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FAFSA Myths: Common Myths Debunked by FAFSA Queen Bryana Blanco

College • October 18, 2019 • Bryana Blanco

What you’ll learn

  • The types of financial aid the FAFSA could qualify you for
  • When to file the FAFSA
  • How often to file the FAFSA

One of my favorite things about college is the camaraderie—how my peers and I overcome some of the same college struggles. One of the biggest obstacles many students face (but don’t really talk about) is finances. Don’t get caught up with common FAFSA myths, make sure you get the financial aid you need.

Yes—I’ve been called the FAFSA Queen

If there’s one financial pitfall to avoid at college, it’s failing to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

A fast, easy way to apply for financial aid

Sallie Mae and Frank make filing the FAFSA® easier—and it’s free

  • Simplified process takes less time
  • Guides you through step-by-step
  • Almost all who apply are eligible

Complete your FAFSA

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For some students, the application seems like too much of a headache to fill out, or they don’t understand how to complete it. Other students believe all the FAFSA myths out there.

I’ve helped a lot of my friends fill out the FAFSA and I’m here to set the record straight. Let’s separate FAFSA fact from fiction.

Debunking 3 common FAFSA myths

  1. The FAFSA costs money

    If you’re looking for the answer to “does the FAFSA cost money?” just know that it does not! The application is 100% free. That’s what the first “F” stands for.

  2. My family makes too much money to qualify for aid

    You’ll never know unless you apply! There are all sorts of different types of aid you could qualify for. The FAFSA is the gateway to more than $150 billion in grants for college, work-study funds, and federal loans, as well as certain state-based aid.

  3. The FAFSA is only for college freshmen

    The information you provide in the FAFSA, and the aid offered, is only valid for one school year. College students should apply for the FAFSA every year—and so should graduate students! Keep up to date on when to file the FAFSA on their site.

Start a conversation with your friends

Now that you know all about the FAFSA, spark a conversation about financial aid and normalize it among your peers. See what information your friends are knowledgeable about and teach them any tips you might know.

And remember to submit your FAFSA early! Financial aid is first-come, first-served. So it could pay off (literally) to get your application in quickly. The application opens as early as October 1.

Remind your friends to apply early, too. Even better, you can apply together.

You’re FAFSA-ready!

I hope you can use these tips to ensure you and your friends get all the financial help possible to make college (and maybe even grad school!) happen.

Bryana is studying to become a nurse and loves her job as a Residential Advisor. She is a 2016 Bridging the Dream Scholarship winner.

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Sallie Mae does not provide financial, tax, or legal advice and the information contained in this article does not constitute tax, legal, or financial advice. Sallie Mae does not make any claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in this article. Readers should consult their own attorneys or other tax advisors regarding any financial strategies mentioned in this article. These materials are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of Sallie Mae.

You must apply for a new loan each school year. This approval percentage is based on students with a Sallie Mae undergraduate loan in the 2017/18 school year who were approved when they returned in 2018/19. It does not include the denied applications of students who were ultimately approved in 2018/19.