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IRS DATA RETRIEVAL

National Student Aid Update PG 4

FAQ PG 7

University of Rochester | Spring 2017

OFFICE SPOTLIGHT:

CARE Network Learn more about CARE and its resources pg 6

FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017

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FINANCIAL AID STAFF DIRECTOR

Samantha Veeder

University of Rochester | Spring 2017

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A Letter from the Director A message about the spring semester

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National Student Aid Update Focus on Data Retrieval

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Financial Aid Glossary Satisfactory Academic Progress, Verification, Exit Counseling

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Office Spotlight The CARE Network

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Frequently Asked Questions Early FAFSA and more

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Meet a Student Worker Kwasi Nimako

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Meet Our Staff Matt Fountaine & Ashley Rocca

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Up Next What’s coming up for Financial Aid

SENIOR ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS

Amanda B. Carter, Shalena Clary, Mary Ellen Nugent SENIOR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Hali Skaggs ASSISTANT DIRECTORS

Meghan Coyne, Shawn Denman SENIOR COUNSELORS

Patrick Hennessey, Tayler Kreutter, Christina Schmidt, Stephen Willhauck COUNSELORS

Meredith Doubleday, Matt Fountaine, Ashley Rocca, Gala Tubera, Carrie Welch OFFICE MANAGER

Joyce Thomas GUEST RELATIONS COORDINATOR

Patti LaRosa

CONTACTING THE FINANCIAL AID OFFICE PHONE

(585) 275-3226 or toll-free (800) 881-8234 FAX

(585) 756-7664 MAILING ADDRESS

The Financial Aid Office Wallis Hall PO Box 270261 Rochester, NY 14627-0261 EMAIL

finaid@rochester.edu

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017


A LETTER FROM THE

DIRECTOR Samantha Veeder

Associate Dean of College Enrollment, Director of Financial Aid samantha.veeder@rochester.edu

H

appy New Year, and welcome back to campus! We hope everyone enjoyed a happy and safe holiday season with family and friends. The spring semester is always a busy time in the Financial Aid Office as we work closely with Admissions to help prospective students and their families to understand the financial aid process and to determine if they can afford the investment in a Rochester education. We are excited to help bring in the Class of 2021! In addition, all current students who are returning for the 2017–2018 academic year have received instructions about their renewal financial aid applications via email. The deadline to reapply for aid is March 15, 2017. Students who are graduating in May and have borrowed student loans will need to complete exit counseling for the Federal student loan program prior to graduation. Our office will notify students of the exit counseling requirement and procedures via email. If you need us throughout the semester, our office is open 8:30 am–5:00 pm Monday through Friday, with the exception of Wednesdays, when we open at 10 am. Please don’t hesitate to contact your counselor if you have any questions about your financial aid for this year or next! This edition of Financial Aid News provides information on another office on campus, fun facts about some of our staff members, answers to some common questions we get during the spring semester, and definitions of financial aid terms. We hope it is useful to you! Have a wonderful spring semester. Meliora!

FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017

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NATIONAL STUDENT AID UPDATE: FOCUS ON DATA RETRIEVAL by Matt Fountaine, Financial Aid Counselor As most of you know, the Early FAFSA became available on October 1 this year. In our previous newsletter, Christina Schmidt wrote about the benefits of having access to complete the FAFSA earlier. One of the major differences is the tax information that will be used when filling out the financial sections of the FAFSA. This time around, your family will use your 2015 tax return information—the same information used on last year’s application. As Christina pointed out, this should make the application process easier this year, since you will not have to estimate or wait for your taxes to be done before completing the FAFSA. With that in mind, the part of the application process our office wanted to highlight in this newsletter is the IRS data retrieval tool. If utilized, the IRS data retrieval tool helps ensure that the most accurate information is recorded on your FAFSA. The option is made available to both students and parents who are eligible to use the tool. When arriving at the Parent Tax Information screen, you’ll see the image below:

If you are determined to be eligible from your answers, then you will have access to link your tax returns to your FAFSA:

By clicking the link, you are redirected to the IRS website where you will sign in with information you provided on your tax return. Once at the site, you will be able to review and transfer the IRS data to the FAFSA. When you agree to transfer, you will be led back to the FAFSA where questions will be populated with the IRS information. The benefit is that you don’t have to have your tax information in front of you, and the fields automatically populate so there is less for you to do. Most importantly, it ensures that everything is accurately reflected from your tax returns to the FAFSA, which makes being selected for verification less likely. When selected for verification, our office is required to collect several more documents, including tax transcripts, to review. This obviously creates a delay in our ability to get a financial aid package to you more quickly, so we typically advise families to utilize the IRS data retrieval tool to make their application process as smooth as possible.

You’ll want to make sure everything is in order with the IRS before trying to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, or it won’t be available to you. Here is a short list of different tax filing statuses and when the IRS DRT would be available for you:

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017


FINANCIAL AID GLOSSARY by Stephen Willhauck, Senior Financial Aid Counselor When a tax return filer who...

