Myths About Financial Aid
“I’m not going to bother filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid because ...”
“… my parents make too much money, so I won’t qualify for aid.”
Reality: There is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. Many factors besides income—from the size of your family to the age of your older parent—are taken into account. Your eligibility is determined by a mathematical formula, not by your parents’ income alone. And remember: when you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM), you’re also automatically applying for funds from your state, and possibly from your school as well. Don’t make assumptions about what you’ll get—fill out the application and find out.
“… only students with good grades get financial aid.”
Reality: While a high grade point average will help a student get
into a good school and may help with academic scholarships, most of the federal student aid programs do not take a student’s grades into consideration. Provided a student maintains satisfactory academic progress in his or her program of study, federal student aid will help a student with an average academic record complete his or her education.
“… you have to be a minority to get financial aid.”
Reality: Funds from federal student aid programs are awarded on the basis of financial need, not on the basis of race. The FAFSA doesn’t even collect this kind of information about an applicant.
“... the form is too hard to fill out.”
Reality: The FAFSA is easier than ever, especially if you fill it out online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. There are detailed instructions for every question, and the form walks you through step by step, asking only the questions that apply to you. If you need help, you can access real-time, private online chat with a customer service representative. If you’re filling out the paper FAFSA, you can get help from a high school counselor, from
the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend, or from our toll-free number:
1-800-4-FED-AID. And remember, the FAFSA and all these sources of advice are FREE.
For more information about federal student aid, see
or call the
1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) TTY: 1-800-730-8913
For inquirers without access to the toll-free number: 319-337-5665