Q: Should I apply for admission to the schools I’m interested in before or after I file the FAFSA®?
A: You should apply for admission to the colleges you are interested in BEFORE filing your FAFSA®. Once you are accepted to the colleges you have applied to, you can add those schools to receive financial aid offers.
Q: What is work-study and what if I don’t know whether or not I’m interested?
A: Work study is earning financial aid through working a part-time job. Answering “yes” to this question doesn’t mean you have to work, it just means you’re interested in seeing if you’re eligible. It’s better to answer “yes” and decline later on than to answer “no” and risk not having access to this type of fund later.
Q: My parents are divorced, how do I decide what information to put in the parent section?
A: Use information on the parent who you lived with most during the past year. It doesn’t matter if one parent claims you as a dependent for tax purposes. You will not report ANY information for the parent you didn’t live with most within the last year. If you didn’t live with one of your parents or lived with both parents equally in the past year, use the parent who you lived with most recently or provided the most financial support within the past year.
Q: I submitted my FAFSA®! When will I know how much financial aid I’m getting?
A: After you submit your FAFSA®, you’ll receive a confirmation page that’ll tell you how much aid you may be eligible for (Pell Grants, Work-Study, and Student Loans). The DOE processes your application within 3–5 business days and then sends it electronically to the schools you listed on your FAFSA®. They will notify you if any more information is needed and the schools will notify you when your award offer is ready. This can take anywhere from 1 week to several months depending on the size of the school.