Question about FAFSA

<p>FAFSA has calculated my EFC to be 0. Does that mean they will pay the full tuition and room/board,etc. of any college I go to?</p>


<p>FAFSA is a form that uses a formula to produce the EFC. FAFSA itself does not pay you anything. The schools you have listed on FAFSA will get the EFC from FAFSA and award you aid based on that. How much aid you will be awarded depends on many things including how much the school costs, whether they award only federal aid, whether your State also has educational need based awards, whether they have their own institutional aid, whether they promise to meet full need. Aid may consist of a mixture of Grants, Work Study, Loans and possibly a Gap (unmet need).</p>

<p>As far as federal aid is concerned it is quite limited and will not cover the cost of most State schools. The main federal aid consists of:</p>

Pell - Maximum for 2008-2009 was $4731
ACG *- Requires Pell eligibility. For 1st and 2nd year students only. 1st year $750 2nd year $1350. Is partially merit based.
- Requires Pell eligibility. For 3rd and 4th year students only. Maximum $4000 3rd and 4th year. Requires certain majors and GPAs.
- Criteria and maximum vary by school. The school is awarded only so much SEOG $$s so decides on their own SEOG maximum based on how many students they think may need it. The maximum by SEOG rules is $4000 but most schools have a much lower maximum that they award - some a few hundred.
TEACHA very new grant for people going into certain areas of teaching. Has a lot of rules including a requirement to teach in deprived area schools for a certain period of time.</p>

<p>With a 0 EFC you would get the maximum Pell grant of $4731 (2008-2009 numbers) and possibly the ACG of $750 if you meet the criteria. SEOG you might receive some money depending on the school's criteria for awarding it.</p>

<p>Other than that the federal student aid you might receive would be loans such as the Perkins (maximum $4000 per year but many schools were not given much Perkins money to award this year) and Stafford loan (maximum $5500 for a freshman) and Work Study.</p>

<p>Other possible aid may be State need based aid. Most States that have an aid program require you to stay Instate to receive it. The amounts vary. Our State has a $1000 grant. Others such as California have grants of several thousand.</p>

<p>Also some schools have their own institutional need based aid. The more expensive schools often use additional financial aid application forms such as CSS/profile to award their own aid. Some of the very top schools have very good need based aid. They are the most difficult schools to get in to.</p>

<p>One thing - you say FAFSA has calculated your EFC as 0. Do you mean one of the EFC calculators? The 2009-2010 FAFSA, which is the one you need for the 2009-2010 school year starting fall 2009, is not available until Jan 1st. If you have completed the 2008-2009 FAFSA that is for the 2008-2009 school year and will not work for 2009-2010.</p>

<p>Yes, we have already filled out the FAFSA but I will not be in college until next fall. So I will have to fill it out again after January 1st?</p>

<p>thank you swimcats mom- I answered the post- but then hit the wrong button and it all disappeared!
Student</a> Aid on the Web</p>

<p>yes- you will have to fill out the 2009-2010 FAFSA using 2008 info</p>

<p>Yes Yes Yes make sure you do fill the correct one out after January 1. The 2008-2009 one is not valid for 2009-2010 and you may miss out on aid if you do not meet your school's deadlines. </p>

<p>This happened with a poster last year and he did not realize he had completed the wrong one until after he had missed some deadlines (as far as I can recall he was a CA resident and missed the March deadline for the Calgrant which is a sizeable grant.).</p>

<p>Also....when you complete the FAFSA for 2009-2010, you will need to use income information from the 2008 tax year. You will also put your assets as of the date of filing THAT FAFSA...which as others have noted is not until January 1, 2009 or after. If you completed the 2008-2009 FAFSA, at least you know sort of what you need to complete the correct one in January. However, make sure you use the 2008 tax year information. If you file in January, you will probably not have your taxes completed...and will file using the "will file" status (meaning you "will file" your taxes). Use the very best income estimates you can (from pay stubs, bank statements, etc). Then file your (both student and parent) 2008 income taxes ASAP after February 1 and amend the FAFSA to reflect the 2008 tax return information. And change your status to "return completed".</p>

<p>It is VERY important to file as early as possible & to do everything you are asked to do by the school(s). You will be eligible for money that the schools award to their neediest students - but this money often runs out early (Pell is an exception - it will be there no matter when you apply). If you miss deadlines, you can miss out on some grants. Also, make sure you respond to all requests from financial aid offices for additional documentation, if you are asked for anything. Failure to submit required documentation in a timely manner can also cost you grants you might otherwise have received.</p>

<p>Some state schools have really great aid for students with 0 EFC. Two of the top public schools in my state cover all tuition, room, and board for all accepted in state students with 0 EFC. In addition, there are some private schools that will meet 100% of need with no loans - or with a small amount of loans. These are the most competitive schools, for the most part. Make sure you check out the financial aid websites for schools that interest you.</p>