We wanted to let you know about a FREE, interactive webinar NOVA is holding this Friday at Noon. The webinar is all about paying for college and includes information on: financial aid and scholarships, responsible borrowing, work study positions, and external employment, tax benefits, financial coaching, and NOVA’s Cash Contest. You do not have to be a current NOVA student to participate. Simply RSVP at https://goo.gl/bEaCQj. Further details regarding accessing the webinar will be sent out the day before.
Check out the ECMC “Fab Gab” Financial Literacy Newsletter available here for tips on:
Stretching Your Refund Across the Semester
10 Ways to Reduce Your Grocery Bill
Student Loan Basics
The second round of NOVA’s CashContest is currently underway! During the first round, 115 students successfully completed Inceptia’s “Foundations of Money” course and eight of those students were randomly selected to receive $100 grants or bookstore gift cards.
To participate in the second round of the CashContest, students may sign up for Financial Avenue at https://fa.financialavenue.org/sign-up/, enter NOVA’s access code (FinLit), and complete the “FAFSA” course by 11:59pm on December 18, 2016. The course takes about 45 minutes to complete and shows students how to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It also answers many of the questions that students often have about applying for federal aid. Students who successfully complete the course by the deadline will gain a better understanding of the financial aid process and they’ll be entered in the $100 drawings for this round. Please participate!
Students are also encouraged to submit the 2016-2017 FAFSA and the 2017-2018 FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov if they haven’t already done so. To promote early FAFSA completion, the 2017-2018 FAFSA actually became available on October 1, 2016. Beginning with the 2017-2018 award year, the FAFSA will use tax data from the “prior-prior year” (PPY) instead of the most recent tax year to facilitate the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA and to enable students to receive accurate award information earlier in the year. Due to this transition to using PPY information, 2015 tax data will be used when completing both the 2016-2017 FAFSA and the 2017-2018 FAFSA. More information about applying for financial aid at NOVA is available at www.nvcc.edu/financialaid/apply/index.html.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, NOVA students who successfully complete Financial Avenue courses will be entered in drawings for forty $100 grants and bookstore gift cards that can be used for educational costs at NOVA. The Financial Aid Office will randomly select winners after each completion period has ended. Each course typically takes about 45 minutes to complete and covers topics such as budgeting, saving, credit cards, loans, financial aid, and employee benefits. Please consider entering the contest! It’s a great opportunity to potentially win money towards your educational expenses while building real-life personal financial management skills!
The Official CashContest rules are posted on NOVA’s Financial Literacy Blog. Students may sign up for Financial Avenue at https://fa.financialavenue.org/sign-up/ and enter NOVA’s access code, “FinLit” to participate in the contest. The deadline for completing the first course, “Foundations of Money” is 11:59pm on October 18, 2016.
In addition to the Financial Avenue courses, a variety of other resources are available on the Financial Literacy Blog.
The Department of Education implemented changes to make the FAFSA application process easier and more efficient, thus allowing for earlier availability of important financial eligibility information.
TWO IMPORTANT CHANGES GO INTO EFFECT WITH THE 2017-2018 FAFSA:
- Submit a FAFSA earlier: Students will be able to file a 2017-18 FAFSA beginning October 1, 2016 (rather than beginning on January 1, 2017). The earlier filing date will be a permanent change, thus allowing students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
- Use earlier income information: Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017-18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information (rather than their 2016 income information).
The following table provides a summary of key dates as we transition to using the early FAFSA submission timeframe and earlier tax information.
For more information on Early FAFSA filing, visit: nvcc.edu/financialaid
Financial Aid Newsletter – GREENBACK_August 2016
Check out the latest issue of The Financial Aid GREENBACK, our quarterly Financial Aid newsletter. This issue: Financial Aid Course Audit (FACA) – Steps to get and stay ahead, 2017-2018 FAFSA filing Changes, CashContest coming soon, Partner with NOVA and protect your identity, and more. This newsletter is designed to help students and staff members stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest in the world of financial aid.
The following tutorials will assist students with navigating the Financial Aid Course Audit (FACA) process. Please review as needed.
What you should do: Please run your advisement report, accessible from your Student Center on MyNOVA, to determine which classes are still required to complete your program. See your academic advisor, if necessary, and enroll in required coursework. Financial aid will be awarded on eligible courses only.
- Be proactive. Discuss your academic and career goals with your advisor. Make sure that you are enrolled in the program that best aligns with these goals.
- Register for courses that apply to the program(s) you have chosen to maximize your award and achieve your goals sooner.
- If you register for an ineligible course and wish to take it despite not having financial aid awarded for the course, pay for it by the payment deadline to prevent it from getting dropped for non-payment You can make the payment for the financial aid ineligible course only by visiting the business office at your campus. Payment cannot be made on-line.
- Contact the Financial Aid Support Center at (855) 323-3199 or visit your Campus Financial Aid Office if you have any questions about your eligibility.
Our hope is that by providing you this information in advance, you will be able to better plan your academic career, select courses that apply to your program, and complete your degree or certificate in a timely fashion. Remember: Financial aid will be awarded on eligible courses only. If you choose to take ineligible courses, you must go to a campus business office and pay for those courses.
IRS Warning of a ‘Federal Student Tax’ Scam
On May 27, 2016 the IRS released a statement warning of a scam involving a bogus “Federal Student Tax”. As provided in their statement, the scam is currently presented as “phone calls from IRS impersonators demanding payment for a non-existent tax, the ‘Federal Student Tax.’”
The IRS’ statement includes further explanation of what the scam includes, how students and taxpayers can protect their information, and how the IRS is responding to the issue. More information on the IRS statement can be found on the irs.gov website, at https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-warns-of-latest-scam-variation-involving-bogus-federal-student-tax.
The fourth CashCourse Contest drawing recently came to a close. Were you one of the eight $100 winners? If not, consider taking about 20-30 minutes to enter in the final drawing by successfully completing the “Making the Most of Employee Benefits” module at www.cashcourse.org by the June 10, 2016 deadline. Eight more $100 winners will be drawn from the pool of current NOVA students who complete the final module with a post-test score of at least 80%. Complete contest rules are available on NOVA’s Financial Literacy blog at http://blogs.nvcc.edu/financial-literacy/.
While on the Financial Literacy blog, you may also want to check out the money management resources that are available. It features some great tips on getting your finances under control and saving some money. In case you’re interested, there’s also an article about the college’s other financial literacy programs available here.