The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an essential form that students in the United States need to complete if they want to access federal financial aid for higher education. There is an abundance of information (and misinformation) regarding the FAFSA. In this article, we will address common statements about the FAFSA and identify which of the following is not true.
Statement 1: FAFSA is only for students with financial need
Many students and families believe that the FAFSA is only for those with financial need. However, this statement is not true. While the FAFSA is primarily used to determine eligibility for need-based federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and subsidized loans, it is also used by colleges and universities to award non-need-based aid. Furthermore, students must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for federal student loans, regardless of their financial situation.
Statement 2: You need to pay a fee to submit the FAFSA
This statement is not true. As the name implies, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is free to submit. There is no fee involved, and students should be cautious of any organization or website that charges a fee to submit the FAFSA.
Statement 3: The FAFSA can be submitted online
This statement is true. The FAFSA can be submitted online through the official FAFSA website. In fact, submitting it online is the fastest and most convenient way to complete the application. Students can also fill out the FAFSA using the myStudentAid mobile app. Additionally, paper applications are available, but the processing time is longer.
Statement 4: You need to complete the FAFSA every year
This statement is true. Students must complete the FAFSA each year they attend college or university to be considered for federal financial aid. The financial situation of a student or their family can change, and annual completion of the FAFSA ensures that the most current information is used to determine financial aid eligibility.
Statement 5: The FAFSA requires only the student’s financial information
This statement is not true. For dependent students, the FAFSA requires financial information from both the student and their parents. For independent students, only the student’s financial information is required. Dependency status for FAFSA purposes is determined by a set of criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Education and does not necessarily align with other definitions of dependency.
Understanding the facts about the FAFSA is crucial for students seeking financial aid for higher education. The statements that are not true about the FAFSA are that it is only for students with financial need, and that you need to pay a fee to submit it, and that it only requires the student’s financial information. The FAFSA is an essential tool for accessing a variety of financial aid options, and students and families should ensure they have accurate information when completing the application.