If Tax Return Filed Electronically

If Paper Tax Return Filed

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS

Filed on time in April

The IRS DRT will be available to such filers immediately when the FAFSA launches on Oct 1.

The IRS DRT will be available to such filers immediately when the FAFSA launches on Oct 1.

A school’s standards for satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate offered by that institution.

At the time his or her tax return was submitted to the IRS, has no amount owed or has an expected refund

Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS within a day or two of the return having been electronically filed with the IRS.

Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS when the tax return is received by the IRS. In most cases, the IRS DRT is available within 8-11 weeks after the tax return has been accepted by the IRS.

At the time his or her tax return was submitted to the IRS, has an amount owed and makes a full payment on that amount

Has an amount owed and subsequent to submitted his or her tax return to the IRS, pays the full amount due

At the time his or her tax return was submitted to the IRS, has an amount owed and has not paid in full

In most cases, the IRS DRT is available within 2-3 weeks after the return has been accepted by the IRS.

Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS within a day or two of the return having been electronically filed with the IRS.

In most cases, the IRS DRT is available within 2-3 weeks after the return has been accepted by the IRS.

Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS within a day or two of the return having been electronically filed with the IRS.

In most cases, the IRS DRT is available within 3-4 weeks after full payment is made.

Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS within a day or two of the return having been electronically filed with the IRS.

In most cases, the IRS DRT is available within 2-3 weeks after the return has been processed.

In most cases, the IRS DRT is available within 2-3 weeks after the return has been processed by the IRS.

In most cases, the IRS DRT is available within 2-3 weeks after the return has been processed by the IRS.

In most cases, the IRS DRT is available within 2-3 weeks after the return has been processed by the IRS.

VERIFICATION The process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. Your school has the authority to contact you for documentation that supports income and other information that you reported.

EXIT COUNSELING A mandatory online or in-person information session, which takes place when you graduate or attend school less than half-time that explains your loan repayment responsibilities and when repayment begins.

(https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out#when-irs-drt) FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017

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What services does the CARE Network offer undergraduate students?

(Pictured: Niki Pizzutelli (Assistant Director of CARE), Heidi Saller (Associate Director of CARE), and Kayla Virts (CARE Network Coordinator)

OFFICE SPOTLIGHT:

CARE Network

The CARE Network facilitates connections to resources. When a student, faculty member, or staff member submits a CARE referral, CARE offers one-on-one meetings, mediations, and also acts as a referral system. We connect students with the University Counseling Center, Financial Aid, and the International Services Office to name a few. We make sure to follow through with the student after providing resources to ensure the referral was effective and to offer follow-up meetings. We also offer support for people—students, faculty and staff, members of the University community—who are referring students of concern. These University community members come to CARE to develop communication skills and learn how best to support others and themselves. We hold a monthly meeting with the Student Support Network in which we educate our colleagues across a variety of offices on current campus trends and skills to better serve our undergraduate population.

by Meredith Doubleday, CARE is truly a holistic resource, and International Financial Aid Counselor we don’t just talk to students from a

I sat down with Niki Pizzutelli and Kayla Virts of the CARE Network to learn more about CARE and the resources it offers. Niki Pizzutelli, Assistant Director, has been with CARE for one year and has an extensive background in graduate studies, international student services, and residential life. Kayla Virts has been with CARE for two years where she has blended her passion for higher education and counseling to serve as CARE Network Coordinator. 6

FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017

place of struggle. We also help students maximize their successes by introducing them to campus resources and additional leadership opportunities.

What do you want parents to know about the CARE Network? We would ask for parents’ assistance in normalizing help. It is okay to seek resources when you need it. It is important to learn how to properly seek support while on campus before you are expected to do so after graduation as an adult. On the other hand, give your student the time and space to reach out on their own. Our Parent and Family Relations has done a great job allowing


parents to talk out concerns and refer families to CARE when appropriate. There is a balance for parents between using CARE and allowing their students time to adjust to college life, but we do take parent referrals seriously, especially since parents know their children so well. Particularly for families abroad, if a parent knows when something has happened in their hometown—a natural disaster, for example—and think their student might be affected, they can submit a Community Concern Report. Or if they hear that their student is being harassed for age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation, they can empower the student to submit a Bias-Related Concern or submit one themselves on the student’s behalf. We want people to feel enabled to be part of the solution, and this is a way to show their support.

What do you enjoy most about working for CARE? Kayla: The ability to make a difference. It is very humbling and empowering to know we are a small part of a student’s journey as he or she transitions to college life. I also enjoy working with the rest of the CARE team, with colleagues who share this passion. Nikki: To add to that, the reassurance and warmth I am able to provide a student and tell someone it is going to be okay. To tell them that someone at the University cares about you, that another human cares about you. You have a safe space to be.

