Six things to know about financial aid

1. Financial aid basics

In addition to scholarships, Marquette offers financial aid in the form of grants, loans to students and parents, and student employment.

2. How to get financial aid

File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid — and do it as early as possible. (January 1 is the earliest day you can file the FAFSA for the academic year.) It's good to file the FAFSA based on a completed tax return. However, it's far better to file the FAFSA early with estimates than later with exact figures. If you won't have your taxes done by early February, estimate.

3. "But I won't qualify."

We'd be the most richly endowed university on the planet if we got a dollar every time we heard that. Everyone who files the FAFSA — even Bill Gates — is eligible to receive some form of financial aid, whether it's employment programs or low-interest loans. We can't offer any aid, other than merit-based scholarships, to students who don't file the FAFSA. It's worth the effort.

4. What does this FAFSA thing do?

When you complete your FAFSA, send it to the federal aid processing center or file online. It uses a congressionally mandated formula to determine your expected family contribution (EFC), which is the amount your family can afford to contribute toward college expenses. (Remember, this is the government we're talking about, so be prepared.) The center will send your EFC to the schools you indicate on your FAFSA.

5. What does Marquette do with the EFC?

We'll subtract your EFC from the total cost of attending Marquette — tuition, room and board, books, transportation, supplies, late-night pizza cravings, etc. The difference between total cost and your EFC is your demonstrated financial need. If you demonstrate financial need, we'll award you the appropriate financial aid. Even if you don't demonstrate need, we can put together a package of loans and employment to defray expenses.

6. EFCs don't change from college to college, but expenses do.

Though colleges vary widely in how much they cost, the amount you're expected to pay doesn't change. Therefore, your potential for financial aid increases with higher-cost schools.

Have questions? Need help?

Visit the Office of Student Financial Aid website for a detailed overview of your financial aid options.

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