At every school there is an obvious group of families that need as much assistance as possible, another group of families that need no assistance, and then there is the group in the middle. For some families in the middle group, it comes down to what lifestyle choices the family has made. Middle group families requesting assistance frequently have higher than average monthly mortgage payments, high credit card debt, and high monthly car payments.
• evaluates income and living expenses.
The FAIR application requires families to provide information about income and living expenses. This approach allows schools to stretch their limited financial aid dollars as far as possible by meeting the specific needs of each family. Instead of providing a standard allowance based on household income and size, FAIR takes a different approach by using actual expenses as provided by the family.
• allows schools to control the need calculation.
FAIR offers schools the ability to customize the methodology used in determining need to meet the specific needs and mission of the school. Administrators can choose how each item on the application is weighted by setting minimum and maximum values. This feature also allows administrators to decide whether a specific question from the application will be included in the need calculation.
• works with families.
FAIR will contact those families where unclear or incomplete information has been provided. This ensures that the school receives a complete and comprehensive review on each applicant. In certain situations this contact with families can provide an administrator with additional information that does not fall within the scope of a typical review. This ensures that all factors necessary to the decision-making process are available to the administrator.
• calculates financial need.
FAIR uses actual tuitions when calculating the family contribution per child and determining need for each child in the family. This aspect of the service prevents administrators from having to recalculate need numbers for students at their school. This is accomplished by using actual tuitions when calculating the contribution per child. As a result, the administrator has the actual need for each student and does not have to spend valuable time determining student need.
• requires business tax returns.
For families who own business, partnerships or farms, FAIR will review the tax returns of those entities to ensure that potential financial resources available to these families are not being overlooked. The results of the review will be included in the need analysis for these families.
• calculates suggested awards.
In addition to calculating need, FAIR can also assist in calculating financial aid awards. Since need at most schools exceeds available funds, FAIR also provides a service that balances discretionary income and need when calculating suggested awards.
• provides clear and concise summary and family reports.
These reports are mailed directly to the school 15 to 20 days after the application deadline set by the school administrator. Reports are also available via e-mail.
• provides a family friendly application. Families can apply on-line or submit paper applications.
• provides additional services.
Families will receive written notification from FAIR indicating their application has been received and is being processed. Notification is mailed to families 3-5 days after receipt of their application. Schools also have the ability to customize this communication.
Reports on applications in process are available upon request or online.