NASFAA Mention: How to Get Financial Aid for College When Your Parents Make Too Much

"Are you wondering how to get financial aid if your parents make too much? If this question plagues you, you’re not alone," Student Loan Hero reports. 

"'It’s definitely something we hear a lot,' Jill Desjean, a policy analyst for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), told Student Loan Hero. 'A lot of people make an assumption that [their family earns] too much to apply for financial aid.'

But even if you think your family won’t qualify for financial aid, Desjean said to go ahead and apply. 'You can be pleasantly surprised,' she said. To find out why, have a look at the following topics:

How family income affects your financial aid

Sure, income is considered when the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) pumps out the Student Aid Index (SAI), formerly known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward the cost of college. After all, you supply your parents’ tax returns when submitting your FAFSA.

But you might be surprised to learn that no income cutoff determines your eligibility for aid, said Desjean."


How to get financial aid if your parents make too much

"If you’ve already learned that your folks are too well off to help you get financial aid, Desjean recommended talking about your situation with your school’s financial aid office. You’ll want to confirm, for example, that the office used accurate information to arrive at your SAI.

'Before that conversation with the financial aid office, I always encourage families to sit back and think about what special circumstances their family might be experiencing that might make them look wealthier on a piece of a paper with a limited number of questions,' Desjean said.

For example, your family might have considerable medical expenses that absorb much of its income and savings.

'That’s not something that there’s a page for on the FAFSA,' Desjean said. 'But it certainly is relevant to the family’s ability to pay for college.'

...'All is not lost if you don’t qualify for financial aid from the school,' Desjean said. 'It’s important that families go out and look at other financing options.'”

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 3/31/2021

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