You may have heard one or more of the following myths that are common in the world of college financial aid. We’ll tell you the real story.
Myth #1: If I didn’t submit my FAFSA last fall, it’s too late for me to apply for financial aid for the coming academic year.
Fact: You may be surprised to learn that you can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2017-18 school year through June 30, 2018! Your college must have your correct, completed information by your last day of enrollment in the 2017-18 school year in order to meet this deadline.
Myth #2: Back in the fall, I used my 2015 income and tax information on my 2017-18 FAFSA, so I need to update that information with my 2016 figures after I’ve filed my taxes.
Fact: Since the FAFSA is now available each year on October 1 (three months earlier than it used to be), there’s a new requirement for the income and tax information that you must use on your application. Instead of using data from the prior year, you’ll submit the information from two years prior to the year for which you’re applying for financial aid. So you won’t use your 2016 tax info until you submit your 2018-19 FAFSA.
Myth #3: My family makes too much money to qualify for financial aid, so I don’t need to submit a FAFSA.
Fact: There are many factors used in the formula that determines your eligibility for financial aid—not just income. While it’s true that having a great family income may keep you from receiving a Pell Grant, there are still other forms of financial aid that are worth looking into, meaning you’ll probably still need to submit a FAFSA. Scholarship committees may also ask to see your Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of all the data you submitted on your FAFSA. So why not give it a try? The FAFSA is free, and it could open up opportunities for financial aid that can help you achieve your dream of higher education.