The good news is that with the free application for federal student aid, would-be students are given an equal opportunity to acquire higher education while the bad news is that there is a qualification criterion.
One factor within this eligibility criterion is expected family contribution or EFC and it is key in determining how much of a financial aid an aspiring student can receive at any given time.
There are other factors such as the year of study, your enrollment status and rates of attendance that may compound your efforts to obtain this student aid but in this article, I will emphasize on the above, only.
About expected family contribution
The question of how much the federal aid can enable one cover his education costs without much strain more often than not forms the initial drive to seek FAFSA information in the first place.
In line with the requirements of federal law, a family is fundamentally accountable for paying their children college expenses to the extremes they are capable of.
The amount of expected family contribution is only ascertainable only after thorough collection of the independent student financial information or one who is responsible for his education costs.
If one is still dependent on his or her parents, the providers of FAFSA they decide to work with must request for the guardian/parent financial data in order to set a figure to be covered by them.
What about if would-be student are incapable of presenting parents financial data and consent?
Under very comprehensible and rare situations, your FAFSA provider may allow you to still submit this form without you declaring your parental or guardian financial information.
Such situations allowing a person to still proceed with free federal aid application include any, or all of the following, consult your specific provider first.
Your parents may be behind bars and this would even mean that they have no or never kept any consistent income and expenditure documents for which the Expected Family Contribution could be based.
Also, such family pillars may be in any corner of this wide world where no one knows including you as their child and in dire need of a federal financial aid; yet not adopted.
Last but not least, you as the college applicant could have ran away from your parents or guardians residence for specific reasons like mistreatment or abuse.
Even though the above reasons may be considered, your parent?s denial to state their monetary information as required on your FAFSA forms or to pay your college costs may not count as unique situations.
As well, their failure to declare you as a child on their income taxes or you do not live with them cannot be considered too.
What to do during application under such circumstances
As you already know, your parents pin and your own has unique advantages while applying for federal financial aid online for instance.
If for inevitable reasons, it becomes impossible to state your parent?s financial data, it would be advisable to consult how your FAFSA provider deals with such circumstances.
Some of them will require you to just sign the FAFSA with your pin while ignoring that of the parents but as it would be expected, the process will not be complete.
This would then indicate that they would have no financial information to use to count your Expected Family contribution as per the federal law requirements.
Follow up with the college you are about to attend and most importantly, approach your financial aid administrator before any submissions.
He or she retains the authority to decide if these parental details are crucial in your case or not.
Any difficulty can be directed to the customer care services of the site you choose to work with and the school?s financial aid office.