not write in WestMed College as your college choice in step six of the FAFSA, it will be necessary for you to make that correction once you receive your SAR.

The College Financial Aid Office
Welcome Letter — You will receive an e-mail from the Financial Aid Office acknowledging the receipt of your financial aid application. All enrolled students with a schedule will receive an e-mail to complete the necessary documents to apply for financial aid with WestMed College.

Verification Process — The Federal government requires a percentage of financial aid applicants to complete a process called “Verification.” This is a process used by the U.S. Department of Education to check the accuracy of information you reported on the FAFSA. If selected for verification, you will receive notification with your confirmation letter.

2011 Federal Income Tax Return — As part of the verification process, you will be required to submit a signed copy of your 2011 Federal tax return (and your spouse’s, if married and you filed separate returns, and your parent’s return if you are considered a dependent student). Acceptable IRS forms include: 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.

Note: If you did not retain a copy of your 2011 Federal Tax Return, please request a copy from the IRS by completing the IRS Form 4506 (at a cost of $57). Please note: the Financial Aid Office will accept the IRS Form RTFTP that is only available at some IRS locations (check with your local office). In addition, the Financial Aid Office will accept other tax forms from 1040EZ filers, such as the IRS Form 1722 or a Tax Return Transcript. These two forms are not considered acceptable tax documents from 1040A or 1040 tax filers.

Student Loan Entrance Counseling — If you are a first-time PLUS student loan borrower at the College, you will be e-mailed to complete a Student Loan Entrance Counseling online at www.studentloans.gov. The purpose of the entrance counseling is to give you an opportunity to review the disbursement policies, your borrowing limits, and to help you understand your repayment responsibilities as a student borrower. The Financial Aid Office will receive notification that you completed your entrance counseling.

Step 3 — Financial Aid Process
Academic Program Evaluation
Program evaluation is the official determination that you are eligible to be enrolled in the program you selected. This process will be completed once all your official academic transcripts and individual program requirements are received in the Registrar’s Office. A notice of evaluation will be sent to you from the Registrar’s Office after this process is complete.

Note: Financial aid applications will be processed after the evaluation process and the courses for your program have been scheduled.

Eligibility for Financial Aid is Determined
Applications/documents submitted to the Financial Aid Office will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness, and your enrollment will be verified. A Financial Aid Counselor will calculate your aid package based on a Student Aid Report (SAR) prepared by the Federal Student Aid Center.

Student Loan Applicants (PLUS)
If you are eligible for a loan, the Financial Aid Office will certify your loan request and transmit it to the Federal Direct Loan Program. Upon transmittal of your request, a notice will be sent to you explaining your award package (type of loan and amount). Once the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) approves the request, an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) will be issued to WestMed College, and you will be notified via e-mail that your funds have arrived.

Disbursements
Students must be in current attendance to receive disbursements, which will be authorized and disbursed after the Drop/Add deadline.

Applications for Additional Loans
You may reapply for an additional loan (PLUS) upon satisfactory completion of 900 clock hours and 26 weeks of instruction for which your loan was certified in the previous loan period.

Dependency Status
An important step in establishing financial aid eligibility is determining whether a student can apply as a self-supporting student (independent student). Students who meet one of the conditions below will be considered independent:

  • Students who were born before January 1, 1988.
  • Students who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Students who are active duty military for purposes other than training.
  • Students who are orphaned or who were wards of the court since age 13.
  • Students who were an emancipated minor as determined by a court.
  • Students who have legal dependents other than a spouse.
  • Students who are graduates or professional students. (This does not include students enrolled in a credential program.)
  • Students who are married.

Students who do not qualify as independent students must provide parental information on the FAFSA application or they will be disqualified. Students with special circumstances should contact the Financial Aid Office.

Step 4 — Verification Process
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) requires a percentage of financial aid applicants to complete a process called “Verification.” This process is used to check the accuracy of information the student gave when applying for federal financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will notify students who are selected by the DOE to complete this process.

Items Subject to Verification

  • Adjusted Gross Family Income (AGI)
  • Untaxed income/benefits
  • U.S. taxes paid
  • Assets (excluding home equity)
  • Independent student status
  • Financial support
  • Family size
  • Number of family members attending college

In order to verify the student’s AGI, the student must file his/her 2010 Federal Income Tax Return and submit a copy to our office. Financial aid applications will not be accepted for processing with an IRS extension. IRS extensions will be accepted with written proof granted by the IRS or Form 4868 and copies of W-2s. Additional documentation may be required when conflicting information is found in the student’s record.

Completed Process
When all required verification documents are reviewed, the student may receive one of the following:

Financial aid applicants:

  • A follow-up e-mail or letter requesting additional information.
  • Or an e-mail indicating the loan request has been processed and the date it was transmitted to the DOE (student loan applicants).

Pell applicants:

  • An e-mail indicating the process has been completed and the Financial Aid Award Letter.
  • Or a denial letter.

WestMed College is an affiliate of the National University System.