21 Answers to the Biggest FAFSA Question

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The FAFSA form is completely free. It’s possible to be scammed or offered services by companies that charge a fee to fill out the FAFSA form. The Federal Student Aid Information Center can help you fill out the FAFSA form free of charge by calling (800) 433-3243 or your college financial aid office.

What do I do if I haven’t chosen a college?

Your top 10 choices should be listed with the state schools first. Ten is the maximum amount that you can submit with the FAFSA. However, you can always add more later if your school choice changes. Every school will be given your financial information. This includes the income and assets of your family.

Am I a dependent or independent student?

Independent students do not have to report income or assets from their parents, but dependent students must. Independent students might be eligible for more financial aid even if they don’t work or have a lower income.

You must fulfill one or more of the following requirements to be considered an independent student:

  • At least 24 years of age
  • Graduate student
  • You are a veteran of U.S. armed force forces
  • Children or dependents receive at least 50% of your support.
  • You are an emancipated minor, or in legal guardianship
  • You can be married or you can be separated, but not divorced
  • Your parents could have died at any time after you turn 13.

What if my parents don’t pay for my college? Can I still list myself as a dependent student?

Your status as a dependent student doesn’t change if your parents pay for your college education. To be considered independent, you must meet at least one of the above criteria. FAFSA depends on the ability of your parents to pay.

What Parent’s Income Should I Enter on the FAFSA Formula?

Dependent students will report income for both biological and adopted parents if they haven’t separated or divorced. It doesn’t matter whether they are married or not.

You must report income from both parents if they have separated or divorced but continue to live together. If they separated or divorced but don’t live together anymore, you should include the income of the parent with whom you have lived the longest in the past 12 months. If they are married to your legal parents, stepparent income is also included. If they are your legal parents, grandparents and other relatives don’t count.

Independent students do not need to declare parental income.

What do I do if my parents refuse to report their income?

You may not need to report the income of your parents or grandparents for a few reasons, such as:

  • Both are in prison
  • You have left an abusive home environment
  • You don’t know the whereabouts of your parents and you were not adopted.
  • If you’re between 21 and 24, you could be homeless or homeless.
  • Independent student

You may not be eligible for federal grants that are based on income if you don’t report parent income. This is because the expected family contributions (or EFC) won’t be taken into account. This is the U.S. Department of Education’s calculation of how much your family could hypothetically afford to pay for next year’s school. Your college’s financial aid department will need to be fully informed about your situation.

What Does the FAFSA Do if My Parents Have a College Degree?

Federal financial aid eligibility is not affected by whether your parents went to college. This information is collected by the FAFSA to determine if your state or college offers scholarships for students whose biological or adopted parents have not completed college. Schools often offer additional services to first-generation college students.

What is the Selective Service System and why am I asked to sign up?

To be eligible for financial assistance, men aged 18-25 had to previously register for the Selective Service System. This is the official name for the military draft. Starting with the FAFSA 2022-23 form, Selective Service registration won’t affect financial aid eligibility.

You can still sign up for the FAFSA even if you haven’t done so before you file the FAFSA application. Registering doesn’t guarantee you will be drafted. The draft was last used in 1973. It also does not mean that you have agreed to join military service.

What financial aid can I get for multiple Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees?

Yes, financial aid can be granted for multiple degrees. FAFSA eligibility generally includes a degree or completion of a program. No matter how many degrees you have had in the past, you are eligible for FAFSA. There are limitations on the amount of semesters that you can receive a Pell grant, and limits on the degree type for student loan.

Is it too much money for my family to qualify for financial aid?

Income is a consideration for need-based financial assistance. However, there are different scholarship and grant requirements for each college. There are no income limitations to be eligible for direct unsubsidized loans and PLUS loans that can be issued to parents or students.

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Do International Students Need to Fill out the FAFSA Form?

If they have any questions or are advised by the college financial aid office, international students should complete the FAFSA. You may be eligible for private or university scholarships even if you don’t need to fill out the FAFSA.

Do I need to fill out the form if I am a DACA student?

Federal student aid is not available to students who are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, (DACA), or other undocumented students. They may still be eligible for college-specific and state aid. For students in this group, it is a good idea to contact the college financial aid office and ask if the FAFSA is required for collecting financial information. Schools will need to determine if a student is financially capable, whether they get it from the FAFSA or another source.

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