Way to go scholars! February 20, 2014 arrived in Houston and you showed up in strong numbers across the city. While most seniors successfully completed their FAFSA, we know that some of you are still working on your application. Below, one of our Advise Texas Advisors at Jones High School, Ms. Angela Garcia, wants to give you a few words of encouragement:
“Completing this application could be one of the most, if not the most, important thing you do this financial aid season. The FAFSA takes into account the student and families income and compares it to the cost of tuition of the schools you are accepted to or already attending. It also calculates what you and your family can afford to contribute to your upcoming educational costs. There are many myths out there about why someone should not file the FAFSA, and a majority of the time that’s exactly what they are–myths.
- A common myth for some families not completing the FAFSA is that they think they make too much and will not qualify. The U.S. Department of Education states that, “There is no income cut-off to qualify for financial aid. Many factors besides income–from the size of your family to the age of your older parent–are taken into account. Your eligibility is calculated by a mathematical formula, not by your parents income alone.” You never know what could happen to your family’s financial aid situation and it could be extremely hard to ask for aid during the year if you have no FAFSA on file.
- Another myth about financial aid is that you have to pay it all back. This is mostly false. If you are offered loans you will have to one day pay those back once you finished with school. However, if you are offered grants or work-study, that is free money that you will not have to pay back. Also, it is important to remember that if you are offered loans, it does not mean you have to accept them. Most of the time, based on your estimated family contribution (EFC) and when you complete the FAFSA, what type of aid you will be offered will be determined. Many schools will also use the EFC to help distribute need-based scholarships they may be offering.
We celebrated Houston FAFSA Day on February 20, 2014 and hats off to you for completing your application! For those of you still working to complete your free application, there are many resources out there to help you learn more about the FAFSA and to help you towards completion. Communicate with your school and see what type of resources there are to help you or if there are any upcoming FAFSA workshops happening in your area!”
Guest Blogger: Ms. Angela Garcia, Jones High School (Advise Texas Advisor)