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College - - FAFSA Questions

Posted by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:14 PM
  • 18 Replies

Ladies, I am working on college stuff for my daughter that just finished her junior year of high school.  I am totally lost doing this as neither my husband nor myself got a degree and our oldest is only going to a local junior college.  One thing I am not sure about is whether it's worthwhile to do FAFSA (haven't done it before).

I am opposed to doing it because A) too much of my private business out there makes me uncomfortable, B) I don't think we're going to get any financial aid because of husband's income level, our house is paid for and we only owe for our oldest's car, and C) I don't want to start getting 400 pieces of junk mail every day about stuff we have absolutely no interest in.

My daughter has done well in school, she's in NHS and is currently ranked #10 out of about 300 students.  Someone told me she wouldn't get ANY scholarships at all if we didn't fill out FAFSA, is this true?

If you can help I would really appreciate it and thanks for taking the time to read.

by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:14 PM
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Replies (1-10):
BrittanyBagford
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Pretty much everyone who goes to college applies for the FASFA no matter what. Yes you should definently do it. What it does is asks you all your tax info from the previous year, you fill everything out and once it's done it gives you an EFC (expected family contribution) this is the amount the govt. expects you to contribute to her education. All the colleges she applies for will use the EFC amount to determine how much pell grant (free money you don't pay back) and other grants and/or scholarships. Also by filling out the FASFA you will find out how much student loan money she can apply for. Obviously you have to pay that money back. You don't start paying on that until 6 months after she graduates or quits school. You will not get junk mail or anything. And don't worry about "putting all your business" out there because your giving this info directly to the govt. They can get this info anyways it just goes off of your previous year's taxes.

You should absolutely do the FASFA. Let me know if you have any more ???'s

JennRN09
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:21 PM

I would definitely fill out the Fasfa-the most they can say is that you don't qualify for anything. As for the junk mail, I have filled it out for the past 5 years and never recieved junk mail. It goes to the federal government. It will tell you what your EFC (expected family contribution) towards her education.

 

When she goes to college, the financial aid office will need it. **most** colleges request that you fill this out. On the last page it will ask what colleges she is applying for and they will send that information that they have calculated to those schools. Some scholarships are from outside organizations-she can still get those as long as she applies for them through whatever process is asked by that organization.

I know that the FASFA sees if you qualify for the Pell grant, some instructional grants, and can factor in stafford loans.

I

bg26
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:24 PM

You DO NOT need to fill out a FAFSA form to apply for scholarships. You said she is a junior? This will give her plenty off time to sit on the computer looking up scholarship applications. Talk to her guidance counselor, check out books from the library. You can have her first year of college paid for with scholarships alone. It is work, but maybe then it will give her more incentive to do her VERY best in college. Plus, she won't be starting her adult life already in debt. 

3timesoccermom
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:25 PM

These answers are very helpful ladies.  Thank you - so glad I posted here.  I know we won't qualify for grants - there are far too many people who need it much more than we do.  I figured the only opportunity she might have for scholarships is on merit.  I didn't realize I'd have to do FAFSA for her to be considered for those. 

Amberfire82
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:27 PM

I would do it, even if you don't qualify for grants you will qualify for govt backed loans (stafford loans, etc) that are MUCH better than private loans because they are not based on your credit score, you have a low set interest rate that cannot change, and you have more time to pay them back. If it wasn't for govt loans I would never have been able to finish college - its expensive and I went to a public university, private colleges and universities are usually at least twice what a public is.




deedee1324
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:28 PM

i actaully just did mine yesterday. all they want is taxes to see if you qualify. and if you dont wanna do it you can go to the school and see a financial aid advior and they can help you out. theres also this site fastweb.com its full of schoarships she can sign up for.

JennRN09
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:29 PM

 

I just wanted to add that there are scholarships that are given to students without the fasfa. I know that krogers sometimes gives them out, and other companies. They have their own application process. I would call her **potential** schools and see if they can send you a list of available scholarships.


 

Quoting 3timesoccermom:

These answers are very helpful ladies.  Thank you - so glad I posted here.  I know we won't qualify for grants - there are far too many people who need it much more than we do.  I figured the only opportunity she might have for scholarships is on merit.  I didn't realize I'd have to do FAFSA for her to be considered for those. 


BrittanyBagford
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Oh also, for scholarships offered through the state/govt. she WILL need to fill out the FASFA, but from the school or organizations she will not. Usually those scholarships will give you a packet to fill out and want you to write essay's and stuff like that. But I was part of NHS and graduated with honors which it sound like your daughter will too and I having an honors diploma automatically qualifies you for this new scholarship it's only like $700 a year a think but it still helps a lot so for that fact alone  you should fill out the FASFA.

Since she's a Junior you really don't need to fill out the FASFA yet... For instance if she starts college FAll of 2010 you'll fill out the FASFA sometime in Feb. or March of 2010 once you have your taxes done. FASFA info only lasts a year so in 2011 she would fill it out again using 2010's tax info....make sense?

3timesoccermom
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Yes, thank you and thanks to all of you.

Quoting BrittanyBagford:

Oh also, for scholarships offered through the state/govt. she WILL need to fill out the FASFA, but from the school or organizations she will not. Usually those scholarships will give you a packet to fill out and want you to write essay's and stuff like that. But I was part of NHS and graduated with honors which it sound like your daughter will too and I having an honors diploma automatically qualifies you for this new scholarship it's only like $700 a year a think but it still helps a lot so for that fact alone  you should fill out the FASFA.

Since she's a Junior you really don't need to fill out the FASFA yet... For instance if she starts college FAll of 2010 you'll fill out the FASFA sometime in Feb. or March of 2010 once you have your taxes done. FASFA info only lasts a year so in 2011 she would fill it out again using 2010's tax info....make sense?


TiredMommy6906
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Even if you don't think you'll qualify for grants, you may be able to anyway. Some grants are not focused on financial need, but they may be focused on other things. What the schools uses for the FAFSA is they figure out what going to school should cost per year (For me, it's 21,000 a year). Then, the school subtracts what the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) from the expected cost per year. The school then helps you find ways to pay for the rest, whether its through grants, loans, or scholarships. The school will not help at all, if she has not completed the FAFSA. This should also be something you consider with your other daughter, because you could get financial help with her too, whether through scholarships or grants. It's a very easy way to get free money to help with school and other living expenses.  

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