Financial aid myth busters …

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StateFair_financial_aidSource: The U.S. Department of Education

“My parents make too much money, so I won’t qualify for aid.”

REALITY: There is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. Many factors besides income—from the size of your family to the age of your older parent—are taken into account. Eligibility is determined by a mathematical formula, not by your parents’ income alone. When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’re also applying for funds from your state and possibly from your college. Some schools won’t consider you for any of their scholarships (including academic scholarships) until you’ve submitted a FAFSA. Don’t make assumptions—fill it out, and find out.

“Only students with good grades get financial aid.”

REALITY: While a high grade point average helps students get into some schools and may help with academic scholarships, most of the federal aid programs do not take students’ grades into consideration. Provided you maintain satisfactory academic progress in your program of study, federal aid can help you pay for college.

“I’m too old to get financial aid.”

REALITY: Funds from federal student aid programs are awarded on the basis of financial need, not on the basis of age. Adult students can get financial aid, so fill it out!

“The form is too hard to fill out.”

REALITY: The FAFSA is easier than ever, especially if you fill it out online at www.fafsa.gov. There are detailed instructions for every question, and the form walks you through step by step. If you need help, you can do a real-time, private online chat with a customer service representative. If you’re filling out the paper FAFSA, you can get help from a high school counselor, SFCC’s Financial Aid office or the U.S. Department of Education toll-free number: 800-4-FED-AID. Remember, the FAFSA and all these sources are FREE.

“SO WHAT DO I DO NOW?”

Go to www.fafsa.gov; fill out the application, and see what you get! SFCC’s federal school code is 007628. Go to www.sfccmo.edu/howtopayforcollege; call (600) 530-5834; or email [email protected] for help as well!

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