Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Fafsa

May 9, 2013

Mary asks…

How do I use my Fafsa to pay for registration?

I’m going to register for my classes tomorrow. I applied for fafsa and it said I could recieve a $5000 grant. I havn’t recieved any money from it and I think I have to pay fees tomorrow but I’m broke.. Does the Fafsa info just automatically go to the school to which I’m applying to? Do I have to pay right then and there or just before the semester starts? (Semester starts in a few weeks and its a community college btw) thanks.

Administrator answers:

You ARE NOT too late! If you already filled out your FAFSA for the 2012-2013 fiscal year & it said that you could receive a $5000 grant then all you need to do is go to your selected school & take testing so you can register for classes. I’m a student right now & when I log into my school email account, there is an announcement on the board that says “Haven’t filled out the FAFSA for Spring 2012? It’s not too late!”. The school will be able to pull up the info that you submitted on your FAFSA; the school does not get paid the grant money until after the add/drop period, which is usually 2-3 weeks after class starts. Contact admissions &/or the financial aid office; they’ll tell you what steps to take. You should be able to enroll.

Lizzie asks…

How does FAFSA figure the financial aid you should receive?

I just completed my FAFSA. I’ve lived on my own for two years but I still need my parents tax information, which I think is ridiculous. Does anybody know how they figure what you are able to receive in financial aid?
Well, I’ve already done all this. I’ve done my parents tax information, and mine. I just don’t understand how they assume that if you’re under 25, you still need your parents tax information.

Administrator answers:

The dependency requirements were decided on by Congress when they originally built the financial aid model. They believe that parents have a responsibility toward helping their children attain their first degree. That is why it is ridiculous. Ridiculous to think that your parents should help! I agree it does hurt a small faction of students though where the parents are ridiculous and refuse to cooperate with the FAFSA information.

Anyhow. The FAFSA collects information about your family size, number of people attending college, income earned and investment values and spits out a number called the EFC (Estimated Family Contribution). This is the number that decides whether you are Pell grant eligible, and is used by the Aid office to determine your overall need and awards. I’m not going to get into the formula… It makes my head hurt and its been a long week.

Give your Aid office a week after you have filed your FAFSA then talk to them about when you can expect an awards letter. If you have already been accepted, or deposited with admissions, the award letter should come pretty soon after they have a chance to process it.

Steven asks…

When applying for FAFSA does your financial aid start in Fall?

I have a friend who needs financial aid for this spring semester, and I am afraid that financial aid through FAFSA doesn’t start until fall semester. I assume she can get financial aid for summer through the school, but what should she do for spring quarter after this winter quarter?

Administrator answers:

She can get it to start in the spring 09. She needs to go online at and select the 2008-2009 fafsa. If she is starting school next week and is just now applying, her aid won’t be processed by the time school starts, but she can still get it. They can can still process it after the semester starts. If the school wants money before, maybe she can borrow it from someone. Some schools will let you attend classes with an outstanding balance as long as you have fin aid pending.

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