Financial Aid Night
- Tuesday, April 22nd
- 6 to 7:30 p.m
- 2412 North Grand Street
Frequently Asked FAFSA Questions
1. What is FAFSA?
FAFSA is an acronym for the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, which is used to apply for grants, loans, and work study funds provided by the federal government. It is also used by many states and schools to award state grants and loans.
2. How/when do I apply for the FAFSA?
Students must apply for financial aid online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. For accuracy, we highly recommend you use the data retrieval tool from the IRS - which imports your recent tax return information into the application. Check with your prospective school for a priority deadline for submitting a FAFSA application.
3. Is there a charge to fill out my FAFSA?
No. Applying for the federal financial aid is free. However it is important to make sure you are on the correct website, www.fafsa.gov. There are several websites with similar names that may charge a fee. Remember, you should not have to pay to receive grants or scholarships. Please contact the Amarillo College Financial Aid Office, if you have questions.
4. Do I need a PIN to apply for the FAFSA online?
Yes. Students and Parents must each have a PIN to electronically sign the FAFSA application. When you are completing the application online, you can request a "real time" PIN, which can be used immediately. The PIN website is www.pin.gov.
5. I've submitted my FAFSA, now what? How long will it take to process my financial aid?
Upon submission of the FAFSA, you will receive an estimated EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) and a Pell Grant Estimate on your confirmation page. Frequently check your ACConnect account for news and updates regarding your financial aid. Amarillo College processes files in date order, based on the completion date. Your completion date is determined once all required paperwork is received, and the FAFSA information is correct. Loan requests are also processed in date order. If you have questions about this process, please contact the Amarillo College Financial Aid Office.
6. What is an EFC number?
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) reflects how much money you can provide toward your education, based on the information you supplied on the FAFSA. A student is eligible for Pell grant assistance if the EFC number is between 0 and 5157. Therefore, by knowing your EFC number, you know whether you are federal grant eligible or not, before your file has been processed.
7. How do I find out how much financial aid I've been awarded?
An award notice is emailed to your college generated email address after your file has been awarded any grants or loans. You can access the award letter by logging in to AC Connect, or speak with a Financial Aid Representative. Our office cannot give you any dollar amounts over the telephone.
8. I am over the age of 18, living on my own, and paying my own bills, why do I have to provide parent information on the FAFSA? Shouldn't I be considered independent?
According to the Department of Education, students are required to provide parent information unless: 24 yrs old, married, a veteran of the U.S. Armed forces, provide more than half of the support for children or other dependents, both parents deceased, under legal guardianship, or a ward/dependent of the court since age 13. If you feel you have unusual circumstances, or cannot obtain parent information, please contact our office.
9. My parents are divorced. Which income do I provide on the FAFSA?
Answer the questions about the parent you lived with or provided more financial support to you during the past 12 months. If this parent is remarried, provide income information about that parent and the stepparent.
10. I live with my grandparents. Can I provide their tax information instead of parents?
No. According to the Department of Education, grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, aunts and uncles, are not considered parents on the FAFSA unless they have legally adopted you. Therefore, you must provide parent information, even if you do not live with your parents. If you have unusual circumstances and cannot obtain parent information, please contact our office.