No matter the reason, everyone should be filling out the FAFSA, or Free Application For Federal Student Aid, each year. Here are a few bad excuses we’ve heard students give when asked why they didn’t complete the application:
I Won’t Qualify
The number one reason that students or parents don’t complete the FAFSA is that they believe they won’t qualify, mainly because of high income. However, there is no income cutoff for financial aid. The results of your application go beyond yours or your parents’ salary. The school of your choice, the cost of tuition, and your family size also has an effect on the results. If you have several siblings who are attending or planning to attend college, the financial aid office will take it into account. If your parents are of a higher income scale, but you’re applying for a college that is $55,000 a year, you may still qualify as it is a more expensive school.
Your grades do not affect the majority of need-based aid programs. However, you must maintain good grades throughout college to continue receiving the aid. Your age and ethnicity also have no barring on your application.
It’s Too Difficult
Complete the FAFSA! It is, thankfully, much easier than doing your taxes! The form is completely online and uses “skip logic,” asking only relevant questions. You also do not have to do your taxes before filling out the application. But, once they are complete, you can use the program to transfer your tax return information to the department. All told, you can expect to spend less than 30 minutes filling out the application.
I Already Did It
Did you already fill out the FAFSA last year? You actually have to do it every year to continue to receive aid. Their database stores your information, so you only change relevant factors and resubmit. Even if you did not receive financial aid the previous year, FAFSA may not deny you for a second year. Thus, regularly complete the application to get a full idea of what you qualify for.
I Received No Aid
Even if you received no aid from the federal government, do not look at completing the FAFSA as a waste of time or worthless. Many other aid programs require a completed FAFSA in order to apply for their scholarships and grants. This is to ensure that any of those awarded have taken full advantage of every avenue that is available to them.
Some colleges also take your FASFA competition into consideration when it comes to admissions. Most students only complete the FASFA for the school of their choice and this is taken into account when sending out acceptance letters.
Completing the FASFA is a must for any student planning to attend college, even if you believe your family makes too much money, you don’t have the grades, or you were previously declined. Many students are surprised by the offers they receive and go on to have low interest, easily repayable loans when they graduate.
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