2023-2024 FAFSA ANNOUNCEMENT:
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a form that helps the government figure out how much financial aid you qualify for, including grants, work-study, and loans.
The 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) includes unprecedented changes to how students and families apply for federal student aid and how we determine eligibility, giving students a better and simpler experience with the FAFSA form. The 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available in December of 2023.
A few reminders about completing the FAFSA:
1. It is mandatory for any student attending college in the United States and they need federal aid to pay their college expenses.
2. The FAFSA is an informational tool, which community colleges/trade schools/universities use to award money to students. Once the FAFSA is completed, the FINANCIAL AID OFFICE at the school a student is attending, puts together an award letter which gives the specifics of how much money has been awarded to the student.
3. Please be advised that your student needs to sit down with you and look at the cost of the school they want to attend.
For example, SAU in Magnolia costs around $15,683 if the student is staying on campus. That is $7841.50 a semester. A full pell grant, if awarded is $6495. That is $3247.50 a semester. A freshman can only receive $5500 in student loans. That is $2750 a semester. With a pell grant and a student loan, that is $5997.50.
A student is still $1844.00 short of what they need to pay for school. In some cases, if a parent plus loan is applied for, a student can receive an addition $2000 if the parent plus loan is declined. If the parent plus loan is approved, then the parent now owes the $1844.
4. A student is not considered independent unless they can answer "YES" to one or more of the following questions:
Will you be 24 or older by Jan. 1 of the school year for which you are applying for financial aid?
Are you married or separated but not divorced?
Will you be working toward a master’s or doctorate degree (such as M.A., MBA, M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.)?
Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
Do you have dependents (other than children or a spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you?
Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training?
Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?
At any time since you turned age 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward or dependent of the court?
Are you an emancipated minor or are you in a legal guardianship as determined by a court?
Are you an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
Therefore, even if a student has a full time job and his/her own apartment, he/she cannot claim independent status unless they can answer yes to one of the above mentioned questions. Financial aid offices do ask for proof of independency.