By: Chief Operating Officer Mark Brown, Federal Student Aid
Summer is here, and I’m sure that for many of you, summer doesn’t look quite the same as it has in the past. The COVID-19 emergency has led all of us to change our day-to-day lives in order to stay healthy, and I hope that you’ve been able to weather this storm and are looking for ways to safely enjoy this time of year.
The first thing people say when they find out where I work: “Can you delete my student loans for me?” If only I had that power. Just like many of you, I am a student loan borrower. Each month, my federal student loan servicer, withdraws my $381.35 student loan payment from my bank account and I still cringe every time. (Do you know how many trips I could take with that money?) Point is, I understand what you’re going through.
Having one child who is heading to college can be stressful but having to help multiple children at the same time can feel overwhelming. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about filling out the FAFSA form when you have more than one child in college:
While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is the student’s application, we know that parents often play a large role in the process. After all, students who are considered dependent have to provide parental information on the FAFSA form anyway and must have a parent sign it. While we recommend that the student start his or her own FAFSA form, we know that’s not always what happens. With that in mind, we wanted to provide instructions for parents who are starting the FAFSA form on behalf of their child so you can avoid running into issues completing the form.
If you are a parent completing the FAFSA form for your child, follow these 8 steps:
We all know college is super expensive; not only do you have to pay tuition, but there’s also room and board (for those of you staying on campus), a meal plan (yay for cafeteria food…), and textbooks (buying hundred-dollar books for one chapter). It’s a lot. Luckily for us, there’s help: scholarships! Of course there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually be awarded any money, and sometimes it can seem like a whole lot of work for a whole lot of nothing. But that’s why I’m here! I’ve gone through the process recently (and am doing it again), and I’m at your service with suggestions and tips.
Almost time to start paying back your student loans? Contrary to popular belief, your student loan payments don’t have to stop you from living your life. You just have to weigh your options and find a strategy that works within your budget. Here are some steps to get you started.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a program that could eliminate some of your federal student loan debt if you meet all the requirements. This program was created to benefit individuals whose debt would be unaffordable without loan payments tied to income because they are working in lower-paying, but vitally important public sector jobs such government service or non-profit work.
“Loan discharge” means you don’t have to pay back some or all of your loan(s). A total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge relieves you from having to repay any of your federal student loan(s) and from completing any TEACH Grant service obligation.