Q: I am a new college student, and have just received my federal financial aid package for the first time. I am just wondering if I will receive the same amount in federal student loans every year, or if the amount could change when I apply again next year?
A: A student’s financial need for federal financial aid for college is re-evaluated each year, so your financial aid award package could change, however it could also remain the same. This is why each academic year, a student is required to complete FAFSA if they are in need of federal financial aid for college. Your actual financial aid award package each year will be based on the new information that you submit on your FAFSA, as well as the availability of different financial aid funds and programs. In addition, federal and state governments may also occasionally change certain financial aid programs, which could cause students federal and state financial aid amounts to change as well. Aside from the above, there may also be some additional personal factors that can affect a student’s financial aid from one year to the next:
1. Circumstances occur and you now have more or less financial need than you did the previous year.
2. A sibling graduates college and is no longer eligible to be counted as a part of your parent’s household.
3. Your family’s income increases or decreases from the previous year.
4. A sibling enrolls in college.