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Your Questions About Fafsa

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Sharon Your Questions About Fafsa

Sharon asks…

How does FAFSA figure the financial aid you should receive?

I just completed my FAFSA. I’ve lived on my own for two years but I still need my parents tax information, which I think is ridiculous. Does anybody know how they figure what you are able to receive in financial aid?
Well, I’ve already done all this. I’ve done my parents tax information, and mine. I just don’t understand how they assume that if you’re under 25, you still need your parents tax information.

lizzyrose cropped Your Questions About Fafsa

Our pick of the answers:

The dependency requirements were decided on by Congress when they originally built the financial aid model. They believe that parents have a responsibility toward helping their children attain their first degree. That is why it is ridiculous. Ridiculous to think that your parents should help! I agree it does hurt a small faction of students though where the parents are ridiculous and refuse to cooperate with the FAFSA information.

Anyhow. The FAFSA collects information about your family size, number of people attending college, income earned and investment values and spits out a number called the EFC (Estimated Family Contribution). This is the number that decides whether you are Pell grant eligible, and is used by the Aid office to determine your overall need and awards. I’m not going to get into the formula… It makes my head hurt and its been a long week.

Give your Aid office a week after you have filed your FAFSA then talk to them about when you can expect an awards letter. If you have already been accepted, or deposited with admissions, the award letter should come pretty soon after they have a chance to process it.

Linda Your Questions About Fafsa

Linda asks…

When applying for FAFSA does your financial aid start in Fall?

I have a friend who needs financial aid for this spring semester, and I am afraid that financial aid through FAFSA doesn’t start until fall semester. I assume she can get financial aid for summer through the school, but what should she do for spring quarter after this winter quarter?

lizzyrose cropped Your Questions About Fafsa

Our pick of the answers:

She can get it to start in the spring 09. She needs to go online at http://fafsa.ed.gov and select the 2008-2009 fafsa. If she is starting school next week and is just now applying, her aid won’t be processed by the time school starts, but she can still get it. They can can still process it after the semester starts. If the school wants money before, maybe she can borrow it from someone. Some schools will let you attend classes with an outstanding balance as long as you have fin aid pending.

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