f i get student loans to pay off the rest of what fafsa and scholarships dont cover.
The FAFSA does not cover anything. All it does is determine your eligibility federal aid: grants, federal work study and loans.
Your parents fill out the fafsa at Home - FAFSA on the Web-Federal Student Aid
(the application is free). They will fill out the FAFSA and once it is processed, they will receive a SAR (Student Activity Report), which will list their EFC (expected family contribution).
As long as their Federal EFC is below $4995, you will be eligible for a minimum pell grant of $577. If your family's EFC is $4996, you get 0, because you are not Pell eligible. http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/attach...tSchedules.pdf
Financial aid is given based on the following
Cost of attendance (tuition, room board, books, misc)- EFC (based on the income and assets of both of your parents) = Demonstrated need
COA-EFC= DEMONSTRATED NEED.
Your parents are expected to pay their EFC
Please be reminded that the school determines how it is going to meet your need.
From the look of your post you are interested in attending UT Austin.
1. Are you a texas resident? this will determine how much tuition you will have to pay.
If you are a Texas resident, the current cost of attendance is $12,133-$12,829 a semester of $24,266-$25,658 a year (tuition will go up)
If you are out of state= the cost of attendance is ~50k /year
While tuition for in-state is $4,673-5,369 per semester or $9346-10,378 per year. Room and board is an additional $10,422/year (unless you commute from home)
Keep in mind that UT Austin is a school that does not meet 100% demonstrated need. any shortfall in your financial aid package will have to be made up by you/your family (most likely your parents, because you will get probably max out on loans in your financial aid package.
Best case scenario: your family is extremely low income with a 0 EFC:
You would receive $5550 in Pell, 5500 in loans or 11,050. this will cover your tuition.
If you are a texas resident, you could be eligible for a state grant (someone from Texas will have to chime in here). In order to be eligible for a Texas grant, you will need to have an EFC of less than $4,000.
For 2012-2013, the maximum amount is:
$7,400 per year for public universities and state college students College For All Texans: TEXAS Grant
If your family has a 0 EFC, your financial aid package may look like this
$5550 Pell grant
5500 Stafford loan
7400 Texas grant
total $18,450 making UT Austin not doable as an in-state resident if you plan to live on campus based on a cost of attendance of $25,658. there is a short fall of 7508, which your parents will be responsible for paying.
Lets say your EFC is 4000 Your financial aid package may look like this
Texas grant 7400
total 13,700 Based on the COA 25658, your parents will need to come up with almost $12,000
Lets say that your EFC is 4001
No texas grant
Stafford loans 5500
$25,658 -$6250 =$19,408 (the amount that your parents will have to come up with in order for you to live on campus at UT Austin.