It’s officially FAFSA® season! However, even though the 2018-2019 FAFSA® opened on October 1st and is first come first serve, people still put off filing. It’s complicated, confusing, and frustrating, especially if you don’t even know if you’ll qualify for aid. The truth is, everyone who files FAFSA® can qualify for aid, even if your household income is up to $250K a year. But first, you need to make sure that you’re eligible to file FAFSA® in the first place.
To be eligible for FAFSA®, you must:
1. Demonstrate financial need
The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at your schools and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is your determined financial need.
2. Be a US citizen or eligible non citizen
See this Glossary to find out exactly what “eligible non citizen” means.
3. Have a valid social security number
Every US Citizen should have a SSN, with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.
4. Be registered with Selective Service, if you’re male
All students who were born as male and identify as men between the ages of 18-25 must register with Selective Service when filing the FAFSA®.
5. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program.
Additionally, you must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds.
6. Maintain a satisfactory academic performance
Every school has standards for the academic progress required toward a degree or certificate offered by that institution. Check with your school to find out its standards.
7. Have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent, such as a GED certificate
Other qualifying alternatives, such as homeschooling and eligible career pathway programs, are also acceptable.
Even if you don’t think you will qualify for any aid, you should still file the FAFSA® if you meet the above eligibility requirements. It doesn’t get any easier than filing with Frank, so start your free streamlined application ASAP.