One of the most dreadful situations for a student is lack of sufficient school funds during a college application deadline period. Surprisingly unknown to most of these students, is the fact that the federal government allocates over $150 billion a year to help students pay their college fees.
Unfortunately, students are duped by many fallacies on financial aid qualification. Consequently, they resort to less appealing borrowing methods including credit cards or personal bank loans. Sometimes, students don’t have the credit history to be considered for bank loans or credit cards. Students who find themselves in this position have other options, for example, Title Loan Resource, offers students competitive rates.
Nonetheless, it is extremely important for these students to do ample research on the federal financial aid before unknowingly denying themselves a chance to benefit from this service.
Here are 5 common myths about financial aid that every student and parent ought to know.
You Do Not Deserve Financial Aid Because Your Family Makes Too Much Money
This may sound true and sensible, but the actual fact is- there is no income cut-off for federal student aid. Although there are types of financial aid exclusively directed towards poor families, there is also need-based aid for upper to middle class families.
Additionally, the eligibility criteria for financial aid aren’t entirely based on income only- there are other critical factors used to evaluate individual student’s qualification for financial aid. Case in point is the general Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)data which is collectively used by different states to determine whether you are qualified or not.
You Can Declare Yourself As An Independent Student
Students living alone and catering for their own bills could possibly assume that they are independent. While this could be true based on their definitions, the federal government disagrees. According to the government, an independent student is strictly defined as an adult student older than 24 years, financially responsible for a dependant, serving in the armed forces or married. Additionally, the federal government clearly states that parents are responsible for paying for the education of students who are less than 24 years old. Therefore, students under 24 can only be declared as dependants.
You Cannot Appeal Your Dependant Status
As earlier explained, it is not easy to qualify as an independent student. This however, shouldn’t limit you to the dependant status. You can actually appeal your status if you meet certain special requirements.
The United States Department of Education clearly states that students who have been unable to contact or locate their parents, are not adopted or are self-supporting and are aged between 21-24 years can appeal their dependency by meeting other special requirements. In such a case, a student should contact the school’s financial aid office to initiate a dependency ride process. Through this, one can successfully or unsuccessfully challenge their status. It should be noted though, that it is not easy to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that one’s parents’ financial information is missing.
Parents Must Be U.S. Citizens For Their Children To Receive Financial Aid
Non-citizen parents usually hesitate to give their information when their children fill the FAFSA form in fear of their children being denied aid. The federal government only denies financial aid to undocumented students and the parents’ citizenship has no effect on the decision making process. In fact, FAFSA doesn’t request for parents’ citizenship info. The only information sought is parents’ social security numbers, where parents can enter zeros in the event they don’t have one.
Missing Parent Information Means No Financial Aid
Students can in fact submit their application without their parents’ information. Although dependant students must submit their parent’s information, the online form allows them to skip the parent information section.
Students with missing parent information could alternatively receive aid in the form of unsubsidized Stafford or Perkins loans- a process which is largely determined by the schools respective applicants attend. It’s therefore advisable for students discuss their qualification prospects with their respective colleges as soon as they submit their FAFSA forms.
In conclusion, students and parents are advised to consistently check and review the federal government financial aid website for updates and more factual information.