College  |  August 9, 2022  |  Bryana Blanco

Common FAFSA® Myths Debunked by the FAFSA® Queen

What you'll learn
  • Types of financial aid you can qualify for with the FAFSA®
  • How to recognize the real FAFSA® website
  • When to file the FAFSA®
  • How often to file the FAFSA®

One of my favorite things about college is the camaraderie—how my peers and I overcome some of the same college struggles. One of the biggest obstacles many students face (but don’t really talk about) is finances. Don’t get caught up with common FAFSA® myths, make sure you get the financial aid you need.

Yes—I’ve been called the FAFSA® Queen

If there’s one financial pitfall to avoid at college, it’s failing to fill out the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). According to How America Pays for College 2022, about 30% of families still aren’t submitting it.

For some students, the application seems like too much of a headache to fill out, or they don’t understand how to complete it. Other students believe all the FAFSA® myths out there.

I’ve helped a lot of my friends fill it out and I’m here to set the record straight. Let’s separate FAFSA® fact from fiction..

Debunking 3 common FAFSA myths

Myth 1. The FAFSA® costs money

The simple answer: NO! The application is 100% free. That’s what the first “F” stands for. The only way to apply is at the official site.

Myth 2. My family makes too much money to qualify for aid

You’ll never know unless you apply! There are all types of aid you could qualify for. The FAFSA® is the gateway to more than $150 billion in grants for college, work-study funds, and federal student loans, as well as certain state-based aid.

Myth 3. The FAFSA® is only for college freshmen

The information you provide on the FAFSA®, and the aid offered, is only valid for one school year. College students should apply every year—and so should graduate students!

Start a conversation with your friends

Now that you know all about the FAFSA®, spark a conversation about financial aid and normalize it among your peers. See what information your friends have and share these tips with them.

Most important of all, remember to submit your FAFSA® early! Financial aid is first-come, first-served, so it could pay off (literally) to get your application in quickly. The submission window opens on October 1.

Remind your friends to apply early, too. Even better, you can apply together.

You’re FAFSA®-ready!

I hope you can use these tips to ensure that you and your friends get all the financial help possible to make college (and maybe even grad school) happen. Don’t leave financial aid on the table!

footnote Sallie Mae does not provide, and these materials are not meant to convey, financial, tax, or legal advice. Consult your own financial advisor, tax advisor, or attorney about your specific circumstances.

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