Answering Your Financial Aid Questions
I’ve been asking visitors to my college blog and Facebook page this week to send me questions regarding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.
I am sharing some of their questions and my answers today because I know other people are just as puzzled about aspects of these two financial aid applications.
If you have a financial aid question, please use the comment box below or head over to my Facebook page and ask there.
Please list any benefits to filling out the FASFA if a family’s expected family contribution is very high.
If your EFC is very high, the reason to file would be to gain access to federal college loans. The federal Stafford Loan is only available to students who complete the FAFSA. A child also can’t get a work-study job on campus without completing the FAFSA.
What’s more, if a student applies to a very expensive school, a wealthy child might still qualify for need-based aid if the EFC is lower than the cost of attendance. And wealthy families can sometimes qualify for need-based aid if more than one child is in college simultaneously. That’s because your Expected Family Contribution for each child will drop roughly 50% via the FAFSA methodology and about 30% for the PROFILE methodology.
My ex and I were supposed to be divorced by Dec. 31. Long story short, the judge didn’t sign the papers by the end of the year. So now I have to file as married filing separately, which will go to the FASFA. The ex won’t be assisting with college tuition. Will colleges still require that his tax return be part of the FASFA?
Your marital status on the last day of 2012 won’t matter. You will be asked to state your marital status as of the day that you submit the FAFSA in 2013. Check out my previous post on divorce and financial aid: Divorce and Financial Aid
How is a separated couple treated for financial aid purposes?
When completing the FAFSA, separated couples should use the rules applying to divorced. Here is what the federal government says about separated couples and common-law couples:
We saved and saved and actually have $ for our child to go to the public school he was accepted to and the money is in our name. Is it worth filling out the FAFSA so he can get merit scholarships etc??
I don’t know of a single college or university that requires filing the FAFSA to qualify for merit money, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Just to be safe, I would ask the state university if merit scholarships are available without filing the FAFSA.
If I am considered to be a dislocated worker on the FAFSA, do I have to provide proof.
No you aren’t required to verify that you are a dislocated worker, which generally means that you were working, but are now unemployed. Not everyone who is receiving unemployment checks can be considered a dislocated worker. Typically those who quit their jobs are not considered dislocated workers, even if they do collect unemployment checks.