One of the most common mistakes we see from parents is that they do not send us the exact documents we have requested in order to complete their verification. Sometimes they interpret “Pay Stubs” to mean W-2’s or they will only send us their Federal Tax Return and neglect to send the state return. All of this can slow down the processing of their application.
While you certainly may look at a family FACT Report at any time, it is important to remember that until you see the words, Status Complete-Verified in red at the top of the report, it is not completed on our end. An incomplete or partially verified form is NOT finished and the results might vary significantly from what you would see on a “Complete-Verified” report. Unfortunately, some schools have inadvertently made tuition aid determinations on incomplete or partially verified reports. This could lead to complications for you down the road or frustration because the numbers do not seem to make sense.
REMEMBER that the same data must be collected and evaluated on each applicant. The same formula must be used for each application’s calculation. The same guidelines and opportunities for exception must be available to all applicants. And finally, the same criteria for award must apply to all.
To help you best communicate the use of CFS to your parents, we have provided the following link to "Best Practice Wording" for school websites. Many sites we have reviewed have inaccuracies regarding the process, contact information, cost, or login info. PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON OUR WEBSITE and scroll to the middle of the page for recommended wording and logos to use.
Schools that have acquired tax-exempt status as a 501(c)3 are required to follow certain
guidelines prescribing how a non-profit gives out money. Two important requirements
are that they have written policies guiding how recipients qualify for a gift, and if the gift
is tuition assistance, that they follow the same criteria and utilize the same formulas for
each applicant. Please read our full blog article, "Is Your Tuition Assistance Program Legal?"
Your goal with tuition aid is graduation, not this year’s enrollment. Families who don’t reduce their spending must put it on a line of credit. What this means in reality is that entertainment, emergencies and miscellaneous are put on credit cards with a revolving balance. When a family’s "Financial Condition Indicator" reaches 75% a family's budget is in a downward spiral. Dis-enrollment is on the horizon.
The typical tuition aid applicant is living on the edge. How long can a family maintain this budget before they have a major bill that ends their commitment to Christian education? This is why the financial wellness of your aid recipients is so important – if your goal is to see them through to graduation.
Give a family a grant and you help them for a year. Teach them biblical financial principles and you’ll help them for a lifetime.