Answers to FAFSA Questions

Have questions about the FAFSA? You’re not alone. Below, Westminster’s Director of Federal Aid Aimee Bristow shares answers for commonly asked questions about filing for federal student aid.

Can I submit the FAFSA if my parents haven’t filed their federal income tax return?

  • Yes, the Department of Education allows students and parents to report estimated income tax information when submitting the initial FAFSA application, and we encourage students to take advantage of this option to submit the FAFSA by our February 15 priority deadline.  After the income tax returns have been filed, students can make a correction to the FAFSA to update the respective data elements.

Do I need to submit the FAFSA if I don’t think I will qualify for financial aid?

  • Yes, we encourage all students to submit a FAFSA because the results are used to determine Federal, State and institutionally funded financial aid awards.  Students who do not submit the FAFSA may not be maximizing their financial aid opportunities.

How do I report that my family’s financial situation is different than what was reported on the FAFSA?

  • You need to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the change in your family’s situation, and they will work with your family on an individual basis to gather additional documentation to support the change.  Using this additional information, the Financial Aid Office will re-evaluate your FAFSA information and financial aid eligibility.  Examples of these changes may be unemployment, divorce, unusually high medical bills, and private secondary educatoin tuition payments.

Do I file a FAFSA every year?

  • Yes, students need to submit a FAFSA every year they are enrolled in college.

Who do I file my FAFSA with if my parents are divorced?

  • Dependent students file the FAFSA with the parent they lived with the majority of the time during the past 12 months.  If the student spends 50% of their time with each parent, the student will file the FAFSA with the parent who provides the majority of their financial support.  If the parent included on the FAFSA is married, the step-parent’s information is also included on the FAFSA.

Should I pay someone to help me file the FAFSA?

  • No, the Financial Aid Office is available to assist you with filing the FAFSA if you need assistance.


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