Inquiring Minds Want to Know More

We want you to be comfortable with your experience using BeneFAQ. Our customer service team always helps schools and parents get the answers they need. 

FAQs

We are thrilled you are interested in user-friendly BeneFAQ. Whether a school or a parent, you may have questions about the system and how it works. Here, we answer a few common questions for those considering using BeneFAQ. If you have others, please reach out to us through your account login page (click Messages in the upper menu) or via the CONTACT PAGE.

Common Questions from Schools

Why Should Our School Use A Service Like BeneFAQ?

Schools put themselves at extreme risk legally when they do not use a third-party service such as BeneFAQ to do all the processing of tuition aid applications. We are unbiased in our approach which helps level the playing field among all applicants. Schools that try this on their own may unwittingly show favoritism and lack the thoroughness of a third-party service. BeneFAQ removes that threat. We help parents feel safe in sharing their personal financial situation and documents, and in the end, we provide a comprehensive final report to schools that they likely could never produce on their own. We ask the hard questions so you don't have to. Your role is to make award determinations with qualified and verified data from an expert team that has been at this for years.


What Does This Cost for Schools?

Schools pay a nominal annual fee of $40 to use the system. This is unheard of in the industry and should speak highly to our desire to work within every school budget!


If Our Parents Have Questions On Their Application, Who Do They Talk To?

If their question is not something you feel you can answer, please direct them to contact us through the in-line messaging system in their account. If they have not yet created an account, they can understand more about our process by reviewing this website where they can also make contact with us.


What If Parents Can't Afford the Application Fee?

Vouchers can be purchased by the school to aid parents who can not afford the application fee. You can purchase these from within your admin account. 


Do Parents Get a Copy of the Same Report We Get?

Parents get a summary report of what they entered on their application. The school should always share the full FACT Report from BeneFAQ if requested by a parent.


What is the FACT Report and How Do You Arrive at a Final Number?

The FACT Report (Family Anticipated Contribution Total) summarizes what discretionary money a family has at the end of each month, and reports a percentage of that amount as income that can be reasonably used toward tuition. The application summarizes the family's average monthly income for the year minus their average necessary monthly expenses and then multiplies that by various adjustment percentages that are determined by answers previously supplied on the application. This allows us to provide the FACT number that is reported to the school.


What Financial Information Do You Request of Parents?

We ask for certain pages from the most recent Federal and State Returns including Schedule C, Form SE and Business taxes if applicable, copies of the four most recent pay stubs for each job listed, and other explanations as necessary. Parents are asked to report all income sources that include wages, self-employment, unemployment SNAP, Government Aid, Alimony, Child Support, help from friends and family, and more. We ask each applicant for reasonable and necessary living expenses. Not all are allowed so that no one applicant is treated with greater favor. This levels the playing field for all applicants. Applicants are always permitted to provide written details of extenuating circumstances that may help us understand their situation.


Is the FACT Number on the Report a Final Tuition Amount the School Should Present to the Parent? 

A school can vary the amount as needed. The important thing is that the school has verified each applicant using the exact same criteria and process. Once a FACT Report is completed, with our recommendation, a school can make their final award determination in any manner they deem appropriate.


Why Can't We Just Do This Ourselves?

Discussing someone's finances can be a sticky situation. As an unbiased third-party, we help you avoid getting into the nitty-gritty of family financial questions and assure you that each application is dealt with using the exact same criterion and process. We know the follow-up questions to ask to clarify situations. Our process helps your school maintain legal compliance from start to finish in the way it verifies financial aid applications. To do this on your own could bring irreparable harm to your school's 501(c)3 status and to individuals who mishandle information.

Common Questions from Parents

What Does This Cost for Parents?

Parents pay a $35 application when they apply for financial aid at a school that uses our service. This is collected at the time they create their account. The fee is applicable for one school year only and only for the school to which they applied. Paper applications are no longer provided and every parent who applies must be able to access their online account.


Why Do I Have to Pay a Fee for This Application? Isn't This a Part of My Admission Fee to the School?

