Paying for college is a dilemma many students in America face. It’s a growing problem, especially with the down economy. If your family was offset by the 2008 economic downfall, then you know all too well the reality of not being able to afford college tuition. This is also why the federal government funds nearly $150 billion worth of student loans annually. Financial aid is a way out for many students who come from cash strapped families. If you’ve been accepted to the University of San Francisco, but don’t have the funding to pay for it, you should consider financial aid.
However, if you’re second-guessing it because you think you won’t get funded, apply anyway. The following are common myths that hold students like you back from receiving government aid.
I Don’t Qualify Because My Family Earns Too Much Money
Most people believe you have to earn below a certain amount to qualify for financial aid. The reality is that there’s no income cut-off. There are other factors not related to income that are used to determine your eligibility. A lot of states and schools use the data from your FAFSA to see if you’re eligible to receive financial aid. The best way to know for sure is to just apply!
I Can’t Complete the FAFSA Until I File Taxes
You don’t need exact information to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Estimated data is sufficient enough. So if you haven’t done your taxes yet, there’s no excuse not to fill out your FAFSA. You can use your last year’s tax returns to help you out. Then once you do your taxes, you can log in later to update the information. There’s also an IRS Data Retrieval Tool you can use, which automatically imports data from your taxes.
It’s Too Difficult to Understand
The FAFSA isn’t as hard to fill out as it once was. Today’s version has “skip logic”, which will generate questions that are relevant to you. Again, your past tax info can be automatically imported, doing majority of the work for you. The amount of time it takes to complete the application now is about 20 minutes. There’s also a Web chat feature that can be used in case you get stuck.
I Don’t have Good Enough Grades
Your academic performance doesn’t disqualify you from receiving financial aid. However, you do have to maintain grades that are considered satisfactory by your school.
I Don’t have to Include My Parent’s Info if I Support Myself
There are some cases where students who support themselves and file their own taxes still are considered dependents by FAFSA. You can find out your dependency status to see if you are independent or not. If you are considered a dependent, then you will still have to include your parent’s information.
There’s No Need to Redo the FAFSA if I Did it Already
It’s required that you complete a new FAFSA every year you intend to go to school. The good news is that it’s easier the second and third times, since all of your info is already there.