financial aid and scholarships

Financial aid & scholarship services

Deciding to get a degree from the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions is a fantastic step towards being a part of the solution you, the student, want to see in the world.  Going to college is a lot more than just signing up for classes and getting new school supplies. A college degree is a great investment and I am here to help you navigate the tricky waters of paying for college. 

Know Your Costs

The first step in paying for college is knowing exactly what you are paying for. Use the Tuition Calculator to estimate your tuition and mandatory fees based on where you’re from and the program you select. Knowing exactly what to expect will help you develop a plan.

Federal Student Loans

Where do I start?

For many students, federal student loans are the best option for borrowing money to pay for college. The first step in getting a federal student loan is filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available at https://fafsa.ed.gov.

In order to fill out the FAFSA, you will need:

  • An FSA ID: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid
  • Your prior prior year tax information.  That means that you need 2016 tax information in order to complete the FAFSA for the 2018-2019 school year.  For 2019-2020, you will use your taxes from 2017. 

The FAFSA for the 2018-2019 school year is now open and ASU has a priority date of January 1, 2019. If you submit your FAFSA by the priority date, you will maximize the amount of aid you receive. Eligible students who apply by this date have a greater chance of receiving need-based aid. The priority filing date is not a deadline, so still submit your FAFSA even if the priority filing date has passed.

**If you have questions about or need help filling out your FAFSA, please schedule an appointment  https://calendly.com/jen-bevins**

For more details on ASU Financial Aid deadlines, check out the ASU Financial Aid calendar:

Student loans are not created equal, so make sure to compare the different types of loans available before deciding which type is best for you.

Filing your FAFSA for 2018-2019 and something has changed?

We understand that some families’ income may have changed significantly since the 2016 tax year. If that’s your case, still complete the FAFSA using your 2016 tax information. Then, after filing your FAFSA, contact Financial Aid to talk about your situation. They have the ability to assess your situation and make adjustments to your FAFSA based on your circumstances. Some of the things they consider: change of income, change of household size, change of marital status, change in student status (Ex. Graduate, Senior, Junior, etc.).

What if I qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) should begin by speaking with an ASU Financial Aid & Scholarship Services representative for more information.  We also have a number of ASU Staff and Faculty who can assist with connecting you with resources.  DREAMzone Allies are available throughout the four campuses to assist you. 

ASU Scholarship Portal

The ASU Scholarship Portal is a fantastic place to start your search for funding! This site lets you search a large database of ASU and non-ASU scholarships. It gives you clear information about the criteria and how to apply.

All scholarships require work. It might mean improving/maintaining your grades, writing scholarship essays or other scholarship projects, or just finishing and submitting the application before the deadline. It can feel like a lot of effort on top of what you are already doing for your classes, but this work will pay off! The students who are most successful at receiving scholarships will apply for 2-3 scholarships a week. Make it a habit and make it happen!

If you are awarded a scholarship, make sure to keep on top of any action items:

  • Is it being awarded one time or is it renewed each semester?
  • What are the renewal criteria? Do you have to make certain grades in order for the scholarship to be awarded again?
  • Keep close track of any deadlines associated with your scholarship! Set an alarm or create a calendar reminder to keep yourself on track

Community Scholarships

The ASU Scholarship Portal is only one place where you can find scholarships. Think outside the box and be creative. Consider professional associations, unions, non-profits, churches, charitable groups, ethnic or minority organizations, etc. Many of these organizations offer scholarships, so think about any communities you belong to and see if they have anything that applies to you.

Many employers offer scholarships to family members of its employees. Check with your family member’s employer to see if such opportunities exist.

Get others involved: your parents, your aunts/uncles, friends, co-workers can be valuable in getting additional money or ideas. Some may work for a professional association or union that gives out scholarships, but if you don’t ask, you may miss a great opportunity.

Be a good friend. If you see a scholarship that you don’t qualify for, but it might benefit someone else you know, be sure to pass it along!

Other Ways to Find Money for School

  • Many places of employment offer tuition benefits to their employees. Check with your place of employment to see if tuition benefits are offered and whether or not you meet the requirements
  • ASU has part-time job opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. These jobs are ideal as many are on-campus (and/or off-campus) and can often accommodate the abnormal schedule of a student. Student job opportunities can be found at the ASU Student Employment website. Professional development opportunities geared toward graduate-level students can be found at the ASU Graduate College website.

Budgeting

Last but not least, make a budget and stick to it. You work hard for your money, so don’t let an unexpected expense derail your education!

There are tons of great budgeting apps available in the App Store and Google Play that will help keep your finances on point. Here are a few great options:

  •  Mint – track your bank account balances, keep track of purchases and categorize spending to let you know when you are approaching the limit that you set
  • Pocketguard – keeps track of your expenses and lets you know how much you have available to spend in a category
  • Prism – organize and pay bills (don’t waste your $$$ on late fees!)

Still have questions or concerns? Reach out!

Jen Bevins
Financial Resource Coordinator
Student Support Appointments.

Or contact the financial aid office at (480) 965-3355 or toll-free at 855-278-5080.

ASU Financial Aid: https://students.asu.edu/financialaid