This is a service our company provides to the school to take the burden and legal responsibility off of them for vetting financial aid applications. The $35 application fee is paid directly to BeneFAQ (SchoolRIGHT, LLC) and is not a part of the admission fees that are owed to the school


Can I Complete One Application for All My Children at the Same School? 

Yes. Parents complete one application for the entire family. Applications do not carry over from one school year to another nor can an application be seen by multiple schools.


I Don't Have A Computer, Can I Get a Paper Application?

Paper applications are no longer provided and every parent who applies must be able to access their online account. If you do not have a computer we recommend the following:

  1. Ask the school if they have a computer you may use.
  2. Check with your public library, church, or a friend to see if they have a computer you can use.

What Information Do You Collect from Me and Share with the School?

In addition to the basic information of name(s), address, phone, email, income, and necessary living expenses, you will need to submit the following:

  1. First 2 pages of your federal income tax return.
  2. State tax return (if applicable).
  3. Supporting documentation for other non-taxable income.
  4. Four (4) most recent pay stubs for each wage income listed on your application. DO NOT SEND W2s!
  5. Schedule C & SE if self-employed.
  6. Forms 1065, 1120, 8829 (if applicable), Schedule K-1 (if applicable) for business owners.

We may ask for written explanations of your situation (i.e., such as if your monthly expenses exceed your income). 

Our goal is to get an accurate picture of your financial situation. You will upload documentation directly to your account and in some instances my reply to us via our inline messaging system or email. The school will be able to see all the answers on your application and supporting documents if they choose.


Do You Share My Information Elsewhere?

No. Your information is only seen by us and the school if they choose. We do not report any of your information with any other agencies. This is strictly for internal use to verify your financial need for the school. Most schools do not want to view documents that are submitted and trust our verification process to help them make award determinations.


Do You Run a Credit Check on Me?

No. Credit reporting agencies will not be aware of your financial aid application.


What is the "FACT" Report and How Do You Arrive at a Final Number?

The FACT Report (Family Anticipated Contribution Total) summarizes what discretionary money a family has at the end of each month, and reports a percentage of that amount as income that can be reasonably used toward tuition. The application summarizes the family's average monthly income for the year minus their average necessary monthly expenses and then multiplies that by various adjustment percentages that are determined by answers previously supplied on the application. This allows us to provide the FACT number that is reported to the school.


Why Can't I List All My Expenses on the Application?

Our process asks for reasonable and necessary living expenses of each applicant and is not able to account for every possible expense a family may have. Each applicant is afforded the same list so that no one is treated with greater favor. This levels the playing field for all applicants. That being said, applicants are always permitted to provide written details of extenuating circumstances so a school can determine if that will be a factor in their financial aid offer.


Why Is There No Place to List Food Expenses?

This is an automatic calculation based on the size of your household and the number of months each of them is being fed out of your budget. We use an amount of $167 per person, per month.


Can I Make Changes to My Application After I Submit It?

You will need to ask your school to grant that permission to us and explain why. If so, then we can open your application up for you to make changes.


How Long Will It Take to Process My Application?

From the moment we receive the last documentation or information requested we typically finalize the verification within 3 to 5 business days.


HOW CAN I CHECK THE STATUS OF MY APPLICATION?

Please reach out to us through the inline messaging system (must be logged in to your account) or via the CONTACT PAGE.


Ho Do I Know If I Have Been Awarded Financial Aid?

Award determinations are made by your school after reviewing your FACT Report. Please reach out to your school to understand their award notification process.


Do I Get a Copy of the Report You Generate for the School?

You will not receive a copy of the FACT Report from BeneFAQ. The school can supply you with a copy of the report at your request.


If I Don't Agree with the Report What Should I Do?

We understand there may be times when an application may have entry errors. Sometimes this will correct the FACT Report in such a way there are no more questions. When you have questions about your FACT Report, please first discuss this with the school before contacting us. If you need further clarification, we will set up an appointment time with you, at our earliest convenience, to review the report.