Why All Students Should Apply for FAFSA –

Why should all students, even those who think they do not qualify, apply for financial aid?

A huge misconception when it comes to financial aid is that only people that have no income or little income will be eligible. This is not true and in fact everyone is eligible for financial aid, unless you have been convicted of certain crimes or are currently in default on previous student loans.

Another misconception about financial aid is that it is FREE money; this is not true. Financial aid consists of scholarships, grants and student loans. Grants and scholarships are considered gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Grants are based on income and may also be based on GPA requirements, and it is possible that someone with a higher income may not be eligible to receive them. Even though you do not qualify for grants, with an above average income you will still be able to receive student loans.

Student loans will allow you to fund your education without having to pay anything up front. Student loans do have to be repaid and a standard repayment term for student loans is 10 years and they have a minimum payment amount of $50 per month, based on loan balance. It is always a good idea to apply for financial aid to see what it is that you qualify for and then from there, make the decision on whether or not you wish to take what you have been awarded.

Edited by Valerie Jones

Check Out Other Ask the Financial Aid Expert Responses: Common FAFSA Application Mistakes | FAFSA for Nontraditional Students | Resources for Military Students

Latisha Bonner has been in the financial aid business for 10 years, four of those which she spent working directly with Sallie Mae assisting students with loan repayment and working with colleges to help students fund their education. She’s had experience working in financial aid and student accounting for different schools and currently serves as the default prevention coordinator for a four-year university.