5 Reasons Why You Should File for FAFSA

If you are anything like I was after I got past applying for colleges, you’re tired of filling out forms for anything college related.  One of the most important forms that you could possibly fill out is the FASFA form.  Though it may look intimidating and complicated, it’s actually a pretty important and can help you save a lot of money in paying those college bills.

1. College Can Get Pricey

In-state tuition is on the rise and out-of-state tuition is pricey for everyone.  Filing for FAFSA is one of many ways you can start to alleviate the costs of college.  Furthermore, there is no additional cost for filing FAFSA.  It’s completely free!  Spending a little time on a form can save you and your parents a lot of money!  The utility cost of time to potential money granted is more than enough reason to file the form.

According to a recent Reuters article, about 1.8 million lower income undergraduates who might have qualified for aid neglected to file the FAFSA and missed out on financial aid. No matter what your income level, you should file the FAFSA because there is more money out there to be awarded than just need-based aid.  Not all FAFSA is reserved for need-cased students.  If you’re an independent or come from a single parent household, you may qualify for FAFSA grants.

2.  Federal Money

FAFSA helps qualify you for federal money.   This means that you can access federal student loans, which can be very helpful.  Things like the federal Stafford loan, Pell Grant, and Perkins loan are all federal money that could help with your college fees.  However, all this federal aid is only accessible if you’ve filed the FAFSA.  Federal loans offer the best interest rates for student and are better than private loans.

3. State Money

Many states give out money in the form of state financial aid awards.  Again, you can’t qualify for this sort of money if you don’t file the FAFSA.  FAFSA controls state financial aid programs.  Although each state may vary in funds and amounts, the FAFSA is still required as a preliminary checkpoint before you are eligible for these funds.

4. School Money

Colleges and private scholarship foundations offer a lot in scholarship money, many of which aren’t finance based and can be achievement based.  However, some schools may not give you merit aid unless you’ve completed the FAFSA form.  These private scholarships often offer more money if you continue to do well in school so it’s well within your interest to file for the FAFSA.  Again, the FAFSA is used as a checkpoint to filter out those who are seeking school scholarships and those who are getting their money elsewhere.

5.  You Have a Sibling in College too

Having another brother or sister while you’re in college puts a lot of pressure on your family to come up with double the tuition.  As a result, filing for FAFSA if you’re a second child can draw attention to the lack of funds coming from your home and potentially help you get a student loan or scholarship.

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Clara Ma

Clara Ma

Clara is a third year student attending the University of California, Berkeley currently pursuing a double major in Political Science and Media Studies. Her school activities include being a captain on the Cal Dance Team, being a Campus Ambassador, as well as being part of THRIVE Dance Company. She enjoys living vicariously through others on the Internet, keeping up with pop culture on Tumblr, and watching a copious number of television shows (namely Sherlock and How I Met Your Mother).