Federal Aid for Students “Without Need” | 03.16.10

Posted in FAFSA, Financial Aid By Evan Jacobs

In my experience as a former college student, and seeing the individual cases of friends and peers going through the financial aid process, I saw that in some cases, the FAFSA doesn’t always tell a clear picture of a student’s financial situation. Often, parents’ income will dilute the amount of aid that a student would otherwise receive toward their education, regardless of the fact that the parents’ money may or may not be used to pay for their child’s schooling.

As a personal example, my parents owned a small business which technically makes a good amount of money on paper, but the reality is the net income is far less. Between paying salaries, benefits, building rent and fees, and other related costs, the profit was very slim compared to the revenue. Thus, when I would file my FAFSA each year, it would look like my family could afford a lot more than the reality of the situation.

Even if your family technically makes too much money, there are still two sources of federal financial aid that can be used toward your education: the unsubsidized Stafford loan and the Parent PLUS loan. If you have not read my blogs on federal Stafford loans or Parent PLUS loans, I recommend doing so because they contain a lot of useful information about the interest rates and other considerations.

In addition, I recommend pursuing scholarships and grants. StudentScholarshipSearch.com and ScholarshipPoints.com are excellent resources to find money for school that do not need to be paid back. Further, most of the scholarships are need-blind, meaning you don’t have to demonstrate financial need to qualify for them. After these methods, if you still have costs left over that need to be covered, you should consider a private student loan.

If you are in the situation of worrying about how to pay for school because of parental income throwing off your FAFSA, don’t stress yourself out too much. As listed above, there are a lot of different sources of funding for your education. I went through all four years of college working part-time and diligently planning out my financial aid to make sure I would be able to cover everything; it’s not easy, but getting financial aid “without need” is entirely doable.

ScholarshipPoints Redemption Code: NEEDAID2010

Image Credit to lovesteph83 on Flickr

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40 Responses to “Federal Aid for Students “Without Need””

  1. Ian says on May 11, 2010 at 2:27 am:

    I have received both subsidized and ubsubsidized Stafford loans, but this is only makes a small dent in what I need to pay for college. Thanks for the information.

    Reply To This Comment
  2. lacey says on May 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm:

    this is a great article. It gives me a little hope about my future.

    Reply To This Comment
  3. Martina says on May 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm:

    Thanks for the arcticle. It was very enlighted….It helps me to look at the bigger picture.

    Reply To This Comment
  4. bethany says on April 29, 2010 at 1:08 am:

    im going through this right now.. nowdays loans are hard period.

    Reply To This Comment
  5. Jrr says on April 28, 2010 at 8:12 pm:

    Thanks for the info…very helpful

    Reply To This Comment
  6. Al C. says on April 26, 2010 at 10:35 pm:

    I've been unemployed since last July. I started school last Winter to change careers. I applied for FAFSA and they told me that I made too much. My EPI was 95k+, but my current monthly income is 10% of what I made last year, I can barely afford my mortgage and living expenses. I'm trying to get approved as a special circumstances applicant, but that has me jumping through hoops.

    Thanks for the information.

    Reply To This Comment
  7. Jonathan says on April 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm:

    Thanks, it is very helpful.

    Reply To This Comment
  8. James II says on April 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm:

    Cool! Thanks for the tips; I will be sure to check out those options (and let my parents know).

    Reply To This Comment
  9. Mark says on April 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm:

    Scholarships based on merit are another way to get help paying for college. We found a lot of help athttp://www.how2winscholarships.com. Times are tough. I hope that helps someone. Mark

    Reply To This Comment
  10. sarah says on April 9, 2010 at 2:19 am:

    I have a friend whose family owns a business that will make anywhere from -75,000 to +400,000 per year. Financial aide applications can be a nightmare for people like that.

    Reply To This Comment
  11. shanika says on April 7, 2010 at 11:57 pm:

    I agree! although i never got financial aid before. but it really do seems hard to qualify.

    Reply To This Comment
  12. Guy Mendenhall says on April 4, 2010 at 5:55 am:

    I am a 64-year-old student at a State University who had to quit a 33 year career and started to work as a para educator in a local school district. Having always been thrust into a position to teach, I want to finish my education and become a credentialed California teacher. With occasional part-time work during the day, I am living on a reduced income from my Social Security and some Unemployment Compensation and attending classes at night, weekends and online. It looks like I'm making BANK with a joint spousal income of 44K. But that is not so. With the rising costs of tuition, I have to paddle hard to stay afloat but I won't let this opportunity fly away.

