The U.S. Division of Training’s workplace of Federal Scholar Support gives round $112 billion in federal pupil help yearly. But Scholar Support’s FY 2021 Annual Report discovered that solely about 61% of highschool college students utilized for monetary help.
Listed below are the highest 14 myths about pupil help, debunked:
Delusion 1: The Free Utility for Federal Scholar Support (FAFSA) kind prices cash.
FACT: Nope! The FAFSA kind is free. The quickest and finest method to fill it out is on fafsa.gov. Don’t full your FAFSA kind on web sites that cost charges.
Delusion 2: My household’s earnings is simply too excessive for me to qualify for monetary help.
FACT: That’s probably the most widespread monetary help myths, however there’s no earnings cutoff. Most individuals qualify for some kind of monetary help, which vary from grants and scholarships to loans and work-study applications. Many elements apart from earnings — comparable to your loved ones dimension and your 12 months at school — are thought-about to create your monetary help bundle.
If you submit the FAFSA kind, you’re additionally mechanically making use of for state funds and presumably monetary help out of your college, together with grants and scholarships. Actually, some colleges gained’t even take into account you for his or her scholarships (together with educational scholarships) till you’ve submitted a FAFSA kind. And you may’t understand how a lot monetary help you’ll get till you fill it out.
Delusion 3: The FAFSA kind is de facto exhausting to fill out.
FACT: Most individuals can full their first FAFSA kind in lower than an hour. If it’s a renewal otherwise you’re an unbiased pupil who doesn’t want to supply mother and father’ info, it could take even much less time. On-line, you’re requested solely the questions related to you. And for those who’ve filed your taxes, you’ll be able to switch your tax return information into your FAFSA kind mechanically.
Delusion 4: I’m not eligible for monetary help due to my ethnicity or age.
FACT: Completely not. Whereas colleges have their very own eligibility necessities, federal pupil help eligibility necessities don’t exclude based mostly on ethnicity or age.
Delusion 5: The FAFSA kind is just for federal pupil loans.
FACT: Under no circumstances. Actually, the FAFSA kind is likely one of the most generally used instruments to entry pupil help: one software for a number of kinds of funding. If you full the FAFSA kind, you’re mechanically making use of for all the pieces from grants and scholarships to work-study funds and loans from federal, state, and faculty sources. States and colleges also can decide scholarships and grants utilizing your FAFSA info. And the funding may be substantial.
Delusion 6: The FAFSA kind kicks off on Jan. 1, and it’s important to submit it by June.
FACT: Nope! You will have extra time than you assume. The FAFSA kind is accessible on Oct. 1 for the following college 12 months and there are three FAFSA deadlines: federal, state, and faculty. However the sooner you submit your FAFSA kind, the extra doubtless you’re to get help.
Bear in mind, too, that whenever you submit the FAFSA kind, you’re additionally mechanically making use of for grants, scholarships and loans from states and colleges, which can have earlier deadlines than the federal deadline. Should you’re making use of to a number of colleges, verify their deadlines and apply by the earliest one.
Delusion 7: I have to file my 2022 taxes earlier than finishing the FAFSA kind.
FACT: No, you’ll use your 2021 tax info to use for pupil help for the 2023-24 award 12 months. You do not want to replace your FAFSA kind after submitting your 2022 taxes as a result of solely the 2021 info is required. In case your monetary scenario has modified within the final 12 months, you must nonetheless full the FAFSA kind with the 2021 info, submit your FAFSA kind and get in touch with the monetary help workplace on the college you propose to attend to debate how your monetary scenario has modified.
Delusion 8: You need to have good grades to get a monetary help bundle.
FACT: Making use of for admission into college is completely different from making use of for monetary help. Good grades might assist with educational scholarships, however most federal pupil help applications don’t take into account grades on your first FAFSA kind. In subsequent years, you’ll have to satisfy sure educational requirements outlined by your college (also referred to as passable educational progress) to proceed receiving monetary help.
Delusion 9: Since I’m self-supporting, I don’t have to incorporate my mother and father on the FAFSA kind.
FACT: Not essentially. It’s worthwhile to understand how the FAFSA kind defines a dependent pupil. The shape asks questions to find out your dependency standing. You’ll additionally have to study who’s outlined as a father or mother for FAFSA functions. Necessities for being thought-about an unbiased pupil transcend residing by yourself and supporting your self.
Delusion 10: I shouldn’t fill out the FAFSA kind till I’m accepted to highschool.
FACT: That’s one other widespread FAFSA false impression. Do it as quickly as potential. To obtain your info, the FAFSA kind requires you to checklist no less than one college, however you must checklist any colleges you’re fascinated with, even for those who haven’t utilized or been accepted. And don’t fear ― colleges can see solely their very own info; they won’t be able to see different colleges in your FAFSA kind.
Delusion 11: I solely have to submit the FAFSA kind as soon as.
FACT: You need to fill out the FAFSA kind yearly you’re at school to remain eligible for federal pupil help, however filling out the renewal FAFSA kind takes much less time.
Delusion 12: I ought to contact the U.S. Division of Training’s workplace of Federal Scholar Support to learn the way a lot monetary help I’m getting and when.
FACT: No, the monetary help workplace at your college is the supply for that info. The U.S. Division of Training’s workplace doesn’t award or disburse your help. Bear in mind — every college awards monetary help by itself schedule.
Delusion 13: The Anticipated Household Contribution (EFC) is the quantity it’s important to pay for college.
FACT: The EFC shouldn’t be the amount of cash your loved ones must pay for school, and it’s not the quantity of federal pupil help you’ll obtain. The EFC is a quantity your college makes use of to calculate how a lot monetary help you’re eligible to obtain. Different elements ― the biggest being the price of your college ― contribute to figuring out each the quantity and sort of help you obtain.
Delusion 14: I can share my FSA ID with my father or mother(s).
FACT: Nope. Should you’re a dependent pupil, you’ll need your individual FSA ID to signal your FAFSA kind on-line, and so will certainly one of your mother and father. An FSA ID is an account username and password that you simply use to log in to sure U.S. Division of Training web sites. Should you share your FSA ID, you’re risking id theft and your FAFSA kind may very well be delayed.
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