FAFSA Tips for Low-Income Families
Feb. 20, 2013 - In a Fox Business article
offering tips to low-income families filling out the FAFSA, NASFAA Policy Analyst Karen McCarthy says that if low-income families "make sure that they’re filing [the FAFSA] early, then they’ll be in the loop and open to consideration for the maximum amount of aid that they’re eligible for." Low-income families "are more likely to be eligible for more aid so they want to file that aid as awarded according to deadlines on a first come, first serve basis," McCarthy says. "Income questions on the FAFSA are generally pulled from a tax return, but if a family’s income is low enough that they have not filed a tax return, a W-2 can be used in some cases instead, says McCarthy. 'It’s not a requirement [for the FAFSA] that you file a tax return, you are actually required to do one by IRS rules, but if you have not filed a tax return and you are not required to, you’ll just use information off any W-2s that you have,' she says. ... Colleges and nonprofit organizations will often have financial aid workshops available to members of the community who are seeking additional assistance, says McCarthy. 'If you’ve missed that or your community doesn’t have those types of events, you can always seek assistance from a financial aid office at any school or a school you are applying to for assistance.'"