Why Some People Do Not File the FAFSA | 10.13.09
One of the most common statements I hear from my college friends is that their parents never let them fill out a FAFSA. This is a frequent and sometimes costly mistake that students and their parents make when financially planning for college. The following are a few of the main reasons why people do not file the FAFSA and why you should not fall into the same trap.
Reason #1: I will not be eligible for financial aid.
According the Department of Education, approximately 1.5 million students who would be eligible for the Pell Grant do not complete the FAFSA. Could you be one of these people? The only way to even be considered for Pell Grants, Perkins Loans and Stafford loans is by filling out a FAFSA. Additionally, many colleges offer other kinds of financial aid that is not need based, but you still might need to submit a FAFSA to qualify. Some of these scholarships and grant programs are strictly designed for students who have been denied federal aid.
Reason #2: My parents do not want to disclose personal financial information.
This is probably the excuse I hear most often. The good news is that the information that you submit with your FAFSA is strictly confidential. Only a handful of people ever see the information. Try to be proactive in helping your parents understand the benefits.
Reason #3: The FAFSA is long and complicated. Filling it out will not be worth my time.
Although the FAFSA involves gathering a lot of information and can take a significant amount of time you should not dismiss it. College is going to be hard so the FAFSA will be good practice! In all seriousness, the FAFSA is free so why not take a couple of hours to talk to your parents, gather the necessary information, and fill out the form online. You could find out that you are eligible for a lot of financial aid. Also, changes are coming for FAFSA in 2010 so it will be shorter and more manageable than it was before.
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