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FAFSA Queen, Bryana, debunks common FAFSA myths

College • October 09, 2018 • Bryana Blanco


What you’ll learn

  • The types of financial aid the FAFSA could qualify you for
  • 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.


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).

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 out the FAFSA and I’m here to set the record straight. Let’s separate FAFSA fact from fiction.

Debunking 3 common FAFSA myths

  1. The FAFSA costs money

    This is completely wrong. The application is 100% free. That’s what the first “F” stands for!

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

    You’ll never know unless you apply! There are all sorts of different 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 loans, as well as certain state-based aid.

  3. The FAFSA is only for college freshmen

    The information you provide in the FAFSA, and the aid offered, is only valid for one school year. College students should apply for the FAFSA 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 are knowledgeable about and teach them any tips you might know.

And 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 application opens as early as 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 you and your friends get all the financial help possible to make college (and maybe even grad school!) happen.


Bryana is studying to become a nurse and loves her job as a Residential Advisor. She is a 2016 Bridging the Dream Scholarship winner.


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Sallie Mae does not provide financial, tax, or legal advice and the information contained in this article does not constitute tax, legal, or financial advice. Sallie Mae does not make any claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in this article. Readers should consult their own attorneys or other tax advisors regarding any financial strategies mentioned in this article. These materials are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of Sallie Mae.