FAFSA for Grad or Professional School?

<p>I feel lame for not knowing this, but, if a student is graduating undergrad in May 2007, and applying to grad schools for matriculation in fall 2007, does the parent still need to file the FAFSA beginning of 2007? (This assumes there will be some acceptances.)</p>

<p>And if so, is the parent's income still assessed in the same way?</p>

<p>Nope! FAFSA assumes that the student is financially independent for grad school.</p>

<p>So, aries,</p>

<p>Does the student file the FAFSA?</p>

<p>Yes, the student files the FAFSA. No parental information nor signatures needed.</p>

<p>Note that grad schools will sometimes have their own financial aid forms, which will require the parent's information.</p>

<p>YAY!!! Does this mean I'm finally liberated from the FAFSA, and the dreaded verification forms, and sending in my tax returns??????</p>

<p>Oh - but wait - does the student begin a whole new FAFSA? Or, do they use the same existing one, just file a renewal FAFSA, but submitted minus the parent info?</p>

<p>I don't know if the student submits a renewal FAFSA or a new one. I suspect that she would do a new one, but it's pretty easy. It just asks for name, SSN, address, income, savings, etc. </p>

<p>You are free from the FAFSA. You might not be free from financial aid forms, though. :(</p>

<p>Thanks Ariesathena - I'm so happy to be liberated from that stupid form! </p>

<p>Of course, some day I <em>AM</em> going to college - don't know when, but it will happen, but, it's nice to know I don't have to face this again this year at least. She has been selected EVERY year for verification, and so we've had to send in all tax returns, etc. Very, very good news to have at least one year off from that annoying process.</p>

<p>OK, this is an interesting topic. I guess I may be naive, but I wasn't aware that there was needs-based money available for grad school. I thought that once you hit grad school it was all either "merit aid" (e.g., fellowships), work assignments (TA/RA), or private loans. If there is an additional form of needs-based funding and if parental income is not factored in, does that make it easier to have grad school at least partially paid for by means of grants (or at least gov't-backed loans)?</p>

<p>I have absolutely NO idea what funding is available for grad school outside of some vague notion that there are some performance-based funds, based on undergrad gpa, etc., however, I assumed that the FAFSA requirement is just like undergrad - even for merit aid, it seemed to me that it still has to be filed.</p>

<p>Some medical schools have some need-based funding available. Each med school lists info about financial matters in the big guide to med school and many mention need-based aid.</p>

<p>Actually, I am not so sure that parental income is irrelevant at all grad schools. It would be wise to check with individual schools.</p>

<p>For grad schools, the funding package varies enormously. Some schools guarantee financial aid to all admitted students, others guarantee aid only to some. Princeton is famous for being the most generous, by providing full financial aid for five years (but also pressuring students into finishing their Ph.D.s in five years, which may be difficult in certain disciplines requiring both extensive language training and extensive fieldwork). Other universities may guarantee funding for x number of years by combining outright grants and teaching positions or research assistantships. Still others will lure graduate students with financial aid in the first year, leaving the sudents financially vulnerable in subsequent years. Students can also apply for outside fellowships (such as Javits).<br>
Financial aid at professional schools operates differently. I am less familiar with how it works.</p>

<p>LTS and fundingfather, some schools do ask that the student files a FAFSA. It's good to check with the program, though -- none of my programs asked for it, so I didn't have to fill it out.</p>

<p>EDIT: Marite, I think parental income is irrelevant for all graduate schools, but not so for all professional schools. My evidence for this is only that the FAFSA considers the student independent if s/he is in a graduate program, though.</p>

<p>There's $18,500/year available for grad school in subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans. (Maybe more, now - I think the rules changed recently.)</p>

<p>The rest is in private loans. Many schools require that you fill out the FAFSA and other financial aid forms (needaccess.org is a big one) to get said federal loans and private loans (i.e. even if the school does not give you any financial aid). </p>

<p>In short, if you want any financial aid, fill out the FAFSA (as the kid). Parents may have to, depending on the school, fill out other forms.</p>