FAFSA FAQs

  • Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by students when filing the FAFSA:

    1.If I am not applying for grants or loans and only receive a Carlow Scholarship, do I have to file a FAFSA to renew the scholarship?   
    No, the FAFSA is not required.

    2. I do not live with my parents. Do I have to provide my parents information on the FAFSA? 
     Yes, if you do not qualify as an independent student based on Part Seven of the FAFSA then you must provide your parents' information, even if you do not live with them.

    3. My parents haven't filed their taxes yet and may not have them filed by April 1. Can I still file the FAFSA?  
    Yes, file the FAFSA with estimated income information. You are required to update your FAFSA when actual income information is available.

    4. I live with my mother and step-father. Do I have to provide my step-father's information on the FAFSA? 
     Yes, if your mother and step-father are married at the time you file the FAFSA then both your mother's and your step-father's information must be provided.

    5. I am married but my spouse and I were not married in 2012. Do I have to provide my spouse's 2012 income on the FAFSA?  
    Yes, even if you were not married in 2012 and you filed separate tax returns, if you are married at the time you file the FAFSA, you must provide your spouse's income information.

    6. My father recently lost his job so his 2012 income will be significantly less than what it was in 2012. Do I still have to provide his 2012 income information on the FAFSA?   
    Yes, you must still report his 2012 income. However, you should submit a Special Conditions Form that you will find under Forms.

    7. I'm not sure if I'm going to live on campus or commute from home next year. What housing status should I indicate on my FAFSA?   
    If you're not sure of your housing status, indicate your best guess. Make sure you notify the Financial Aid Office if you change your mind.

    8. I plan to take a leave of absence in the fall and return in January 2014. Do I still have to file the FAFSA by April 1?   
    Yes, file the FAFSA by April 1 so that you meet the financial aid deadline.

    9. I have a child of my own but I live with my parents and my parents claim me and my child as their dependents. Do I qualify as an independent student because I have a child?  
    No, if your parents provide more than 50% of your child's support, then you do not qualify as an independent student.

    10. I am a Pennsylvania resident, so how does PHEAA get the results of my FAFSA? Is there a separate form I need to fill out for state grant?   
    If you list "PA" as your home state, your FAFSA information automatically goes to PHEAA. PHEAA may request additional information from you on a separate form, particularly if you are a first-time FAFSA filer.