Federal financial aid for College tuition in the United States: important nuances you need to know

October 1, 2019 in the United States opened the season of enrollment to receive state scholarships for College (FAFSA — Free Application for Federal Student Aid). For these purposes allocated $ 150 billion — including grants, loans and tuition. Applicant must complete the free application for Federal student aid.

Федеральная финансовая помощь на обучение в колледже в США: важные нюансы, которые нужно знать

Photo: Depositphotos

FAFSA funds are allocated in order of receipt of applications, notes CNBC.

Corporation Sallie Mae recently interviewed 2,000 students and parents on the subject of whether they filed the application for the FAFSA. According to the analysis, during the 2018-2019 school year, only 25% of undergraduate students filed a FAFSA in the first month after the opening of the call for applications and only 77% of undergraduate students actually tried to apply for this assistance.

Not filling FAFSA application for American College students miss the opportunity to receive generous financial compensation for expensive training. Federal grants do not need to repay, Federal student loans have low interest rates, and employment programmes can be a convenient way to simultaneously Fund education and create a resume.

Because the FAFSA funds are allocated upon receipt of applications, families who plan their spending in advance, are likely to help. According to Sallie Mae, 80% of students from families who earn between 35 000 to 100 000 dollars, filled out applications for FAFSA, but among families receiving less than it did 75%.

According to estimates NerdWallet, students are eligible to receive grants Pell Grant in 2018 missed free College FAFSA assistance in the amount of $ 2.6 billion simply because they have not applied for FAFSA.

In the survey for Sallie Mae, the company asked the reasons for not filing the FAFSA. Here’s what they said:

They thought they were too rich

Among almost a quarter of College students who have not applied for, 40% said they did not think that I will be able to qualify for participation in the program. In fact, there are no financial restrictions for those who want to apply for Federal aid to students.

Charlie Javis, founder and CEO of Internet platform Frank FAFSA, says that families that earn more than 250,000 dollars, as a rule, are not eligible for grants or subsidized loans, but the vast majority of Americans earn less than this amount. “Being too rich” applies only to less than 5% of the US population. All should apply”.

They missed the deadline

The second most common reason students did not fill in the application for the FAFSA, was the fact that they missed the final period, and 15% of those who completed the form indicated the reason.

Each year there is a nine-month period, during which the students can apply both for this and next year. To avoid confusion, students should ask for help in the upcoming academic year.

Most students fill out the FAFSA online, but students who choose to complete the application on paper must submit their documents to the Federal processor reviewed by 30 June. According to Edvisors, if the application for FAFSA is received after the deadline of 30 June, it will not be processed.


  • Students attending College from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, can apply for the FAFSA on 2019 and 2020 in the period from 1 October 2018 30 June 2020, using their tax information in 2017.
  • Students attending College from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, are eligible to apply for FAFSA in 2020-2021 years from 1 October 2019 to 30 June 2021, using their tax information 2018.

Students must also make sure that they are aware of the application deadlines to receive financial assistance from their schools, state and local authorities. The Department of education and Edvisors provide resources for students to check their local time.

According to them, it’s too hard

Of those who filled out applications for FAFSA, 8% said that the application was too difficult, 9% said that they did not have time and 10% reported that they did not have the necessary information needed to complete the form. To fill out the FAFSA, students will need tax returns, Bank accounts and assets of their family, as well as the names of the colleges they are interested in.

Over the last decade, the Ministry of education has taken steps to make the form more simple and intuitive, with automatic notification in case of incorrect filling. In 2019 you can apply even from your mobile phone.

To test these improvements, journalist CNBC has filled out the updated form of the FAFSA. It took about 5.5 minutes. Retrieval tool the IRS data allows students to automatically transfer information about their tax returns, so he didn’t have to look for their declarations. The required Bank information was limited, so not had to look for something in the Bank records.

The Sallie Mae representative said that completing the application can take up to 30 minutes, “but it’s worth the effort.”

They did not know about the FAFSA

14% of those who did not apply for free Federal aid, said they did not know about FAFSA.

The Department of education says the online FAFSA applications are usually processed within 3-5 days, and the paper within 7-10 days. After processing a request, students must obtain a copy of his report on assistance to students, including their expected contribution to the family to determine their eligibility for Pell grants. The report will be submitted to the colleges they listed in your statement FAFSA.