You and the FAFSA

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You and the FAFSA®

Paying for college is a family responsibility that requires family input. If your child is still a dependent, you should take the necessary actions to ensure that he or she has access to as much student aid as possible. In part, this means providing your financial information on student aid forms, including the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

The purpose of the FAFSA is to gather information on a family's income, assets, and other resources to determine a student's eligibility for student aid. Since many types of student aid are "need based," eligibility is often based on the family's financial picture. Colleges therefore need the FAFSA to assess a family's finances and award need-based dollars.

Without the required parent data, the FAFSA is incomplete, and student aid cannot be awarded.

To Pay or Not to Pay

One of the basic principles of student aid in the United States is that families are expected to pay for college costs to the best of their ability. This is true even if parents are unwilling or unable to contribute to college costs.

Providing your financial information on the FAFSA does not mean you will be forced to pay for your child's college costs. It is your choice if you want your child to pay for his or her own education. But if you don't provide your financial information on the FAFSA, you will also be denying your child access to most student aid programs.

Don't let this happen.

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