5 Commonly Asked FAFSA Questions

1. When I apply for FAFSA and receive funds, will I have to repay all of the money I receive?

A: This will depend on what type of federal financial aid you receive. There are 3 basic types of federal financial aid for college: federal student loans, federal grants, and federal work-study. If you are awarded money from federal grants, such as the Pell Grant, or earn money through a federal work-study program, you will not be required to repay these funds. If you are awarded money from FAFSA in the form of federal student loans, you will need to repay the amount awarded through these loans with interest (unless the loans are subsidized).

2. How many times per year do I apply for FAFSA?

A: Students only need to apply for FAFSA once per academic year. You are not required to reapply to FAFSA each semester or quarter. It is always in the students best interest to apply as early as possible, as some federal financial aid is awarded to students on a first come, first serve basis.

3. Does it cost money to apply for FAFSA?

A: FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, so there are absolutely no costs associated with filing your FAFSA. Students should be cautious about any company or organization that approaches them offering to complete their FAFSA for a fee. Individuals can easily complete their FAFSA online, and utilize the Frequently Asked Questions section on the FAFSA website, or utilize the FAFSA phone number for any help or assistance they may need.

4. Am I required to apply for FAFSA?

A: No, students are not required to complete a FAFSA. You only need to file a FAFSA if you would like to be considered for federal financial aid for college. However, if you do apply for FAFSA, you are not required to accept any of the award amounts offered, so it may be in your best interest to complete a FAFSA to see if you may qualify for a Federal Grant, which is free money for college that never needs to be repaid.

5. How can I get more money from FAFSA?

A: The amount a student is awarded in federal financial aid is based upon their calculated financial need. While there are some things a student or student’s parents can do to make certain they are “maximizing” their chances to receive all of the federal financial aid they are eligible for, there are few legal tactics one can employee to significantly increase the amount of federal financial aid they are eligible for. For more in-depth information on the topic of maximizing your federal financial aid for college, read: How Can I Get More Money From FAFSA

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By , College Financial Aid Editor and lead college financial aid contributor to CollegeWhale.com.

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