    Reply To This Comment
  13. tammy says on April 3, 2010 at 12:25 am:

    very good ideas, thank it this was very helpful

    Reply To This Comment
  14. Nadeje says on March 28, 2010 at 6:17 pm:

    I missed eligibility of a Pell Grant by $2000 and only one of my parents are currently working! I've lost track of how many scholarships I've applied for and I've only been a semifinalist for only ONE…I'm a very good student.I just wish I could get some help because I want to go back to hometown in Miami to pursue my dream college education. However I will not give up because I know everything would work out for me.

    Reply To This Comment
  15. manjot kaur says on March 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm:

    thts soo true…:)

    Reply To This Comment
  16. angel says on March 19, 2010 at 8:07 am:

    i can completely relate to this article. I just dont like it when scholarships I would really want to apply to require financial need bc then I cant apply to them since they wd ask for financial data…which speaks volumes of nada for those in my shoes

    Reply To This Comment
    • Evan Jacobs says on March 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm:

      @Angel – It can definitely be very irritating. Have you checked out StudentScholarshipSearch.com? It's got millions of dollars of scholarships listed in the search engine.

      Reply To This Comment
  17. Vanessa says on March 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm:

    Yes, my parents look like they make enough money to but my sister and I through college at the same time, however, my parents don’t because we have too much debt so we’re barely making it as is. No scholarships have come my way either.

    Reply To This Comment
  18. Michelle says on March 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm:

    I feel it too. I don’t qualify for any assistant because of my parents make “too much ” money and I haven’t receive any scholarships yet. I have looked everywhere including that stupid fastweb stuff :[

    Reply To This Comment
  19. Chelsi says on March 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm:

    I do not qualify for any kind of financial aid because of my parents income. FAFSA states that I should recieve $11,000 from my parents but they haven't even been able to afford $100. It is hard to find scholarships when you weren't at the top of you class and doing community service every second of your high school career. Also, not attending college right after high school and waiting a few years disqualifies you for many scholarships, I have found.

    Reply To This Comment
    • Evan Jacobs says on March 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm:

      I would advise checking out one of these two sites for scholarships: StudentScholarshipSearch.com and ScholarshipPoints.com

      Reply To This Comment
  20. Yolanda says on March 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm:

    I've applying for all type of scholarships to get of this little town i'm in and make something of myself instead of being in jail or dead

    Reply To This Comment
    • Evan Jacobs says on March 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm:

      @Yolanda – Having drive is very important in life. It sounds like you definitely have your priorities straight, and I admire that.

      Check out ScholarshipPoints.com and StudentScholarshipSearch.com too if you haven't already; they're great resources for free money for school :-)

      Reply To This Comment
  21. Melissa says on March 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm:

    This is so true! I felt like you had to live in a shack under a bridge in order to qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA! For my first two years of college, I didn't qualify using my parents' income (which wasn't all that good). Once I was able to file as independent, I finally received some financial aid.

    Reply To This Comment
  22. maira says on March 17, 2010 at 2:08 am:

    It is my first time getting Financial aid and i hope to receive more than then the minimum inorder to pay for my tuition as a Medical assistant

    Reply To This Comment
  23. mary says on March 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm:

    basically i get little amount financial aid. And I've never got a scholarship/ No matter what I do. Anyways i'll keep trying because its hard for me to pay for my education.

    Reply To This Comment
  24. Claire says on March 17, 2010 at 12:47 am:

    I understand to an extent. I've had friends who have had parents who seem to earn a lot of money, but can't pay tuition because they have other debts that aren't reflected in the financial aid process. In the other hand, I've known people who really have no need for any kind of scholarship, but they get it.

    Reply To This Comment
  25. Betty says on March 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm:

    me too – no scholarship money
    But would be a great help if I did!!!

    Reply To This Comment
    • Evan Jacobs says on March 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm:

      @Betty – Have you checked out ScholarshipPoints.com or StudentScholarshipSearch.com? They're pretty awesome resources for scholarship money.

      Reply To This Comment

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