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How Do I Qualify for Federal Financial Aid?. By Filing FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) NEVER PAY TO FILE FAFSA : IT IS ALWAYS FREE Created By Lue Healy, Effingham County High School. Why Do I Need to file FAFSA?.

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How do i qualify for federal financial aid

How Do I Qualify for Federal Financial Aid?

By Filing


(Free Application for

Federal Student Aid)


Created By Lue Healy, Effingham County High School

Why do i need to file fafsa
Why Do I Need to file FAFSA?

  • While you may get some scholarships from the college you apply to (these scholarships are very selective), or national or local scholarship programs, MOST of the financial help that MOST students receive comes as a result of filing the FAFSA application.

What is fafsa
What isFAFSA

  • FAFSAis an acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid

  • FAFSA uses yours and your parents’ information (income, number of dependents, assets) to determine whether or not you may qualify for federal grants, loans, or work study programs to help pay for college.

What kind of help could i get as a result of filing a fafsa
What Kind of Help Could I get As a Result of Filing a FAFSA?

If you are determined to be eligible for Federal Aid by filing FAFSA, you may be eligible to receive:

  • Pell Grant (from $400 to about $5,350per year)

  • Work Study – job on campus through federally funded program

  • Subsidized federal loans – where interest rates are low and the loan does not accumulate interest while you are in college

How do i file fafsa
How do I file FAFSA?

  • You will need to file FAFSA electronically! In years past many students filed by paper but this system does not work well. Remember to never use any site but

  • Some sites will charge you a fee but




    FAFSA is FREE!

First step in filing fafsa get a pin number
First step in Filing FAFSA: Get a PIN Number

  • First step in filing FAFSA: get a PIN Number. You will need a PIN number and your parent will also need a PIN number.

What is a pin number

  • Remember that a PIN number is a Personal Identification Number. This tells the federal government that “this is me.” Go to to get your PIN number. If your parent already has a PIN number, they can use the same PIN for themselves that they used when a brother or sister filed. YOU need your own PIN number

I have my pin number what next
I have my PIN number! What next?

  • Gather yourand your parents’ 2012 tax information

  • Gather records of untaxed income such as veteran’s benefits

  • Get a copy of the FAFSA worksheet from your counselor or advisor (we will get these in February or you can download one from the FAFSA website)

What is a fafsa worksheet
What is a FAFSA Worksheet

  • The FAFSA worksheet has the same questions in the SAME format as the real questions on the online FAFSA form,.

  • Think of your FAFSA worksheet like a study guide you have for a school class. Once you have filled it out, you’ll know all the answers to all the questions that you might be asked on the real FAFSA!

After i fill out the fafsa worksheet what do i do
After I fill out the FAFSA worksheet, what do I do

  • Go online to the FAFSA website and enter your information from the FAFSA worksheet.

  • Sign with your PIN number and have your parent sign with their PIN number.

  • Click the Submit button

I have questions and need help

  • Online help – when you go to the “Help” buttons on every part of the online application will take you to more help. You can also click the “Live Help” button to chat with a customer service representative directly online between 8 AM and midnight Eastern time.

Help by phone for your questions
Help by phone for your questions!

  • Phone Help - For toll-free help between 8 AM and midnight Eastern time call 1-800-433-3243

  • This is a great way to get help because they can look at the same application online that you are looking at!

I want my questions answered in person
I want my questions answered in Person!

  • You can see your counselor and if we do not know the answers to your questions, we can put you in touch with someone at Georgia Student Finance Commission that can help!

Do i have to use my parent s tax information when i file fafsa
Do I have to Use My Parent’s Tax Information When I file FAFSA?


(However in about 99% of the cases, a high school student will need to report parental income. )

Irs data retrieval tool for fafsa
IRS Data Retrieval Tool for FAFSA FAFSA?

  • Helps by allowing you to pull specific tax data right from IRS.

  • Electronically filed tax info will be available on the IRS site about 2 weeks after return has been filed.

  • Data from paper returns will be available in 6-8 weeks.

IF I Put my Parents’ Income on the FAFSA form, does that mean my parents have to pay for my college expenses?


If my parents don t plan to pay why do i have to report their income
If my parents don’t plan to pay, mean my parents have to pay for my college expenses?WHY do I have to report their income?

The federal government cannot assume responsibility for helping everyone. While your parents don’t HAVE to help you with college expenses, the government still considers you their child and takes their income into consideration when figuring how much help you need for college.

Many students say
Many students say, mean my parents have to pay for my college expenses?

  • “I do not need to report my parents’ income because I am going to be EMANCIPATED”


WRONG! mean my parents have to pay for my college expenses?

It is quite difficult to be considered independent for financial aid purposes even if you are emancipated!

Emancipated does not equal independent for financial aid purposes
Emancipated does not equal Independent for Financial Aid Purposes

  • You CANNOT declare yourself independent for financial aid purpose:

  • FAFSA (nor a governmental agency) does not declare you independent

  • EACH college will make that determination. One may declare you independent while another does not. Contact your college for info if you feel you qualify.

