Myths/Facts

Myth
My parents make too much money, so I won’t qualify for aid.

Fact
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. And remember: when you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’re also automatically applying for funds from your state, and from your school as well. In fact, some schools won’t even consider you for any of their scholarships (including academic scholarships) until you’ve submitted a FAFSA. Don’t make assumptions about what you’ll get—complete the application and find out.


Myth
Only students with good grades get financial aid.
Fact
While a high grade point average may help with academic scholarships and other merit-based aid, many 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.

 

Myth
I'm too old to get financial aid.
Fact
Funds from most student aid programs are awarded on the basis of financial need, not age. Adult students can get financial aid too, so be sure to fill out the FAFSA.

Myth
The form is too hard to fill out.
Fact
The FAFSA is easier than ever, especially if you fill it out online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. 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 1-800-4-FED-AID, that's 1-800-433-3243. And remember, the FAFSA and all these sources of advice are FREE.

Myth
My parents have money saved for my college education, so I won’t get any aid.
Fact
Student and family savings are not a factor when a school decides if a student qualifies for a federal unsubsidized loan. And when it comes to other aid, the federal formula has protection allowances for a portion of savings and assets. Under federal methodology for student aid eligibility, parents are not expected to sacrifice home equity or retirement savings to help pay for their child's education.

Myth
Schools don’t care how many other siblings I have or will have in college.
Fact
Actually, having two or more people in college (excluding parents) significantly increases a family’s chance of receiving aid. In fact, it could lower the expected family contribution (the estimate of the family’s ability to pay for college) by 50 percent.


Myth

My aid award is final.
Fact
Not necessarily. School policies on reviewing aid awards vary wildly. All schools will review your award if inaccurate information was used in the application process. Any discrepancies in your information should be corrected on your application, but be sure to check with your college regarding their process. If your financial situation or family circumstances have changed, you should contact your financial aid office to discuss the changes and see if those circumstances can be used in re-determining your eligibility. Your college can advise on what forms and documentation need to be submitted.

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