Back to FAFSA® Guide 2024-25

How to answer FASFA® questions about the parent’s household 

Here’s a guide to help you correctly fill in FAFSA® questions about your family and any federal benefits you may have received.

Family size

Why do they need this info?

  • The FAFSA® factors in your family size when calculating your student’s Student Aid Index (SAI).
  • The SAI is the number schools will use to determine how much financial aid your student will need.
  • The SAI will also be used to see if your student qualifies for a Federal Pell Grant.

Can I skip this question?


How to answer this question

  • List the number of people living in your household. Include yourself, your spouse, and your dependent children—even if the children live away at college.
  • Also include any other people (such as your own parent or someone else’s child) who live with you and will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025.

Fafsa guide screenshot family size 

34 Family Size

How many people are in the parent’s family?

Include the parent (and their spouse), the student, and the parent’s dependent children, even if they live apart from the parent because of college enrollment. Also include other people if they live with the parent and the parent will provide more than half of their support between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025.

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Number in college

Why do they need this info?

  • Colleges, universities, and state agencies may look at the number of family members in college to figure out your student’s financial need.

Can I skip this question?



How to answer this question

  • Enter the number of people in your family who will be in college between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025.
  • Don’t include yourself or the student’s other parent.

What else should I know?

  • Starting with the 2024-25 FAFSA®, the number in college is no longer used in calculating your student’s federal Student Aid Index (SAI).
  • However, number in college might still be used to figure out if your student qualifies for aid from their state or college.

Fafsa guide screenshot number in college 

35 Number in College

How many people in the parent’s family will be in college between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025?

Do not include the parent.

Federal benefits received

Why do they need this info?

Your student could qualify for additional federal aid available for families who received federal or state assistance benefits.

Can I skip this question?


How to answer these questions

  • Select the programs you or a family member received benefits from, or check “None of these apply”.
  • The TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program may be known under a different name in your state. Call 800-433-3243 to make sure you have the correct name.

What else you should know

Answering these questions will not reduce your eligibility for student aid or federal assistance programs.

Fafsa guide screenshot federal benefits received 

At any time during 2022 or 2023, did the parent or anyone in their family receive benefits from any of the following federal programs? Select all that apply.

  • Earned income tax credit (EITC)
  • Federal housing assistance
  • Free or reduced-price school lunch
  • Medicaid
  • Refundable credit for coverage under a qualified health plan (QHP)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • None of these apply


2024-25 FAFSA® questions 

Choose the FAFSA® questions you would like help with

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.

footnote FAFSA® is a registered service mark of U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.

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