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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

1)      I know I don’t qualify for financial aid. Should I apply anyway?

·         Yes. Many students feel that they don’t qualify for aid, possibly missing out on financial aid opportunities by not applying at all. The FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.” It does not hurt to see what you do qualify for. The FAFSA is the main application for both grants and loans. Without the FAFSA, students are not qualified for any financial aid.


2)      Does filling out the FAFSA mean I am required to take out a loan?

·         No. Completing the FAFSA looks at what funding you are eligible for. It is completely up to you if you want to take out loan or not. Importantly, the FAFSA is just to see what you qualify for. This same rule also applies to any grants you qualify for. Though you qualify, you are not required to request for any of it.


3)      Do I have to reapply for financial aid?

·         Because Hawaii Medical College does not run on a traditional university semester schedule, there is a possibility that you may have to reapply. Please check with you financial aid counselor for those details


4)      My child is taking out a loan. Am I responsible to pay that for them?

·         No. Parents are not responsible for the Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans. Students do not need to have a cosigner on those loans either, even if they are under the age of 18 because the ‘defense of infancy’ does not apply to federal student loans.

·         If a parent is responsible for a loan, it would be the Federal Parent PLUS loan. Not all parents will qualify for the PLUS loan. As mentioned above, generally the student and the student alone are responsible for repaying any and all of your educational loans.


5)      Are there any fees connected to the loans?

·         For the Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, the current origination fee (application fee) is 1.051%; for Direct Parent PLUS Loans, the origination fee is 4.204%. This percentage will be automatically deducted from the amount that you are going to request for.

·         During the 2014-2015 Academic Year, the interest rate for the Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan is 4.66%; for Direct Parent PLUS Loans, the interest rate is 7.21%.

·         All Interest rates are fixed rates throughout the life of the loan.


6)      Do I have to make loan payments while I am in school?

·         No.  Typically you have a six (6) month grace period from your last day of attendance (regardless if you withdraw, graduate, or get academically dismissed) before you begin any payments for loans.

·         Payments for loans will not be to the school, but to a loan servicer that is randomly assigned to you (Examples of those different loan servicers you can get assigned to are: Navient, FedLoan, Great Lakes, Nelnet, etc.).

7)      Can I use scholarship to pay for school?

·         Yes. If you are awarded any scholarship, please notify your financial aid advisor and the business office to readjust your award and payment plans. This means that if your scholarship covers any out of pocket costs, we can potentially decrease your loan amount.


8)      I am filling out the FAFSA right now, but it’s asking me to pay a fee to submit the application….

·         STOP IMMEDIATELY. Just a reminder what FAFSA stands for: FREE Application for Federal Student Aid. Please make sure that you are on the correct website (www.fafsa.ed.gov) to complete the FAFSA.


9)       Are there any programs that provide student financial assistance to homeschooled children?

·         Homeschooled students are eligible for federal student aid for college if they have "completed a secondary school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under State law" (Section 484(d)(3) of the Higher Education Act of 1965). Homeschooled students have not been required to take the GED or take an ability-to-benefit test since the Higher Education Amendments of 1998. High school dropouts must take a GED exam or an ability-to-benefit test, but students who have completed a home schooled secondary education that satisfies the requirements of state law do not. For additional information, see Federal Requirements for Homeschoolers Seeking College Admission and Financial Aid, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), May 2003.

·         Many private scholarships are open to homeschooled students. Some scholarships, however, require a high school diploma or GED. If a scholarship requires a high school diploma or GED, ask for a clarification or exception before applying. If you encounter resistance, it can help to point out that in 2005 the winner of the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology's $100,000 scholarship was a 16-year-old homeschooled student.

·         There aren't many scholarships specifically targeted at homeschooled students, other than those sponsored by the Home School Foundation.

10)   My parents are divorced. How does this affect my financial aid?

·         An entire section of FinAid (http://www.finaid.org/questions/divorce.phtml) is devoted to the topic of Divorce and Financial Aid. It discusses which parent is responsible for completing the FAFSA, the obligations of non-custodial parents to pay for college, college support agreements, the obligations of step-parents, and the ability of non-custodial parents to take advantage of the various tax benefits for education.

11)   Can I get my federal student loans forgiven, cancelled, or discharged?

·         For more information, click HERE to go to the Federal Student Aid Help page in regards to loan forgiveness and cancellation.

12)   My school closed and I was still enrolled. What can I do?

·         There are certain criteria that make you eligible for a closed school discharge, and there are certain steps you need to take to get a discharge. Note that you might need your academic records if you plan to attend another school and want to have your coursework at the closed school taken into consideration. It will be important for you to obtain your academic and financial aid records if your school closes. Contact the state licensing agency in the state in which the school was located to ask whether the state made arrangements to keep the records. The records might also be useful in substantiating your claim for a loan discharge.

·         For more information, click HERE to go to the Federal Student Aid Help page.

·         For more frequently asked questions in regards to Closed School Loan Discharges can be found HERE.


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