We will see does FAFSA check student bank accounts or not in this article.FAFSA is short form of Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a form filled by prospective and current college students, to determine whether they are eligible for student financial aid.FAFSA has no business to check student bank accounts. However, part of the form requires you to fill in some details about your finances, i.e, your bank accounts balance. The assets you have and your family contribution, will determine your eligibility for the financial aid.Because we are humans, the temptation to lie about your finances may arise. The government uses an auditing system that selects applicants at random to verify their data through bank statements and tax forms.When applicants are selected, they are required to provide proof of fund of their income and assets matching up with their application response.
What Is FAFSA?
Again, FAFSA means Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is an online form that requires vital information about your income and savings, and that of your family members as well, in order to check your eligibility to receive financial aid for your education.
When you have completed the form, it is evaluated, then your financial need and expected family contribution is generated.
Financial need is the amount of money that your income and that of your family members do not cover. Family contribution is the amount of money expected of your family to meet your educational needs.
What Makes You Eligible For FAFSA?
The following are the necessary criteria you must meet to be eligible for FAFSA
- To be eligible for FAFSA, it is important to have completed high school (have a high school diploma) or a GED (General Educational Development).
GED is a test conducted in four subjects. Certificates are provided to candidates after they have passed the test.
- You must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree program.
- For those who are currently enrolled in college, you must have maintained a good academic record. There is no exact grace to determine a good academic record as it differs from schools.
- It is mandatory to be a US citizen or an eligible non citizen. Eligible non citizen means that you must have a green card.
- Have a valid social security number.
On 1st October every year, FAFSA is made available to the public for the next academic year.
Students are given three options for filling form.
- The form is available on myStudentAid mobile app.
- Students can also call 1-800-433-3245 to get a PDF copy of the form.
- You can also apply online at fafsa.gov.
The process of application are as follows.
- Gather all required documents. The required documents are your social security card, you and your parent’s tax returns for that year, you and your parent’s untaxed income records and your parent’s currebt bank statement.
- Complete the FAFSA form on time. The application is usually processed within 3-5 days and your SAR is sent to you.
- Review the Student Aid Report. Students are presented with an SAR after completing the form. The report provides applicants with their eligibility for different types of financial aid, and their expected family contributions.
- If you are eligible, respond to any aid offer of your desired school. The student aid report is made available to the colleges included by the students on the FAFSA. The colleges review, and then, send an offer.
- Receive aid from your school.
Students apply for this financial aid in a maximum of 10 colleges. So, in a situation where more than one college reaches out to you, select one of your choice.
Lying on your FAFSA
Lying on your FAFSA is termed a fraud and is a punishable offence. You, or your parents could spend years in prison and also pay a fine of $20,000.
Lying on your FAFSA will risk your chances of getting a higher education and your chance of getting a job in the future. It also reduces the chances of other students who really need the aid in getting it.
The odds of gettinh kicked out from school is also high as most colleges and institutions have low tolerance for cheating.
However, if you genuinely made mistakes while filling the form, you can correct it. Inform the school that has sent you an aid offer, correct it and take other necessary steps.
Different Federal Financial Aid
FAFSA offers several types of financial aid programs.
- The work-study program: Just like the name implies, it is work and study. The program encourages students with low family contributions to source for part-time jobs while pursuing their studies.
- Pell grant: It is for students with low expected family contribution. The maximum amount given to students is $6345, nevertheless some schools give less than that.
- Federal Direct Subsidized loan: This is part of the student plan program. They have fixed interest rates for the lifetime of the loan. The interest is paid by the government.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Grant: This grant is between $100-$4000 for eligible students and it is available f oruevenrgraduate students. Those who have completed their FAFSA application are eligible for this grant.
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans: This loan is not need-based, this means that nearly all students are eligible
- to receive them. These loans accrue interest immediately they are applied to a student’s account. Thr interest rates are set yearly by the US congress.
Every year, 83.8 of first-year undergraduates who apply for financial aid receive financial aid in some form. A percentage of 85 students receive financial aid every year. And thus FAFSA does not check student bank accounts.
- Do I have to renew my FAFSA every year?
A: Yes, failure to do so will make you ineligible for the financial aid.
- Are financial aids repaid?
A: Financial aid for students are repaid if it is in form of a loan. However, students do not have to repay if it is a scholarship, grant or money allocated to them through a work-study program.
- Is FAFSA open for international students?
A: No. International students are not eligible tor US federal aids which FAFSA is one of them. Permanent residents are eligible.
However, there are other sources of funding for international students.