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Everything You Need to Know About FAFSA


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How to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), from Darryl Young and the 15K Degrees Initiative in Louisville, KY (

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Everything You Need to Know About FAFSA

  1. 1. Darryl Young Outreach Coordinator 15K Degrees Initiative
  2. 2.  ‘FAFSA’ is an acronym that stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  3. 3.  Anyone who wants financial aid for college will need to fill out the FAFSA. The application is used to determine the dollar amount you or your family will be expected to contribute towards college. All federal grant and loan awards are determined by the FAFSA, and nearly all colleges and universities use the FAFSA as the basis for their own financial aid awards.
  4. 4.  The application can be downloaded and printed or filled out electronically at Because filers are given their results immediately after filing on line, as well as notifies on errors while completing, online submission is the recommended method.
  5. 5. The following information is required for the FAFSA:  Information about the student  Information about the student’s dependency status  Information about the student’s parents  Information about the student’s finances  A list of the schools that should receive the results of the FAFSA
  6. 6.         A Pin Number(you’ll create one on the FASFA website using your social security number) Your most recent income tax return (or your parents' return if you are a dependent) Your current bank statements Your current investment records (if any) Records of any untaxed income you may have received Your Driver's License (if you have one) Your Social Security Number If you are not a U.S. citizen: your registration or permanent resident card
  7. 7.    The FAFSA is available to complete every year on Jan. 1st The deadline to complete varies from state to state. In Kentucky, state funding is provided on a first come, first serve basis until funds are exhausted. The deadline for federal funding is June 30th.
  8. 8.       Academic Year- This is the amount of the academic work you must complete each year, and the time period in which you are expected to complete it, as defined by your school. Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)- Your or your family's wages, salaries, interest, dividends, etc., minus certain deductions from income as reported on a federal income tax return. College Aid Financial aid from your college or career school. Consolidation The process of combining one or more loans into a single new loan. Cost of Attendance (COA)- The total amount it will cost you to go to school— usually stated as a yearly figure. COA includes tuition and fees; room and board (or a housing and food allowance); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and dependent care. It also includes miscellaneous and personal expenses, including an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer; costs related to a disability; and reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs. Default-Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note. For most federal student loans, you will default if you have not made a payment in more than 270 days. You may experience serious legal consequences if you default.
  9. 9.         Default Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note. For most federal student loans, you will default if you have not made a payment in more than 270 days. You may experience serious legal consequences if you default. Deferment-A postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest does not accrue on Direct Subsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. Expected Family Contribution (EFC)- This is the number that’s used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. This number results from the financial information you provide in your FAFSA. Financial Need- The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend. Grant-Financial aid, often based on financial need, that does not need to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund). Interest Rate The percentage at which interest is calculated on your loan(s). Lender The organization that made the loan initially; the lender could be the borrower's school; a bank, credit union, or other lending institution; or the U.S. Department of Education. Master Promissory Note- A binding legal document that you must sign when you get a federal student loan. The MPN can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years).
  10. 10.        Need-based- Based on a student's financial need. Example: A need-based grant might be awarded based on a student's low income. Net Price- An estimate of the actual cost that a student and his family need to pay in a given year to cover education expenses for the student to attend a particular school. Net price is determined by taking the institution's cost of attendance and subtracting any grants and scholarships for which the student may be eligible. Out-of-state Student- A student who is attending a college or career school outside of his or her state of legal residence. Room and Board- An allowance for the cost of housing and food while attending college or career school. Satisfactory Academic Progress - A school’s standards for satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate offered by that institution. Check with your school to find out its standards. TRIO Program-outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, firstgeneration college students, and individuals with disabilities. Verification The process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. Your school has the authority to contact you for documentation that supports income and other information that you reported.
  11. 11.      Federal Pell Grant- Determined by your calculated need, cost of school attendance, etc. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant(FSEOG) – for students with extreme financial need. TEACH Grant- awarded to students who agree to teach in a high demand field in a low income area for a specified amount of time. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Awards- for students who have had a parent or guardian pass in service in Iraq or Afghanistan and are not eligible for a Pell Grant. Work-Study- part time jobs that provide tuition reimbursement. WorkStudy jobs are usually on campus and are usually related to the students area of study.
  12. 12. Direct Subsidized Loan- Available to undergraduate students with demonstrated need. Your school determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan: ○ while you’re in school at least half-time, ○ for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and ○ during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments). 
  13. 13.  Direct Unsubsidized Loan- available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive. You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
  14. 14.    Federal Perkins Loan- Loans made through the Federal Perkins Loan Program, often called Perkins Loans, are low-interest federal student loans for undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. Perkins Loans are available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with exceptional financial need. Interest rates for this loan are 5%. Your school is the lender; you will make your payments to the school that made your loan or your school’s loan servicer. Not all schools offer Perkins Loans, you will have to check with the school’s financial aid office to see if they are offered.
  15. 15. Q) How much money is available this year in aid? A) $150 Billion will be awarded in aid this year. Q) How many times do I feel out the FAFSA? A) You complete the FAFSA every academic year you are in school for. Q) Can I complete the FAFSA if my parents haven’t filed there taxes yes? A) Yes, you can select ‘will file later’, estimate your income, and go back and correct the information at a later date(make sure it’s before the dead line.) Q) Is the EFC the amount I have to pay to go to school? A) EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. Think of the EFC as an index number used by your college to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.
  16. 16. Q) How many schools can I select to send my FAFSA information to for free? A) 10 Q) Can I make changes to my FAFSA after it’s been submitted? A) Yes, you can access your FAFSA application any time after you submit it, just make sure to keep up with your assigned Pin number. Q) I’ve been convicted of a felony, does that disqualify me from receiving financial aid? A) Not necessarily. Go to 20Worksheet.pdf and complete the worksheet which will help you determine your eligibility. Q) Is there an income cut off for federal aid? A) While institutions and state funding may limit potential aid based on income, there is no cut off number that disqualifies you from federal aid. Q) Can someone be too old to receive financial aid? A) No, anyone, regardless of age, is eligible for financial aid.
  17. 17.     (explains different forms of financial aid and eligibility requirements) =e1s1 (explains options for paying for college) (scholarship website) (provides information and resources about college)