Financial aid is a way of funding that helps students to pay for education. It is given in the form of scholarships, grants, and a few other loan programs.
Many students will not even consider applying for financial aid assuming that they are not qualified enough for it and they don’t even bother to fill FAFSA form thinking its waste of time. To know all the eligibility requirements before making any assumptions, read this article.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
You will have to fill out FAFSA form as it is the only way to know about your eligibility. By completing it, you will be able to know if you are qualified for certain specific aid. There is no discrimination with respect to race, religion, color or such. Also, age has never been a criterion. Other than there are a few eligibility requirements that are essential to be able to attain federal financial aid and they are discussed below.
The most important criterion to be qualified for financial aid is that you should have a high school degree. It can be attained by having attendance and graduation for an authorized and standard institute or a home school that is accepted by the city you live in.
You will have to enter your Social Security Number in FAFSA application form to be considered for Federal Student Aid. Enter the S.S.N that is visible on your Social Security Card and it should be a valid one.
It is compulsory for you to have a high school diploma or graduation certification or a system of education that is accepted by the government as the colleges consider your school grades and certain standard examination scores of yours.
You will have to be registered for “Selective Service” if you are a male aged between 18 and 25. If you don’t register for it, you will have to prove with sensible and reasonable evidence that it was either unknowingly or willfully not registered. FAFSA has made it easier for students to register for these services with just a checkbox in the form itself.
You should register for a degree program or a course and you must be approved as a student of their institution. You should be scoring satisfactory grades in school. You can confirm your eligibility for this from your school’s financial aid office and you can clarify any of your doubts with them as it is their duty to provide you further details about it.
You will also have to sign and attest certain statements in the paper document or in user ID available in FAFSA application which states that:
You will be using the received financial aid money only for your education purpose and not for your personal need.
Assure them that you do not owe to repay any student loans as if now.
You have to fulfill the following to be eligible for any kind of financial aid.
Be a US citizen
Have a green card
Have battered immigrant status
Have an arrival-departure record
The financial requirement is the most important criterion as the majority of students search for financial aid because of their economic status that is not really helpful for them to pay tuition fees and other studies-related expenses. The officials working in the federal financial aid department will grant you aid with respect to your financial needs.
Your eligibility for financial aid depends on your requirement of money which is determined based on your parent’s/family’s income and you do not have to worry about the expenses because the basic family expenditure is taken into consideration.
It can be concluded as Less income + Expenses = More Financial Need.
Income consists of the following
Personal income (if there are any) as most of you will be doing a part-time job.
Expenses depend on:
The number of people living in the house because more people end up with more expenses.
The number of people not working as in people studying.
Income and expenses are calculated to determine the “Expected Family Contribution (EFC)”. It is used to make a decision regarding the amount of aid that is to be provided to the student in order to help them pay for college. The Institution Board offers an EFC Calculator, which you and your family can use to determine your likely EFC.