Will a part-time job affect my FAFSA if my EFC is 00000?

So, this last semester I transferred out to another 4 year college. In my previous one, I had a large scholarship and FAFSA, and I lived with my parents so paying my tuition wasn’t an issue. Now, I don’t have a really large scholarship and I depend almost solely on FAFSA. My parents don’t like the idea of me renting an apartment with my boyfriend and a common friend, so I have to live in the dorms. I receive the largest quantity I can for FAFSA and it barely covers my tuition and I even have to pay like $100 out of pocket. My dorm has to be fully paid out of pocket, and since my family is having a really rough time right now, financially speaking, I want to get a job to lessen the burden on them. My EFC is 00000 and my father makes a little less than 20K a year, how much would a part time job affect the quantity I receive for my FAFSA? Or, how much can I make without it affecting my FAFSA?

How much is your “FAFSA”? FAFSA is just the form you complete for eligibility for financial aid. Zero EFC makes you eligible for the maximum PELL grant of $6195 for this school year. You are also eligible for loans and work study from the federal government. But schools can also give grant , loans and work study, as can state programs.

If you work, half of any income over $6660 goes towards your EFC. However this is for the current school year-fall 2019-2020. Your income, as well as your parents from calendar year 2017 was used.

For the next school year , fall 2020-2021, 2018 income will be used.

So if you are thinking about working this calendar year, 2020, there is no telling what the new income limit will be for students before 1/2 of income over that limit goes towards the EFC. But 2020 income is used for the fall 2022-2023 school year.

When you fill out FAFSA this year for the upcoming year’s financial aid, remember, it is 2018 income which is now etched in stone that you use. 2019 is also a done deal.

For the 2020/21 FAFSA, as a dependent student you get an income protection allowance of around $6,800 I believe. Also there is an amount subtracted for federal, state and social security taxes paid.

This FAFSA uses 2018 income.

The income you earn in 2020 would be reported on the 2022/23 FAFSA, are you still in school then?

Federal work study income is not assessed towards FAFSA EFC.

Also if parent earns less than $26,000 and qualifies for auto zero EFC, student income and student and parent assets are disregarded I believe.

Why did you change colleges? You had a large scholarship and could love for free at your parents house. Let’s start there.

You have made a decision that financially just might not work out well.

@cptofthehouse outlined it well…except if you have an auto $0 EFC, your income isn’t counted…I think…someone will have to check that.

Re: FAFSA…it dispenses not a dime of money. You are relying on the federal government to pay your college costs. At your old school…you had a scholarship…plus the Pell was given to you as well. At this school you have the $6100 or so Pell…and $6500 in Direct Loans. Does that cover your costs?

Get a job…

Then basically, if I start working this spring semester, whatever I make outside of those $6660 won’t affect my Pell Grant until the 2022-2023 school year, correct?

Income earned in 2020 will be used on the 2022-2023 forms…correct.

@mommdc I am expected to graduate on May 2022, so I’ll be one more semester in school that year.

Then does that mean that our assets wouldn’t have to affect my pell grant since he makes less than $26,000 a year?

If you are graduating in May 2022…your earnings from your 2020 job will not affect aid at all…because you will be done with college before the 2022-2023 academic year starts.

@thumper1 They didn’t have what I wanted to major in nor anything remotely similar. I just started college there to do my prerequisites, the plan was always to transfer out.
About the loans, I would like to be debt-free at least until I finish my undergrad degree, that’s why I’m looking for all of the possible options first. I’m a first-gen student and my parents are from outside of the U.S., they didn’t want me to get a job yet because we didn’t know how much it could affect what I receive for my pell grant.

@thumper1 Perfect. Thank you so much!


If you are graduating in May 2022, your earnings from 2020 will never be on a financial aid form. The last FAFSA you will complete will be for the 2021-2022 academic year…and then you will graduate. That 2021-2022 FAFSA will use 2019 income.

So…assuming you graduate in May 2022…your earnings from 2020 will not be on an undergrad FAFSA form.

The auto zero EFC depends on other factors, in addition to income being less than $26,000 they are either parent is dislocated worker, family qualifies for SNAP or similar means tested federal benefit, or schedule 1 was not filed on 2018 and later 1040 tax return (there are a few exceptions for this).

But yes, if you graduate on time the last year of income that would be used on the FAFSA would be 2019.

If paying for dorm is too expensive, your parents might agree to let you live with roommates next year in an apartment, if it is less expensive. Cooking your own food is usually much less than a meal plan as well.

If you have not taken out the direct student loan for this year yet, you can still request this through your school’s FA office for the spring semester.

Will your parents approve of you getting an apartment with others that are not your boyfriend? I suspect that they want you to have a place to live if you break up.


What is in your aid pkg now? Did you get more than a Pell Grant?

How was last semester’s dorm paid for?

I agree with the sentiment above for the reason why your parents don’t want you living with your BF