Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions by Elms students and their families. However, much more information can be found online through the Federal Student Aid YouTube Channel and studentaid.gov
Of course, if you can’t find the answer to your question using any of these resources or you’re not entirely clear on something we encourage you to contact the Financial Aid Office directly by either e-mailing or calling 413-265-2249.
Your Financial Aid Award
Does Elms College offer scholarships and grants?
What are the student loan options available at Elms College?
Information on federal and private student loan options can be found on our Loans & Payment Options webpage.
Will my financial aid award be the same every year?
Students need to reapply for financial aid every academic year by filing a new FAFSA. A student’s financial aid offer could change from year to year depending on their eligibility for need-based funding. The college aims to provide students with a similar level of need-based funding should their family’s financial circumstances remain similar from year to year.
What happens to my financial aid if I receive an outside scholarship?
If you receive an outside scholarship please notify the Financial Aid Office by providing us a copy of your outside scholarship offer letter. The outside scholarship will be incorporated into your financial aid offer. In many cases the outside scholarship is simply added to the aid already offered to the student. However, in some cases the amount of outside scholarship received will affect the student’s eligibility for need-based aid eligibility and certain need based funds may be reduced.
How is financial need determined?
Need is determined through the FAFSA. The FAFSA can be thought of as an intricate calculator that takes into consideration a student’s household size, number of students in college, geographic location, a family’s income and assets to determine a number called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is NOT the amount that will be billed to a family for the academic year. The EFC is simply a number used to determine a student’s need-based aid eligibility. The EFC is then subtracted from the student’s Costs of Attendance (COA) to determine need. Students are then provided as much need based aid according to their eligibility. More information on this can be found online at https://studentaid.gov/complete-aid-process/how-calculated.
I have a balance remaining after taking into consideration my financial aid package. What are my options?
To review loan and other payment options (like a payment plan) please visit our Loans & Payment Options web page.
Applying for Financial Aid
How do I apply for financial aid?
To apply, visit https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. As a reminder, you should never have to pay to complete your FAFSA. For first time users, you will need to establish an FSA ID and Password to access your application and sign it electronically. For dependent students, your parents will also be required to establish a FSA ID and Password.
Does it cost money to apply for financial aid?
No. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid – you should never pay to file a FAFSA.
When should I apply for financial aid?
Financial aid is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Therefore, students should apply for financial aid as soon as possible. The FAFSA for the upcoming school year is available as early as October 1st. Students should file their FAFSA no later than May 1.
Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?
Yes. Students must reapply every year to be considered for financial aid.
Do I have to wait for admission into Elms College before applying for financial aid?
No, you do not have to wait for admission notification from Elms College before applying. You should apply as early as possible. However, you must be admitted and enrolled in order to be offered financial aid.
What is Elms College’s federal school code?
The federal school code is 002140.
Is there a deadline to apply for financial aid?
Elms College recommends that both new and returning students file their FAFSA by May 1 each year.
Also, Massachusetts has a deadline of May 1 in order to be eligible for Massachusetts state aid. Students should apply as soon as possible to ensure their application is received and reviewed in a timely manner. Students can find other state deadlines online at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa#deadlines.
Eligibility for Financial Aid
How do I know if I will qualify for financial aid?
In order to determine your eligibility for financial aid, Elms College must receive your FAFSA. Based upon the information provided, the Financial Aid Office will notify you of your financial aid eligibility.
Should I still apply for financial aid even if I do not think I will qualify?
You should still complete the FAFSA even if you think you will not qualify for financial aid. In order to be considered, you must first fill out the FAFSA. Additionally, you must have a high school diploma, a GED (or an equivalent), or completed secondary school in a home-school setting. You also must be enrolled in an eligible program of study and be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. You must be in good academic standing and cannot be in default on any federal loans. If you’re male, you must be registered with the selective service. More information on federal aid eligibility can be found online at https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility.
I already have a bachelor’s degree. Can I still receive federal financial aid?
If a student has a prior bachelor’s degree, they are not eligible for the Pell Grant. The student may still be eligible for federal student loans.
Do I have to be enrolled full-time to receive financial aid?
No, you do not have to be enrolled full-time to receive certain forms of financial aid. You must be enrolled in at least six credits to be eligible for federal student loans. If you are eligible for federal financial aid, the amount of aid you receive will be determined by the number of credits in which you’re enrolled.
Are non-U.S. citizens eligible for federal financial aid?
In order to be considered for need-based financial aid you must be able to file a FAFSA. Certain students may have an eligible non-citizen status if they are US Permanent Residents. Other eligible non-citizen status can be reviewed online at https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility/requirements/non-us-citizens.
My family’s financial circumstances have changed significantly since last tax year. How can I update my financial aid application?
If your family’s financial circumstances have changed significantly since last tax year (which is the year reported on the FAFSA to determine a student’s eligibility) then you should contact the Financial Aid Office explain your family’s changes in circumstances and the next-steps to request reconsideration of eligibility.