Myth 12: I only need to submit the FAFSA form once. FACT: You have to fill out the FAFSA form every year you’re in school to stay eligible for federal student aid, but filling out the renewal FAFSA form takes less time. Myth 13: I should contact the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid to find out how much financial aid I’m getting and when. FACT: No, the financial aid office at your school is the source for that information. The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid is always here to help, but we don’t award or disburse your aid. Remember — each school awards financial aid on its own schedule. Myth 14: The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount you have to pay for school. FACT: The EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, and it is not the amount of federal student aid you will receive. The EFC is a number your school uses to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. Other factor — the largest being the cost of your school — contribute to determining both the amount and type of aid you receive. New: The EFC is now the Student Aid Index (SAI). Learn more here! Myth 15: I can share my FSA ID with my parent(s). FACT: Nope. If you’re a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID to sign your FAFSA form online, and so will one of your parents. An FSA ID is an account username and password that you use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. If you share your FSA ID, you’re risking identity theft, and your FAFSA form could be delayed. Next Steps Submit your FAFSA form. If you’ve applied and been accepted to a school listed on your FAFSA form, your school will calculate your aid and send you an offer (on paper or electronically) informing you of how much financial aid you’re eligible for at that school. Good luck!
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