The Free Application for Federal Student Aid — more commonly known as FAFSA is the key to funding your college education. Not only can the FAFSA connect you to grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities, but filling out the form is
also the first step to applying for federal student loans. Even though filling out the FAFSA is simple and straightforward, several misconceptions still fly around it. Here are the top FAFSA myths you need to stop believing.
Myth 1: I Need to Pay to Fill Out the FAFSA
The FAFSA form is 100% free for all individuals to fill out. While filling out the form might seem overwhelming initially, it is not that complicated. Do not pay someone else to fill out the form for you, and don’t believe
anyone that says they can increase your chances for a bigger aid package. The only website you should use to fill out FAFSA is the official government site.
Myth 2: My Parents Make Too Much Money
While the FAFSA does calculate your family’s income and net worth when calculating the financial aid package, your parent’s bank account doesn’t disqualify you from aid. A lot of factors are considered when calculating your
aid. For example, families with more children or more than one child in college are calculated differently than families with one child.
Even if you do not qualify for income-based scholarships or grants (money you do not need to pay back), you can still qualify for work-study jobs and federal loans. Federal loans are financial aid that needs to be repaid with interest,
but they come with better interest rates and protections that private student loans do not offer.
Myth 3: I’m Not a Citizen, So I Cannot Apply
Certain students can still be considered eligible noncitizens. You can check to see if you are still eligible here. When in doubt, talk with your school’s financial aid department.
Myth 4: It’s Too Late to Fill Out the FAFSA
There is plenty of time to fill out the FAFSA, and even if you miss the FAFSA for your current school year, you can still apply for the next year. It is best to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible, even if you are not
sure where you want to attend school. A lot of the school aid is awarded on a first-come, first serve basis.
The FAFSA form is available to fill out on October 1 for the next school year. The federal deadline falls on or around June 30. State and school deadlines can vary on location. Click here to find your specific deadline.
Myth 5: I Didn’t Do Well in School
Good news — even if you struggled to get passing grades through high school, this will not be counted against you when you apply for your financial aid package. Many scholarships take your GPA in account, but your grades are not
considered for your first FAFSA form. However, you will need to remain in good academic standing with your college if you want to continue receiving aid.
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