Fears Calmed Over Financial Aid During Recession

As the deadline to file for financial aid quickly approaches, many worry that the country’s current economic situation will affect their financial aid packages. “We want to calm the fears,” said Don Honeman, director of Financial Aid at UVM. “This year’s financial aid packages won’t be affected.” Most students have not been very vocal about their concerns, according to Financial Aid. “Mostly we’ve heard from students who have special financial issues, such as a parent being laid off,” said Honeman. The deadline for returning students to file for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is March 1. However, federal aid only makes up little more than half of a student’s total package from the school. Nineteen percent of the package is federal aid (grants) and 35 percent is through federal loans. Forty percent of a package comes from UVM institutional money, and five percent is state aid. The institutional money comes from two sources. Two-thirds is from the general fund from the school’s budget. The other third is from endowments and scholarships. While financial aid packages won’t be affected this year, the subsequent years might pose a problem if the economy doesn’t turn around. “We’re keeping an eye on the situation, especially in the next eight months,” said Honeman. “We’re focusing on a major campaign, working with donors. “If the demand for financial aid increases, then the campaign will heat up.” -Staff Report