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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of different Financial Aid questions we commonly receive in our office.  Most of them have additional information that can be browsed on our web site and contain a link to that location.  They have been arranged according to topic.

Applying For Financial Aid FAQ

Q: What information do I need to know to fill out the FAFSA?

A: You must file your FAFSA with correct signatures by March 1.  

The following documents are those that are needed to fill out the FAFSA for the 2012-2013 academic year:

  • 2011 Federal Tax Return and all 2011 W-2 Forms
  • Spouse's 2011 Federal Tax Return and all 2011 W-2 Forms (if applicable)
  • Parents' 2011 Federal Tax Return and all 2011 W-2 Forms (if you are dependent)
  • Bank statements for checking, savings, and investment accounts
  • Business and farm financial records

Estimated tax figures are accepted as long as after you have filed your tax forms you update your FAFSA online.

For more information on filling out the FAFSA, please see our FAFSA Process page.

Q: How do I get a scholarship?

A: Virginia Tech students with scholarships received them from outside sources such as hometown civic organizations or professional groups. The majority of academic scholarships awarded by Virginia Tech to freshmen are given out by academic departments and the Honors Program, based on information contained in your admissions application. Our office does award some scholarships through the General Scholarship Program. See our section on Scholarships for more information on scholarship opportunities.

Q: How do I apply for Financial Aid at Virginia Tech?

A: Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The information from the FAFSA will help us to determine the type of aid you are eligible to receive.  For more information please see our Applying for Aid Process page.  

Q: What is Virginia Tech's Title IV Code?

A: Title IV Code is information required on the FAFSA.  Virginia Tech's Title IV Code is 003754.  More tips on filling out and completing the FAFSA can be found on our FAFSA Tips page.

Financial Aid Awarding and Changes FAQ

Q: What if I need more aid and/or the FAFSA does not reflect my present situation?

A: You can complete a financial aid reconsideration form to appeal the amount of aid awarded or to update your current situation. Additional information can be found on our Financial Aid Reconsideration Appeal page.

Q: How long does the awarding process take?

If a student submits his/her FAFSA by the priority deadline, and the awarding process has begun, general awarding takes about a week.  However, if there any problems with the student's application (i.e. requests for additional documentation, etc.) then the awarding process is longer depending on how quickly information is received by our office and processed.  Usually awarding takes no longer than a month.  To ensure the fastest process of your application, please respond to all correspondence from our office immediately.

See our Award Package page for more information.

Q: If I move off campus, how does this affect my financial aid?

A: We use the same housing cost figures to determine aid eligibility for both on-campus and off-campus students. The difference is that off-campus students are billed by Virginia Tech only for tuition and may receive some of their financial aid as an excess aid refund. The excess aid is often used to assist in paying for off-campus living expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, etc). Before you move off-campus, make sure you make a budget for the various costs associated with renting an apartment that you would not encounter as an on-campus student.

Q: I already signed for a certain amount on my student loan and then it was reduced. Why can't I just pay it back to Direct Loans after graduation?

A: When you sign your promissory note for a direct loan it does not have a specific borrowed amount on it. It is a Master Promissory Note, good for all Stafford Student loans you borrow over the years in the Federal Direct Lending Program. Your Hokie SPA/ MyVT account will show the current amount of the loan for each academic year, and the total amount from each academic year is the amount you are obligated to repay once you leave Virginia Tech and begin loan repayment. By Federal Law, Virginia Tech may be obligated to reduce your loan and return those funds to the lender if you become ineligible for all or part of the funds or an over-awarding situation arises.

About Our Office FAQ

Q: When is the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid open?

A: We are open from 8-5, Monday through Friday, and closed on all university recognized holidays.

Q: What do I do if I have difficulty contacting your office?

A: You can reach our office by coming in and seeing us, we are located on the second floor of the Student Services Building.  You can also call us (540) 231-5179 or e-mail us at finaid@vt.edu.  You can also browse our web site, http://www.finaid.vt.edu for answers to your financial aid questions.

 

Miscellaneous FAQ

Q: How can I obtain Virginia state residency for tuition purposes?

A: There are several pieces of information that are reviewed before awarding a previously out-of-state student Virginia residency status, as a result there is no easy answer. If you are an incoming freshman and have questions about whether you can be considered for in-state tuition rates, please contact the Admissions Office (540-231-6267). For returning students with these questions, contact the Registrar's Office (540-231-6251), graduate students should contact the Graduate Admissions Office in Sandy Hall (540-231-3092), Vet-Med students should contact the Academic Affairs Office of the Vet School (540-231-4699), and Agricultural Technology students should contact the Ag-Tech program (540-231-7649).

Q: Why can't my parents know what kind of aid I received?

A:The Buckley Amendment prohibits any university employee from discussing any specific financial matters with anyone (including your parents) without your written permission. You can release this information to your parents (or anyone else) by completing the Information Release Form on Hokie SPA.

Q: My Student Aid Report (SAR) indicates that I was selected for "Verification." What does this mean?

A: Instead of the Federal Verification Program, Virginia Tech participates in the Federal Quality Assurance program, which allows our financial aid staff to study our student population and only verify certain FAFSA items that have often been error-prone for our students. If we need additional documents to verify your FAFSA (i.e. tax returns, household verification sheet) we will send those to you to complete and return to us. Documents requested by our office are visible by the student on Hokie SPA/MyVT.

 

Financial Aid Myths

MYTH: I consider myself dependent because:

1) My parents don't claim me as an exemption on their federal tax return.

2) My parents cannot (or refuse to) pay any of my school expenses, I pay for everything.

3) My parents live out of state, and i have a Virginia address.

FACT: Dependency, according to federal financial aid law, is not determined by any of the above situations. For example, a student who is classified as independent for federal tax filing purposes may or may not also be classified as independent for financial aid filing purposes. In general, your answers to the questions in "Step Three" of the FAFSA determine whether or not you can file the FAFSA as an independent student (which means you do not include parent information on your FAFSA). If you can answer "yes" to any of these items, then you are considered independent for financial aid purposes, and can complete the FAFSA without parent data. See our Dependency page for more information.

MYTH: A high school counselor said that if I didn't get a satisfactory award package I can "negotiate" for a better package.

FACT: Virginia Tech financial aid and scholarship offers are not negotiable. We believe in offering students the best financial aid package available for that individual. As a public institution, we have limited federal, state, and institutional funds, which leave no room for negotiation. If you are trying to decide which college to attend, make sure the diploma from that college is a good investment for you. Some colleges may offer large scholarship awards to make up for high tuition costs. After subtracting the scholarship, the net cost of the school may be close to the cost of a lower priced school that offers you little or no financial aid, but offers a more desirable diploma.