Your Questions About Fafsa

David asks…

FAFSA and jobs?!?!?!?!?

I was wondering if I were to work in between now and until whenever, will FAFSA give me less money? My family already makes very little money and I just wanted to make money to pay off some of my tuition. I heard people talk about “under the counter jobs,” but what about a real job?

Tom Trindell answers:

FAFSA is concerned with the previous calendar year. So, if you are applying for the 2009/2010 FAFSA then it will take into consideration the money you made in 2008. So, if you work now, then it won’t matter on the 2009/2010 FAFSA but will be taken into account for the following year. If your family really doesn’t make very much money, then you getting a job won’t be much of a factor. Chances are you won’t make enough to make you less eligible for anything.

Donald asks…

what does fafsa pay for?

I will be going to my community college this fall full time, what will fafsa pay for?
Its going to cost me about 5 grand including everything for one year at my college.
i really dont understand how fafsa works.

Tom Trindell answers:

FAFSA doesn’t pay for anything. It’s a standardized form that determines how much someone of your income level should pay for college. Colleges then offer aid to make up the difference between tuition costs and that number.

In other words, if tuition is $20,000 and the FAFSA says you can afford $10,000 then you will theoretically get $10,000 in aid. Note that this can be a combination of grants (which you keep) and loans (which you have to pay back).

You should fill out the FAFSA form. Otherwise you won’t get any aid.

Lisa asks…

FAFSA Financial Aid Question?


I am deciding if I would like to apply for grad. school or not. Still have yet to make up my mind. I went to the University and they told me to apply for FAFSA first.

So here’s my question. If I were to submit my fafsa application online and later on after they approved it or whatnot, I then decide I no longer want to attend grad. school. Would there be a penalty of any sort for applying for fafsa and at the end, no longer apply for school?

Or do I need to contact fafsa telling them I am no longer interested in applying for grad. school?

Thank you for your time and help. Appreciate it.

Tom Trindell answers:

FAFSA would only come in to play if and when you got accepted to grad school and had to pay for classes. If you apply for FAFSA and don’t end up going to school, I would let your school know that you are not needing the financial assistance so that the money isn’t accidentally used to pay tuition or fees. But I would apply for FAFSA just in case.

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