Financial Aid questions you need answered
What types of financial aid are offered at your school?
Ohio State offers a variety of financial aid options for students including: grants, loans, scholarships, and student employment opportunities. The biggest source of financial aid funding is through the U.S. Department of Education.
Does your school match other school’s financial aid award packages?
Ohio State does not match other school’s financial aid award packages.
Are there scholarships specifically for my major?
Yes, various Academic Departments on campus offer scholarship opportunities to those students majoring or minoring in that academic program.
How will external scholarships affect the financial aid awards I may receive from your school?
Typically external scholarships do not greatly impact the award package, however; external scholarships do count in the calculation of your unmet financial need (difference between the Cost of Attendance minus the Expected Family Contribution from the FAFSA)
What is your Cost of Attendance and what does it include?
The Cost of Attendance (COA) includes estimates of DIRECT COSTS (tuition, fees, room and meal plan) and INDIRECT COSTS (books and supplies, transportation, and other personal expenses). For more information click here.
Do you have federal student worker positions available?
Yes, students can complete the Student Employment form. If you are awarded Federal Work Study funds through Financial Aid, you can accept the funds via your Buckeye Link account.
Does your school bill for the entire year or per semester? Per credit hour or is there a set amount?
The University bills per term. There is a per credit hour tuition rate from 0.5 credit hours to 11.5 credit hours (rate will vary). From 12 credit hours to 18 credit hours students are charged a flat rate (rate will vary).
When will I know how much I owe?
Your billing statement or Statement of Account will be on your Buckeye Link account for Autumn terms, typically by the last week in July. For the Spring and Summer terms, your billing statement or Statement of Account should be available shortly after you are registered for classes.
Am I able to meet with the Financial Aid Office?
Yes, you can call and ask questions or schedule an appointment, or email questions, or stop in the office as we take walk-ins every day.
Is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) the only financial aid application that must be completed?
At Ohio State, yes, the FAFSA is the only financial aid application that must be completed.
Is the FAFSA mandatory?
The FAFSA is not mandatory, but we do strongly recommend that you complete the FAFSA. Ohio State has numerous scholarships and grants that are based on financial need and the only way we can award those is by looking at the FAFSA information.
What information is needed to submit the FAFSA?
To complete the FAFSA you will need the following information:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Your federal income taxes, W-2s, and any other records of money earned (Note: you may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into the FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool)
- All tax and income information is will be from two (2) years prior or Prior-Prior Year (PPY). For example: if completing the 2020-2021 FAFSA, you will use your 2018 tax information (IRS Federal Tax Return, W-2s, 1099s).
- Bank statements and records of investments and personal business value (if applicable)
- FSA ID to sign the FAFSA electronically
Do I have to include parental information on my FAFSA?
In most instances if you are under the age of 24, yes you will have to include parental information. If you are able to answer “yes” to any of the dependency questions on the FAFSA you will then be considered an independent student and not be required to include parental information.
- As of today (the day you fill out the FAFSA) are you married?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U/S/ Armed Forces?
- Do you have or will you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1st and June 30th?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now through June 30th?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a ward of the court?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
- Does someone other than your parent or stepparent have legal guardianship of you, as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
- Did your high school counselor or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an accompanied youth?
- Are you at risk of being homeless?
Do I have to wait until my taxes are filed to submit my FAFSA?
The FAFSA now requires that students/parents use tax information from two years prior when completing the FAFSA. For example: if completing the 2020-2021 FAFSA, you will use your 2018 tax information (IRS Federal Tax Return, W-2s, 1099s).
What is your school’s priority deadline for applying for financial aid?
Ohio State’s priority deadline for financial aid is February 1st. That means you need to have your FAFSA completed by February 1st and complete the Ohio State Application for Special Scholarships by February 1st.
Can you tell me about your scholarships and grants?
Ohio State Lima has countless scholarship opportunities. You can here to complete the Ohio State Application for Special Scholarships, applications are due by February 1st. The application is simple and fast, there is just one application to complete. Ohio State also has numerous University grants that are awarded to students who have a financial need as defined by their FAFSA.
What is the difference in student loans?
Federal vs Private Loans
- There are two types of Federal Student Loans; the Subsidized Loan and the Unsubsidized Loan. Student become eligible for these loans when they complete their FAFSA (not all students will be eligible or the Subsidized Loan). If the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number is greater than the Cost of Attendance, the student is not eligible to receive the Subsidized Loan, only the Unsubsidized Loan.
- Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are repaid six (6) months after your last date of attendance.
- You only need six (6) credit hours to be eligible to borrow a federal student loan.
- No credit check or co-signer is needed for the Federal Student Loans.
- Private Student Loans also known as alternative student loans are not through the FAFSA, in fact a FAFSA is not required because the student would apply directly through a third party lender such as a bank.
- Private Student Loan eligibility is based on a credit check and more than likely the credit of a qualified co-signer.
Subsidized v. Unsubsidized
- Subsidized Loans are considered need-based aid because the student’s eligibility based on the student’s Expected Family Contribution from their FAFSA.
- Since the loan is need-based, there is no interest on the loan until after your six month grace period ends.
- Unsubsidized Loan is not need-based aid, so all students who complete the FAFSA are eligible.
- This loan accrues interest from day one of the disbursed amount. For the 2019-2020 school year the interest rate is 4.53%
How can my parent(s) help pay for college?
Ohio State offers the Tuition Opportunity Payment Plan (TOPP).
- Your balance is divided into four (4) monthly payments plus the $30.00 TOPP fee.
- Example being if your autumn balance is $4000.00; you would make four (4) payments: August $1030.00; September $1000; October $1000; November $1000.
- The $30.00 TOPP fee is assessed every term in which you set up the plan.
- You have to set up the plan each term you intend to use it, it will NOT carry over to the next term or year.