Category Archives: Financial Aid

FAFSA Blues 2

In order to qualify for financial aid, a student must demonstrate “basic student eligibility.”  The criteria includes:

Demonstration of financial need;

A high school diploma (or equivalent) completed or in progress;

US citizen or permanent residency status;

Hold a valid Social Security Number (SSN);

Plan to enroll in an eligible degree or certificate program;

Men (18 – 26 years old) must register for selective service (the FAFSA itself has a box to check in order to do meet this requirement).

The SSN is critical to the FAFSA as it is how you obtain a PIN (personal identification number). Having a PIN allows you to e-sign the FAFSA and submit it online. If you do not have a SSN, you can apply at your local post office or Social Security office.  If you are a under the age of 24 you will need your parents’ SSN, too. If your parents do not have a SSN, you should enter all zeros when asked for the number. You can still apply for, and be granted, financial aid even if your parents do not have a SSN.  Do not use an invalid SSN; this could seriously damage your ability to receive financial aid.




Have you been dragging your feet about filling out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)?  Do not delay!  Schools want the information since they need it to offer you financial aid. Financial Aid consists of grants and scholarships (free money), federal and state aid/loans, and the opportunity to receive work-study employment opportunities (money).  The FAFSA wants your and your parent’s 2013 tax information, but if you haven’t filed your 2013 tax returns yet, you can estimate, based on last year’s numbers, for now, and then update your forms once the 2013 taxes are processed. Without the information in the FAFSA, the colleges you applied to cannot offer you any reliable financial aid information.