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Thread: Fafsa?

  1. #11
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    During ds1's freshman year, I didn't do the FAFSA right away...or for a pretty long time. It became an action item on his student account. I don't know if it would have hindered him in any way if I didn't do it- aka class registration, housing... I would imagine each school is different so hard to make any blanket statements on whether or not to do it. I would just fill it out.

  2. #12
    marinkitty is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Coming back to say that my DD applied to mainly SLACs and almost all of them required it even though we checked the box that we would not be seeking financial aid. We had ZERO chance of qualifying for need based aid from anyone. She received merit awards from all of the schools (except one that gives no merit aid to anyone), all upwards of $50,000 (and some well over six figures) over the four years despite our lack of need. They all required FAFSA and some also required CSS Profile, so we had to fill out both. So IMO it is totally worth it to fill it out annually regardless of your situation, and as others have said, the government already has all that information anyway.

  3. #13
    smilequeen is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinkitty View Post
    Coming back to say that my DD applied to mainly SLACs and almost all of them required it even though we checked the box that we would not be seeking financial aid. We had ZERO chance of qualifying for need based aid from anyone. She received merit awards from all of the schools (except one that gives no merit aid to anyone), all upwards of $50,000 (and some well over six figures) over the four years despite our lack of need. They all required FAFSA and some also required CSS Profile, so we had to fill out both. So IMO it is totally worth it to fill it out annually regardless of your situation, and as others have said, the government already has all that information anyway.
    This was my understanding too although I'm a year away from dealing with this.

    Mine won't stand a chance of getting any aid, but I'm certainly not going to turn down the chance for merit money...
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  4. #14
    khm is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinkitty View Post
    Coming back to say that my DD applied to mainly SLACs and almost all of them required it even though we checked the box that we would not be seeking financial aid. We had ZERO chance of qualifying for need based aid from anyone. She received merit awards from all of the schools (except one that gives no merit aid to anyone), all upwards of $50,000 (and some well over six figures) over the four years despite our lack of need. They all required FAFSA and some also required CSS Profile, so we had to fill out both. So IMO it is totally worth it to fill it out annually regardless of your situation, and as others have said, the government already has all that information anyway.
    Yeah, my daughter is at a state university and they were pretty insistent about filling it out, lots of email reminders and it was a checklist item in her university portal that would pop-up whenever she logged in.

    She did get some merit money from them, and I assume they would have kept it if we didn't do the FAFSA.

    It is the government, so you aren't telling them any info they don't already know! My husband is part-owner of a company, and the way stuff has to be entered, it looked like we were way wealthier than reality, but it was still worth it IMO.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinkitty View Post
    Coming back to say that my DD applied to mainly SLACs and almost all of them required it even though we checked the box that we would not be seeking financial aid. We had ZERO chance of qualifying for need based aid from anyone. She received merit awards from all of the schools (except one that gives no merit aid to anyone), all upwards of $50,000 (and some well over six figures) over the four years despite our lack of need. They all required FAFSA and some also required CSS Profile, so we had to fill out both. So IMO it is totally worth it to fill it out annually regardless of your situation, and as others have said, the government already has all that information anyway.
    What is a SLAC?

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilequeen View Post
    This was my understanding too although I'm a year away from dealing with this.

    Mine won't stand a chance of getting any aid, but I'm certainly not going to turn down the chance for merit money...
    How does one qualify for Merit money? Is it basically an incentive to get your child to attend?

  7. #17
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
    What is a SLAC?
    Small liberal arts college


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  8. #18
    PunkyBoo is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
    How does one qualify for Merit money? Is it basically an incentive to get your child to attend?
    Merit money is basically scholarships, given based on your academic merit/ record during high school. It's the money the college gives separate from any financial need

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  9. #19
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    essnce629 is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
    How does one qualify for Merit money? Is it basically an incentive to get your child to attend?
    I highly highly highly suggest reading these 2 books. It explains everything. Merit aid is like a coupon or discount off the "sticker price" (which very few actually pay) in order to entice your child to enroll. It is usually based on test scores and GPA. Schools may offer an initial merit aid amount at acceptance, but if the school really needs a specific type of student (from a specific geographic area, more males at a LAC, etc) they may end up offering you more merit aid the closer it gets to the May 1st deadline OR if you appeal. Basically colleges are a business and they need so many enrolled students to make their financial goals. Families can use this as leverage to ask for more merit aid. My DS1 appealed his initial merit aid award 3 weeks before the May 1st deadline and they more than doubled it (from $14k a year to $30k). Not all schools offer merit aid. It's only those schools that need to actively recruit applicants and students to enroll. So most state schools don't offer much merit aid and neither do Ivy league or the most selective schools in the country (because they don't need to entice students to apply). These schools usually give the most aid to those with financial need.

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  10. #20
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    AnnieW625 is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    I plan on filling it out because you never know what you might get. My parents whose single parent income in the 90s would’ve qualified me for 100% covered tuition at Stanford (I think it was if your parents made $50k or less then) only got $1500 from the feds as grant (didn’t have to be repaid), and qualified for a $3500 loan (which was paid for before I graduated), but then they were able to get about 1/3rd off of each semester of my state university tuition because they qualified for state grants due to income all nine semesters I was in college.


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