Myth 1: The FAFSA is too confusing.
Reality: The time and effort you put into your application is worth the financial aid you’ll get for college. It takes an average of 30 to 55 minutes to complete the FAFSA for the first time, but renewing your FAFSA can take as little 15 minutes. When you renew your FAFSA, some of your basic information will auto-populate into your new application which saves you time.
Myth 2: My parents / I need to file taxes before I fill out the FAFSA.
Reality: The FAFSA now requires you to use income and tax information from two years prior, which means you will already have the information needed when you start the FAFSA. For the 2018-19 FAFSA, you will submit 2016 income and tax information. An online IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available starting October 2017 to help you compile your information.
Myth 3: I missed the deadline and can no longer apply.
Reality: It is always best to apply early, but if you’ve missed the ACC priority date, you still have time to apply! If you have already paid for your classes, once your financial aid has been processed you can potentially receive a reimbursed amount based on your eligibility. The sooner you apply, the sooner you can plan your college expenses and keep your educational goals on track.
Myth 4: My parents / I make too much money, so I do not qualify for financial aid.
Reality: Income is not the only factor considered for financial aid. Details like family size, number of family members in college, and other allowances are also considered. Complete the FAFSA to check your eligibility.
Example Scenarios: All students below have the same family income but have different family situations: family size, family members in college, and other factors.
Hendricks: Filled out his FAFSA and found out he would qualify for the Pell Grant.
Maria: Filled out her FAFSA and found out she would not qualify for the Pell Grant, but would qualify for the Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG). Maria met the priority deadline and was able to receive other limited state grants that ACC offers.
Denise: Filled out the FAFSA and found out she would only qualify for student loans. Denise also applied for ACC scholarships and was awarded the T-STEM Scholarship.
Myth 5: I’ve applied for financial aid before and did not qualify for any free money.
Reality: Even if you’ve applied for financial aid and don’t qualify for any grant funding, you can still apply for scholarships! The ACC Foundation administers numerous scholarships for ACC students based on GPA, financial need, family status, educational background, and/or academic major.
Myth 6: I am not enrolled full-time (12 credits), so I do not qualify for any aid.
Reality: You do not need to enroll full-time to receive financial aid but some financial aid awards may be reduced for students enrolled in fewer than 12 credits per semester. Each student’s financial aid eligibility is different, so it is important to talk to the financial aid office about your awards.
Myth 7: I already receive veteran benefits or other assistance (scholarships, tuition waiver), so I do not qualify for financial aid.
Reality: Many students with these benefits are still eligible for financial aid. You deserve to find out if financial aid can cover additional school expenses.
Myth 8: My parents are not U.S. citizens, so I do not qualify for financial aid.
Reality: Your parents’ citizenship status does not affect your eligibility for financial aid. If you are a U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen, you may still fill out the FAFSA. Dependent students are still required to provide parental information. If your parent does not have a Social Security Number, input 000-00-0000 under the parent section of the FAFSA. At the end of the application, your parent will need to print, manually sign, and mail the parent signature page to the address provided.
Myth 9: I am an undocumented student or DACA student with Texas residency, so I do not qualify for financial aid.
Reality: Although you are not eligible for federal aid, you may still qualify for Texas state grants and other types of financial aid. Follow these instructions to apply for state aid through the Texas Application for Student Financial Aid (TASFA). Funding is limited for state financial aid so completing your application by the priority date is key.