There’s so much information about financial aid for college that it can be hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction. We’ve got you covered! Here are some common myths — and the real scoop — about financial aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
My parents make too much money, so I won’t qualify for any aid.
FACT: The reality is there’s no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. It doesn’t matter if you have a low or high income. Most people qualify for some type of financial aid, including low-interest federal student loans. Many factors besides income — such as the size of your family and what year of school you’re in — are considered to determine your aid package.
TIP: When you fill out the FAFSA form, you’re automatically applying for funds from your state and Hocking College in addition to federal student aid. Don’t make assumptions about what you’ll get—fill out the application and find out!
I support myself, so I don’t have to include my parents’ info on the FAFSA form.
FACT: This is not necessarily true. Even if you support yourself, live on your own, or file your own taxes, you may still be considered a dependent student for FAFSA purposes. The FAFSA form asks a series of questions to determine your dependency status. If you’re independent, you won’t need to include your parents’ information on your FAFSA form, but if you’re dependent, you will. Find out who is considered a parent for FAFSA purposes. It’s not as obvious as you might think.
I should wait until I’m accepted to a college before I fill out the FAFSA form.
FACT: Don’t wait. You can get started now! As a matter of fact, you can start as early as the fall of your senior year of high school. You must list at least one college to receive your information. You SHOULD list all schools you’re considering even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet. It doesn’t hurt your application to add more schools; colleges can’t see the other schools you’ve added. In fact, you don’t even have to go back and remove schools if you later decide not to apply or attend. If you don’t end up applying or getting accepted to a school, that school can just disregard your FAFSA form.
- You can add up to 10 schools at a time to your FAFSA form.
- If you apply to more than 10 schools, here’s what to do.
- If you want to add a school after you submit your FAFSA form, you can log in and submit a correction.
If I didn’t receive enough money for school, I’m out of luck.
FACT: You still have options! If you’ve received federal, state and college aid but still find yourself having to fill the gap between what your financial aid covers and what you owe your school, check out these additional options.
I should call “the FAFSA people” (Federal Student Aid) to find out how much financial aid I’ll receive and when.
FACT: Federal Student Aid is always available to help you through your student aid journey, but in this case, you should contact the Hocking College Financial Aid Office. Federal Student Aid does not award or disburse your aid, so they won’t be able to tell you what you’ll receive or when you’ll receive it. The Financial Aid Office will have those answers.
There’s only one FAFSA deadline and that’s not until June.
FACT: Nope! There are at least three deadlines you need to check: your state, school, and federal deadlines. You can find state and federal deadlines at our “FAFSA Application Deadlines” page. For Hocking College you’ll need to have your FAFSA completed before you can be accepted to the school and sign up for classes.
I only have to fill out the FAFSA form once.
FACT: You have to fill out the FAFSA form every year you’re in school in order to stay eligible for federal student aid.
I can share an FSA ID with my parent(s).
FACT: Nope, an FSA ID serves as part of a person’s identification, as well as their electronic signature, and should only be used by that individual. If you’re a dependent student, your parent will need to have his or her own FSA ID to sign your FAFSA form electronically. If your parent has more than one child attending college, he or she can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. Both you and your parent will need a unique email address for each of your FSA IDs.
Only students with good grades get financial aid.
FACT: While a high grade point average may help you get into a good school and may help with academic scholarships, most federal student aid programs don’t take grades into consideration when you first apply. However, if you want to continue receiving aid throughout your college career, you’ll have to maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by your school.
So what’s next?
Get started with your FAFSA form. Good luck!
If you need help with the application attend a FAFSA Workshop, available every Wednesday during the month of October. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Hocking College’s Financial Aid Office can also help students during the following walk-in hours:
- Monday - 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Tuesday through Friday - 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Please be aware that the Financial Aid office's busiest times are two to three weeks before the start of a semester and two weeks after the start. During this time, response to phone inquiries is limited.
The way to communicate with the office is through your Hocking College email account. Students are assigned their own counselor based on the first letter of their last name.