Frequently Asked Questions
At Le Cordon Bleu, we strive to take as much stress out of the financial aid process as possible for our prospective students.
As you move through the financial aid process, you may have questions about your options. A few of the most common questions students have about financial aid are answered below. If the question you have is not answered here, contact your financial aid representative.
What is financial aid?
Financial aid is the name used for federal, state and private resources that may help pay for college costs. Typically financial aid consists of grants, scholarships, loans and student employment. Grants and scholarships generally do not have to be repaid. Loans must be repaid with payments usually beginning after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Student employment consists of opportunities for students to earn money to pay for educational expenses.
How do I apply for financial aid and what do I need?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA is the single application needed to apply for all sources of federal financial aid. The FAFSA can be completed online at https://fafsa.ed.gov. While completing the FAFSA there are a few things that students need to have on hand before they start. In order to confirm identity, U.S. citizens will be required to have their Social Security number while eligible non-citizens need to have their alien registration number. Driver’s licenses are also helpful, but not required. Additionally, any federal tax returns (both student and parent, if dependent) and asset information for the past two years will be needed.
Why do I have to provide parent information on my FAFSA?
Students are considered dependent or independent for federal financial aid purposes based on criteria established by Congress. For example, students who are under the age of 24, single, have no dependents and are not veterans are typically considered dependent for financial aid purposes. Dependent students are required to have parents provide financial information on the FAFSA in order to determine eligibility for the various federal aid programs. Check with the financial aid office to determine your dependency if you are unsure.
How often do I have to reapply for aid?
Students must reapply for federal and state aid each year. Typically, students should reapply for aid as soon as possible after January 1st; however, check with the financial aid office at your school to determine when you should reapply.
What’s the difference between a grant and a loan?
A grant is free money which usually does not have to be repaid. Loans are borrowed money and must always be paid back regardless of whether you complete the program or are satisfied with your educational experience. Failure to repay your loans can result in serious consequences and negatively impact your ability to obtain credit in the future.
When do I have to repay my loans?
Repayment on most loans will begin after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Some loans are interest free while the student is enrolled. Interest may accrue on other loans even while the student is enrolled. Check with the financial aid office to help explain the differences in the types of loans you have. In all cases, loans must be repaid regardless of whether you complete the program or are satisfied with your educational experience. Failure to repay your loans can result in serious consequences and negatively impact your ability to obtain credit in the future.
What is a FSA ID?
A Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is a user-selected username and password that will authenticate your identity to access your federal student aid information. This login process will be used to access student and borrower-based websites, including the FAFSA, NSLDS® Student Access, StudentLoans.gov and StudentAid.gov. The FSA ID is a single sign-on process that makes applying for aid quick and easy. Remember, your FSA ID is private and should never be shared with anyone.
My parents make too much money for me to receive financial aid. What options are available to me?
Regardless of how much money you or your parents make, you should still complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some sources of aid are not need-based and are available to those who qualify regardless of income.
What does dependent vs. independent mean?
Determining your dependency status is an important step in the financial aid application process. The definition for dependent or independent student for the purposes of federal student aid may be very different from what you might consider yourself. It is also different from the IRS definition of dependency. This is not a status that Le Cordon Bleu assigns to you but rather a determination made from your answers to several questions on the FAFSA. Check with your financial aid representative to determine your dependency status if you are unsure.
How can I apply for scholarships?
You can research options using a variety of free scholarship search websites. Researching and applying can be time consuming, but your effort may be worth your time if you find extra funding. A word of caution: do not use agencies that charge fees to find scholarships. You can do this search on your own and free of charge. We have included information on our websites for various grants and scholarships. Availability of scholarships differs by location.
What is a private loan?
A private loan is a loan made by a lender which may have higher interest rates than a federal loan and often requires a credit check.
*Financial Aid is available to those who qualify.