More information about the CARE Network can be found at www.rochester.edu/care

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS by Meghan Coyne, Assistant Director Q: What is Early FAFSA and how does it differ from what I’ve submitted in prior years? A: Early FAFSA enables students to complete and submit the FAFSA as early as October 1. Aside from becoming available earlier, students and parents will also be using income information from an earlier tax year. For the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students and parents will report income from the 2015 tax year. Q: Are there any changes to the CSS PROFILE for 2017–2018? A: The 2017–2018 CSS PROFILE will also require families to report income from the earlier 2015 tax year. Q: What if there is a drastic difference between my family’s 2015 and 2016 income? Can I choose to report 2016 information instead? A: No. All students must complete both the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE using 2015 tax information. If you feel that the 2015 information no longer accurately represents your family’s ability to pay, please contact your financial aid counselor to discuss your individual situation. Such circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require you to submit additional documentation. Q: Do I still need to submit tax information through IDOC? A: You will be notified by the Financial Aid Office if you are required to submit your tax information through IDOC. Q: What is the deadline to complete my financial aid application? A: The deadline for returning students to complete the financial aid application process is March 15. Q: When will I receive notification of my financial aid package for 2017-2018? A: If all of your financial aid materials are submitted to the Financial Aid Office before the March 15 deadline, you will receive notification of your 2017–2018 financial aid package by the end of May.

FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017

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MEET A STUDENT WORKER

Kwasi Nimako FINANCIAL AID STUDENT WORKER by Christina Schmidt, Senior Financial Aid Counselor

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f you call or visit the Financial Aid Office, chances are you will speak with one of our student workers. They are friendly and polite, and they continually learn about the financial aid process so they can be helpful to you. But there is so much more to each one of these students! As we get to know them in our office, we realize how fortunate we are to have such great people on our team. As part of our ongoing series, “Meet a Student Worker,” here is our interview with Kwasi Nimako. CS: Who is Kwasi Nimako? KN: I’m from Newark, NJ. My parents are from Ghana in West Africa, so I am a first generation student. I’m a junior studying biomedical engineering, and I hope to work in the industry after graduation building medical devices. I work in the lab of Professor Wendi Heinzelman, who is now the Dean of the Hajim School of Engineering. CS: What is the best part of working in the FA office and how will the skills you’ve learned help you in the future? KN: The best part of working here is the people you meet. I meet a lot of students and it’s a good atmosphere. The job provides a balance between school and work. I really like it! I’m learning communications skills, team work, and time management. These are skills I can use in the engineering field.

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017

CS: What does Meliora mean to you? KN: Bettering myself. Not just getting an education, but becoming a better person overall. CS: What is your favorite time of year on campus? KN: Meliora Weekend is the best weekend of the year. It’s crowded and active, and the campus really livens up! I got to see Trevor Noah this year, which was cool. CS: What do you do for fun? KN: I’m a member of the National Society of Black Engineers. I do a lot of math and science tutoring in the Rochester City School District with the Minority Male Leadership Association. I also like hanging out at the gym playing basketball with my friends. My favorite place to hang out on campus is College Town. CS: What is your proudest achievement at the University of Rochester thus far? KN: I’ve stayed on course in the engineering program. It’s the reason why I came here. I’m on pace to graduate on time and I’ll be the first person in my family to graduate from college.


MEET OUR STAFF by Gala Tubera, Financial Aid Counselor The Financial Aid Office is comprised of 18 staff members and 10 student workers who are ready to assist you. Financial aid counselors are assigned to students alphabetically by their last name. Below is a bit about our two newest counselors, Matt and Ashley. MATT FOUNTAINE Financial Aid Counselor Matt, originally from Pennsylvania, earned two Bachelor of Arts in English and medieval studies from Penn State University. He has spent most of the last two years travelling, staying in southwest Montana near Yellowstone National Park for several months. He enjoys camping, hiking, and writing, and he also plays guitar.

ASHLEY ROCCA Financial Aid Counselor Ashley earned her bachelor’s degree from the College at Brockport where she began her career in financial aid as a peer advisor. She has lived in the Canandaigua area her whole life and believes that Upstate New York is the only region that can go through all four seasons in one week! Ashley loves participating in various sports and activities, such as kickball, crocheting, and hiking with her seven-month-old puppy, Davy.

UP NEXT by Amanda B. Carter, Senior Associate Director Application Deadline for 2017–2018 The financial aid application deadline will be here before we know it. Instructions were emailed to students in December regarding their application requirements. Make sure your student is communicating with you to collect the necessary documents. Applications for returning students are due March 15, 2017. Contact our office with questions. Be sure to utilize the IRS data retrieval tool on the FAFSA before you hit submit. This is an easy way to pull your tax information into the FAFSA and helps reduce the likelihood that your student’s FAFSA will be selected for verification by the federal government. Watch our tutorial video, starring one of our new counselors, Ashley Rocca, for instructions on how to use this helpful tool.

Summer Courses and Financial Aid The University doesn’t provide need-based grants for the summer, but students may be eligible for a Federal Direct loan if they haven’t utilized their maximum eligibility during the year. Students can also use a Federal Parent PLUS loan for summer coursework. Both are federal loans that require the student to be enrolled at least six credits or more during the summer. To find out more on eligibility and application requirements, visit the financial aid website. Please have your son or daughter reach out to the Financial Aid Office in the spring to help plan for the summer.

FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Spring 2017

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