If you or your family have been affected by the recent natural disasters, you probably feel now more than ever that you could use some financial help. Here’s some good news: Federal Student Aid wants to help the students impacted. When filing your FAFSA® and applying for financial aid, you should know that you might be eligible for more help.
If your aid eligibility was impacted by a natural disaster but your application does not reflect this change, you should contact the financial aid office at your school to ask for a reassessment of eligibility. The office at your college is authorized to use professional judgment to more accurately reflect the financial need of students and families affected by a disaster.
If documentation that you need for the application of financial aid has been damaged or lost by a natural disaster, you should immediately inform the school that asked for the records. Your school may decide not to require those documents.
If you wish to transfer to a different school, you should contact the financial aid office at your new school as soon as possible. The new school can then request your federal financial aid records, and this will also allow them to provide you with the information you need to support a request for financial aid.
There is no need to claim any disaster-related support you received from either the state or the U.S. Department of Education on your FAFSA®. Any special aid from the federal government or from your state should not be counted as income, other resources, or other financial assistance when determining your eligibility for federal student aid.
Natural disasters, while devastating, should never hold someone back from achieving their college dreams. If you know someone whose education may have been put on hold due to Hurricanes Irma or Harvey, forward this article along. Frank is here to help provide relief.