My daughter is a HS senior currently working on her college applications. Our fortunate financial situation means that there is zero chance of getting financial aid (which we do not need). My daughter, however, has a decent chance of qualifying for merit scholarships, but many schools require a FAFSA to be completed in order to even be considered for merit scholarships. Even though we don't need the money, getting a merit scholarship would be a very positive reinforcement for her for all the hard work she has put in during HS.
Everyone says there's "no harm in filling out a FAFSA" even if you know you're not going to qualify for aid. My concern is over who will see the financial information that we're required to include (specifically Parents' Adjusted Gross Income, Parents' Total Balance of Cash, Parents' Investments, Parents' Untaxed Income) and how securely is that information protected. We have worked hard and been fairly successful at keeping a low public profile from a financial perspective, so I can imagine some scenarios where there is a significant downside if this information "gets out". For instance, how do I know that this information is not going to be shared with the University's Development (fund raising) department?
My current plan is to skip the FAFSA and just have her apply for non-university merit-based scholarships that do not require a FAFSA, but I thought I'd check here in case I'm way off base.
Thanks for your time in reading this.