FACT: You shouldn’t automatically assume that you won’t qualify for need-based financial aid such as federal grants. How much income your family earn is only one part of the equation. The number of family members in college, medical expenses, and many other factors are also considered when determining your eligibility for financial aid.
What also matters is the price of a particular college. For example, some families that don’t qualify for need-based financial aid at moderately priced state schools may be eligible for a considerable amount of need-based financial aid at pricey universities, even if your family’s income exceed $100,000.
So, even if you think your family’s income is too high for you to qualify for financial aid, you should still fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as soon as possible after January 1. Remember, the FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid such as need-based grants, work-study and federal student loans. Your family’s income is not a factor when a school decides if a you qualify for a federal unsubsidized Stafford loan.
One more reason to fill out the FAFSA is that… Some schools will not consider you for their college’s grants and scholarships nor state-sponsored financial aid unless you completed the FAFSA.
Even if you’re doubtful about your eligibility for financial aid, applying doesn’t hurt. You never know — you could get some help to pay for your college education. All families are encouraged to complete the FAFSA and any financial aid and scholarship applications that you are eligible to apply for. You just never know what you may qualify for.