Answer these questions
Answer these questions? Purposes

  • Were you born before Jan. 1. 1990?

  • Are you married?

  • At the beginning of the 2013-14 school year will you be working on a master’s or doctorate?

  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?

  • Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?

  • Do you have children that receive more than half of their support from you?

Answer these questions1
Answer these questions? Purposes

  • Since turning age 13, are both of your parents deceased?

  • Since turning age 13, have you been in foster care?

  • Do you have dependents (other than children or your spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you?

  • Since turning age 13, were you a dependent or ward of the court?

Answer these questions2
Answer these questions? Purposes

  • Are you currently an emancipated minor?

  • Are you currently or have you been in legal guardianship ordered by court?

  • Have you been declared homeless or at risk of being homeless by the local or federal government?

Independent? Purposes

Did you answer “yes” to any of these questions?

If so, you are considered an independent student!

If you answered “no” to every question, then for financial aid purposes, you must provide your parent’s information if you want to be considered for financial aid.

My parents are divorced whose tax returns do i use
My parents are divorced. Purposes Whose tax returns do I use?

  • You should use the parent’s tax return that you have lived with the MOST in the past twelve months!

  • If you live with both parents equally, use the return of the parent who has provided the most financial support in the past year

What if my parent has remarried do i have to report my step parent s income
What if my parent has remarried, do I have to report my step-parent’s income?


While this does not mean that your step-parent has to give you any financial assistance, his or her income gives significant information about the family’s total financial picture.

What if my parents are not living or I live in foster care or what if someone other than my parents have legal custody of me?

  • See your counselor!

  • You may be able to file independently

  • You may be eligible to apply for several programs that could assist with housing and other costs for college!

What if my parents have been intentionally evading filing or paying taxes – is there any way I can file FAFSA or get Federal Aid?

  • Probably not.. But do see your counselor or contact the College Financial Aid Administrator to see if there are any circumstances that can be considered in the situation – it will remain confidential

What if my parents make so little money that they are not required to file taxes
What if my parents make so little money that they are not required to file taxes?

  • See your counselor or contact the FAFSA personnel and see how to fill out the FAFSA form…this is a situation that happens quite frequently. Because everyone has to have some source of income in order to live, they will simply have to document their sources of income on the FAFSA form.

What if my parents won t have their taxes complete until after the priority filing deadline
What if my parents won’t have their taxes complete until after the priority filing deadline?

  • That’s OK – they can file using last year’s tax information. Later,go back into the FAFSA site and then you can update their information once they file their taxes. This is much preferable to being late filing FAFSA! Using last year’s income almost ALWAYS causes a student to go through the Verification process.

What is a priority deadline for fafsa what does that mean
What is a priority deadline for FAFSA? What does that mean? after the priority filing deadline?

  • Each college has a priority deadline for filing for financial aid. If a student files by that date, he/she can be assured that his/her financial aid package will be processed before school begins. The date is different for each college so look on the college website!

What if one or both of my parents have lost their jobs
What if one (or both) of my parents have lost their jobs? after the priority filing deadline?

You need to file FAFSA and then contact your FAA (Financial Aid Administrator) at your college to discuss any adjustments that might be made in your financial aid package!

What happens after i file fafsa
What happens after I FILE FAFSA? after the priority filing deadline?

  • You will receive an email with your SAR (student aid report)

  • You will find out your EFC. Your EFC is expected family contribution. This number is the amount that the government uses to determine your financial aid eligibility.

My college says i have been chosen for verification
My college says I have been chosen after the priority filing deadline?for Verification?

  • About 13 % of students are selected for verification.

  • Verification is done so that the government can verify that the information you submitted on FAFSA is correct.

  • Submit the tax returns and other requested information to your college financial aid office as soon as possible so that the financial aid process can proceed.

Is it possible to not receive any federal aid
IS IT POSSIBLE TO after the priority filing deadline?NOT RECEIVE ANY FEDERAL AID?

  • YES! The whole purpose of filing FAFSA is to see if you can qualify. Many things like income, age of parents, number of children in college, etc. effect the help you might potentially receive. If family income is too great, you will not receive federal aid. But you will NEVER KNOW unless you file.

What is a financial aid package
What is a after the priority filing deadline?financial aid package?

  • After you file FAFSA, every school that you apply to will send you a financial aid package. This is a list that tells you how much money you will receive in grants, loans, scholarships, and federal work study.

I am ready to file how soon can i file fafsa
I am ready to file! after the priority filing deadline?How soon can I file FAFSA?

  • YOU CANNOT FILE FAFSA until after January 1, 2013 because you will need to use this year’s 2012tax returns. File as soon as possible after Jan 1.

I have questions
I HAVE QUESTIONS! after the priority filing deadline?

  • You can find most of this information on the white sheet you will be given during later advisement sessions.

  • Call FAFSA – numbers on white sheet

  • See your counselor!

  • See the ECHS Counselor website

  • We can email this PowerPoint if you would like!