We want to help you.
Parents are often stressed, excited, and even confused about their student attending a college or university. This is one of those big decisions that will affect the rest of your student’s life and probably yours as well. The Oakwood University investment that your family is about to make will reap dividends in your student’s future. You’ll see the results of your investment in their career choice, the importance and role that personal faith and belief will play in their lives, and even in their choice of a spouse. Additionally, the friends that you your student will choose for the rest of your lives may be found at Oakwood. You have the freedom to make choices at Oakwood University - a place to grow in body, mind, and sprit.Here are some thoughts about what you as parents can do to help make your student's Oakwood University experience a success:
- Understand that the relationship you have with your son or daughter is entering a new stage. In order for this to happen successfully, you need to be willing to
- Trust but verify.
- Let go and allow them to make mistakes and to help them recover.
- Let them know you believe in them.
- Be aware that it is the University's job to help your student develop into a responsible adult. That means, as part of their learning, we expect students to be responsible for their behavior, respect rules and policies, demonstrate honesty and integrity, develop healthy habits, and seek help when they need it.
- It is never too early to be thinking about graduation. Your student is charged the same tuition for full-time status whether they enroll in 12 or 16 hours per semester. If they enroll in 12 credits per semester, it will take them 5 (FIVE) years to have enough credits to graduate. If they enroll in 15 credits per semester, they should have enough credits to graduate in 4 (FOUR) years. An extra year is estimated to cost between $30,000 -$40,000 which includes, tuition, books, fees, supplies, room board, personal expenses, and transportation. Tuition alone for an extra year is over $15,000. If your student progresses at 30 (thirty) credit hours per academic year, you will save quite a large sum by avoiding that fifth year. It makes good economic sense for students to take as many credits as possible for the same price. However, if the student has difficulty with that kind of course load, then they may have to move at a slower pace. In that case, summer school at a local community college or Oakwood could help them to still move forward at 30 (thirty) credits per year.
- Although you'll talk to your child less often, it's important to keep communication lines open. Cell phones, e-mail, home visits, U.S. Postal Service and visits to our campus are positive ways to stay in touch. Check with them on whether they are using the resources we provide for them to be successful.
- An important part of preparation is discussing finances with your student to clarify who pays for what. Encouraging fiscal responsibility, including weekly budgeting, use of credit and debit cards, and the use of checking accounts will help avoid headaches later on. We help here too and have begun a financial literacy program called SALT . Oakwood University students may sign up for SALT free with their Oakwood email.
- Parents often take the lead on completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the first year. However, you are not done. It must be completed each year. Each year we will put a checklist on the financial aid web site to help you complete all the steps. There is no “once and done” policy with the FAFSA, it is an annual event. We have teamed with Financial Aid TV to provide some parent information videos to students and parents available 24/7. When you complete the FAFSA, you and your student will receive a response which includes a link for you to review the processed information; always review the comments on the response.
- Completing the FAFSA allows you to know all your financing options including the Parent Loan or PLUS. If your family experiences, divorce, death, unemployment, or additional private secondary/elementary school tuition charges, you may have your student’s eligibility for aid recalculated by completing our Professional Judgment form from the Forms section of our website.
- The financial aid office at Oakwood University uses a system produced by The College Board called “PowerFAIDS” to process and award financial aid. Each college and university uses one of 5 or 6 systems to interact with the US Department of Education (USDE). Some other Adventist Universities use a different system than ours and you may hear from their financial aid office in January. Our system, PowerFAIDS is usually available to interact with USED in mid- to late-February each year. This means we can begin downloading and responding to your FAFSA information in late February each year. If you apply for financial aid in January and do not hear from us until late February, this is normal and is as fast as we can process. After we begin processing, we will either send an award letter, a follow-up for additional information, or both to your student.
We realize that this is a big decision, and is a major investment of time and money. We want to help you make that decision any way we can. Below you will find some resources that will help you—and your student— to understand your choices and options.How to Apply
- this web page helps you through the financial aid application process to financial clearance with Student Accounts.Sample Financial Aid Packages
– this web page gives information about awards we offer and how much may be “out of pocket” for parents including Parent PLUS Loan information.Financial Aid Terms
– Financial aid and Student Accounts have a language all their own. It is important to your Oakwood survival for all to be speaking the same language to have a common understanding.Financial Aid Calendar
– Families must work together to make sure they complete forms and applications early in the year.Resources
– This page provides links to free scholarship searches, financial aid calculators, tax information, and financial planning information.Parent PLUS Loan
– Parents may borrow for their contribution to their student’s education through this federal program. Payment may be deferred while the student is in school or used like a payment plan with monthly payments. If you borrow be sure to borrow for the year and not just the semester for which you are trying to clear; we divide the amount you borrow between fall and spring semesters.