Debunking 3 common financial aid myths
Myth 1. You have to pay to apply for the FAFSA®
College is expensive, but one thing that’s not is the FAFSA®. Remember that FAFSA® stands for FREE Application for Federal Student Aid—there’s no charge. The only way to apply is through the official site.
Myth 2. My family makes too much money for me to get aid
Don’t assume this is true—you’ll never know what you could be eligible for if you don’t apply! The FAFSA® isn’t just about federal student loans. It has more than $150 billion in grants, work-study funds, and state-based aid. Some scholarship programs also require that a FAFSA® be submitted, too. It’s always worth a try to see what aid might be there for you.
Myth 3. Only college freshmen need to apply for the FAFSA®
The FAFSA® is for every student planning on attending school the following academic year! The FAFSA® you filled out and the aid you got last year is only valid for one school year, not all the school years! College students should apply every year they’re in school—graduate students should, too!
Now that you know all about the FAFSA®, spark a conversation about financial aid and normalize it among your friends.
One of the most important things to remember is that you should submit your FAFSA® ASAP! A lot of financial aid is first-come, first-served, so it could pay off (literally) to get your application in quickly. The submission window opens December 2023*.
Use these tips and our FAFSA® guide to ensure that you and your friends get all the financial help possible to pay for school. Friends don’t let friends leave financial aid on the table!
*The FAFSA® typically opens October 1 every year, but due to new changes in the application, the opening date has been pushed to December 2023 for this year only.