Just about everyone is eligible for federal student aid of some kind, but not everyone knows it. Many people mistakenly think they won’t qualify because they’re too old, their credit isn’t good enough, they make too much money or a dozen other reasons. Before you miss out on money that could help pay for college, get the facts:
- It all starts with the FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) puts you in the running for all kinds of programs including federal grants, student loans and some state and school-based aid.
- There’s no age limit to apply. One big misnomer is that federal student aid only goes to students coming out of high school. Not so. There’s no age limit to apply, so whether you’re 18 and living with your parents or you’re 38 with kids of your own, federal student aid could be in your future.
- Timing matters. You can submit your FAFSA on studentaid.gov starting October 1. Federal financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so the sooner you submit your application, the better your chances.
- Applying is free! Forget what you may have read or heard about paid services that can help you fill out the form and secure more financial aid. The only official online FAFSA form is at studentaid.gov. Application is free and there are plenty of free resources online to help you.
- You don’t have to pass a credit check. No worries if your credit score is not where you’d like it to be. Credit scores are not considered for most federal student aid programs, including student loans.
- Not all aid is based on need. If your family’s income is too high, you might not qualify for federal grants or certain other programs, but you should still submit your FAFSA. You could be considered for federal student loans.
- It’s not as hard as it seems. Completing the FAFSA has a reputation for being time-consuming, confusing and stressful. The truth is, if you have everything you need, including your tax information, bank statements, driver’s license and Social Security card, you’ll be done is as little as 30 minutes.
The U.S. Department of Education awards more than $120 billion a year in grants, work-study funds and low-interest loans to about 13 million students. Now that you have the facts, isn’t it time to go to studentaid.gov and apply for your share?
Click here to learn more about Federal Student Aid for Adult Students (view PDF)
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