There are several myths surrounding qualifying for financial aid with FAFSA. The 1st myth is that you only have to fill the FAFSA out once. That is false. You have to fill out the FAFSA every year you are looking for financial aid.
So here are 2 tips to debunk these famous FAFSA myths:
#1 Myths About Income
- My parents make too much money so I won’t qualify for aid. This is false. There is no income cut off to qualify for federal student aid. Many factors besides income from the size of your family to the age of your older parents are taken into account. Your eligibility is determined by a mathematical formula, not by your parent’s income alone. Remember, when you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you are also automatically applying for funds from the state and possibly even endowment money from the school of your choice.
- I can’t go to college because it is too expensive for me. False. In reality, there are a lot of schools that on average are offering students grants and scholarships that reduce the cost of attending by over 40%. You have to apply for it by completing the FAFSA.
#2 Myths About Personal Factors
- Only students with good grades get financial aid. False. While a high grade point average will help a student get into a good school and may help with academies scholarships, most of the federal student aid programs do not take student’s grades into account.
- My ethnicity or age makes me ineligible for student aid. False. There are basic eligibility requirements which you can find out about at studentaid.gov, but ethnicity and age are not considered.
- I support myself so I don’t have to include my parent’s information on the FAFSA. That is not necessarily true. Even if you support yourself and file your taxes on your own, you still maybe considered a dependent student for federal student aid purposes. If you are independent, you won’t need to include your parent’s information and financial forms. But, if you are dependent, you must provide your parent’s information.
In conclusion, The FAFSA is the only way to apply for federal student aid. The school you list on your application will use your FAFSA information to value your financial need and determine how much federal aid you are eligible to receive. This will come in the form of work study, grants, and merit based aid.
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