Skip Navigation Links

What’s in a Decimal Point?

Online FAFSA Error Makes Low-Income Filers Look Like Millionaires

July 7, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

When it comes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a decimal point could make a world of difference: An update to this year’s FAFSA has cost some low-income filers a chance at some serious federal student aid.

For the 2014-15 FAFSA, the government expanded several income and asset fields in the online form to accommodate higher incomes. Herein lies the problem: Some lower-income filers are missing the .00 outside the box and entering cents into the text field. And when the do that, an income of $28,532.79, for example, is converted into $2,853,279. Big mistake. Huge. If the error isn't caught or corrected on individual forms, the filers could lose out on Pell Grants or other need-based student aid. According to Jeff Baker, policy liaison at the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, the department has already identified 165,000 individuals who've made the mistake. He's estimated that a majority of colleges have at least one affected student, while some may have hundreds. "It's a serious problem," said Baker at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ annual meeting. "We have to fix it." (For more on this story, click here.)

With all the headaches that typically go into applying for federal aid using the FAFSA, what are your thoughts on the current roadblocks? Why not just have filers round income to the nearest whole dollar amount? For more information on the FAFSA, the importance of applying and what you'll need before you get started, check out Scholarships.com’s Federal Aid section.

Comments (3)

Recent Posts

Tags

ACT (19)
Advanced Placement (24)
Alumni (17)
Applications (80)
Athletics (17)
Back To School (73)
Books (66)
Campus Life (454)
Career (115)
Choosing A College (51)
College (989)
College Admissions (238)
College And Society (296)
College And The Economy (371)
College Applications (144)
College Benefits (289)
College Budgets (214)
College Classes (444)
College Costs (488)
College Culture (588)
College Goals (386)
College Grants (53)
College In Congress (87)
College Life (554)
College Majors (220)
College News (576)
College Prep (166)
College Savings Accounts (19)
College Scholarships (156)
College Search (115)
College Students (441)
College Tips (113)
Community College (59)
Community Service (40)
Community Service Scholarships (26)
Course Enrollment (19)
Economy (119)
Education (26)
Education Study (29)
Employment (41)
Essay Scholarship (38)
FAFSA (55)
Federal Aid (99)
Finances (70)
Financial Aid (412)
Financial Aid Information (57)
Financial Aid News (56)
Financial Tips (40)
Food (44)
Food/Cooking (27)
GPA (80)
Grades (91)
Graduate School (56)
Graduate Student Scholarships (20)
Graduate Students (65)
Graduation Rates (38)
Grants (62)
Health (38)
High School (130)
High School News (71)
High School Student Scholarships (181)
High School Students (306)
Higher Education (110)
Internships (526)
Job Search (177)
Just For Fun (114)
Loan Repayment (39)
Loans (47)
Military (16)
Money Management (134)
Online College (20)
Pell Grant (28)
President Obama (24)
Private Colleges (34)
Private Loans (19)
Roommates (100)
SAT (22)
Scholarship Applications (162)
Scholarship Information (177)
Scholarship Of The Week (268)
Scholarship Search (216)
Scholarship Tips (86)
Scholarships (401)
Sports (62)
Sports Scholarships (21)
Stafford Loans (24)
Standardized Testing (45)
State Colleges (42)
State News (33)
Student Debt (83)
Student Life (510)
Student Loans (139)
Study Abroad (67)
Study Skills (215)
Teachers (94)
Technology (111)
Tips (505)
Transfer Scholarship (16)
Tuition (93)
Undergraduate Scholarships (35)
Undergraduate Students (154)
Volunteer (45)
Work And College (83)
Work Study (20)
Writing Scholarship (18)

Categories

529 Plan (2)
Back To School (357)
College And The Economy (510)
College Applications (249)
College Budgets (341)
College Classes (564)
College Costs (746)
College Culture (926)
College Grants (133)
College In Congress (131)
College Life (945)
College Majors (330)
College News (903)
College Savings Accounts (57)
College Search (389)
Coverdell (1)
FAFSA (116)
Federal Aid (132)
Fellowships (23)
Financial Aid (702)
Food/Cooking (76)
GPA (277)
Graduate School (107)
Grants (72)
High School (535)
High School News (255)
Housing (172)
Internships (565)
Just For Fun (222)
Press Releases (1)
Roommates (138)
Scholarship Applications (220)
Scholarship Of The Week (344)
Scholarships (593)
Sports (74)
Standardized Testing (58)
Student Loans (225)
Study Abroad (61)
Tips (827)
Uncategorized (7)
Virtual Intern (532)

Archives

< Jun July 2014 Aug >
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789

1 
Page 1 of 1