The U.S. Division of Schooling’s workplace of Federal Pupil Support supplies round $112 billion in federal scholar assist yearly. But Pupil Support’s FY 2021 Annual Report discovered that solely about 61% of highschool college students utilized for monetary assist.
Listed here are the highest 14 myths about scholar assist, debunked:
Fantasy 1: The Free Software for Federal Pupil 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.
Fantasy 2: My household’s earnings is just too excessive for me to qualify for monetary assist.
FACT: That’s one of the vital widespread monetary assist myths, however there’s no earnings cutoff. Most individuals qualify for some sort of economic assist, which vary from grants and scholarships to loans and work-study applications. Many elements apart from earnings — reminiscent of your loved ones measurement and your yr in class — are thought of to create your monetary assist package deal.
If you submit the FAFSA kind, you’re additionally robotically making use of for state funds and presumably monetary assist out of your college, together with grants and scholarships. Actually, some colleges received’t even take into account you for his or her scholarships (together with tutorial scholarships) till you’ve submitted a FAFSA kind. And you’ll’t understand how a lot monetary assist you’ll get till you fill it out.
Fantasy 3: The FAFSA kind is admittedly laborious 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 scholar who doesn’t want to supply dad and mom’ info, it could take even much less time. On-line, you’re requested solely the questions related to you. And if you happen to’ve filed your taxes, you possibly can switch your tax return knowledge into your FAFSA kind robotically.
Fantasy 4: I’m not eligible for monetary assist due to my ethnicity or age.
FACT: Completely not. Whereas colleges have their very own eligibility necessities, federal scholar assist eligibility necessities don’t exclude based mostly on ethnicity or age.
Fantasy 5: The FAFSA kind is just for federal scholar loans.
FACT: Under no circumstances. Actually, the FAFSA kind is likely one of the most generally used instruments to entry scholar assist: one software for a number of kinds of funding. If you full the FAFSA kind, you’re robotically making use of for all the things from grants and scholarships to work-study funds and loans from federal, state, and college sources. States and colleges also can decide scholarships and grants utilizing your FAFSA info. And the funding may be substantial.
Fantasy 6: The FAFSA kind kicks off on Jan. 1, and you need to submit it by June.
FACT: Nope! You may have extra time than you assume. The FAFSA kind is accessible on Oct. 1 for the following college yr and there are three FAFSA deadlines: federal, state, and college. However the sooner you submit your FAFSA kind, the extra possible you’re to get assist.
Keep in mind, too, that if you submit the FAFSA kind, you’re additionally robotically making use of for grants, scholarships and loans from states and colleges, which can have earlier deadlines than the federal deadline. When you’re making use of to a number of colleges, test their deadlines and apply by the earliest one.
Fantasy 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 scholar assist for the 2023-24 award yr. You don’t 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 state of affairs has modified within the final yr, you need to nonetheless full the FAFSA kind with the 2021 info, submit your FAFSA kind and speak to the monetary assist workplace on the college you propose to attend to debate how your monetary state of affairs has modified.
Fantasy 8: You need to have good grades to get a monetary assist package deal.
FACT: Making use of for admission into college is totally different from making use of for monetary assist. Good grades could assist with tutorial scholarships, however most federal scholar assist applications don’t take into account grades to your first FAFSA kind. In subsequent years, you’ll have to fulfill sure tutorial requirements outlined by your college (also called passable tutorial progress) to proceed receiving monetary assist.
Fantasy 9: Since I’m self-supporting, I don’t have to incorporate my dad and mom on the FAFSA kind.
FACT: Not essentially. It’s worthwhile to understand how the FAFSA kind defines a dependent scholar. The shape asks questions to find out your dependency standing. You’ll additionally have to be taught who’s outlined as a father or mother for FAFSA functions. Necessities for being thought of an unbiased scholar transcend dwelling by yourself and supporting your self.
Fantasy 10: I shouldn’t fill out the FAFSA kind till I’m accepted to high school.
FACT: That’s one other widespread FAFSA false impression. Do it as quickly as doable. To obtain your info, the FAFSA kind requires you to checklist no less than one college, however you need to checklist any colleges you’re excited about, even if you happen to haven’t utilized or been accepted. And don’t fear ― colleges can see solely their very own info; they will be unable to see different colleges in your FAFSA kind.
Fantasy 11: I solely have to submit the FAFSA kind as soon as.
FACT: You need to fill out the FAFSA kind yearly you’re in class to remain eligible for federal scholar assist, however filling out the renewal FAFSA kind takes much less time.
Fantasy 12: I ought to contact the U.S. Division of Schooling’s workplace of Federal Pupil Support to learn how a lot monetary assist I’m getting and when.
FACT: No, the monetary assist workplace at your college is the supply for that info. The U.S. Division of Schooling’s workplace doesn’t award or disburse your assist. Keep in mind — every college awards monetary assist by itself schedule.
Fantasy 13: The Anticipated Household Contribution (EFC) is the quantity you need to pay for college.
FACT: The EFC will not be the amount of cash your loved ones should pay for school, and it isn’t the quantity of federal scholar assist you’ll obtain. The EFC is a quantity your college makes use of to calculate how a lot monetary assist 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 assist you obtain.
Fantasy 14: I can share my FSA ID with my father or mother(s).
FACT: Nope. When you’re a dependent scholar, you will want your personal FSA ID to signal your FAFSA kind on-line, and so will one in all your dad and mom. An FSA ID is an account username and password that you just use to log in to sure U.S. Division of Schooling web sites. When you share your FSA ID, you’re risking identification theft and your FAFSA kind may very well be delayed.
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