Completing the FAFSA for More Than One Child
The FAFSA opens on October 1st this year, which means you should start gathering the information you'll need to complete it NOW! If you have more than one child in college, you may have questions about how to complete the FAFSA for multiple family members. Below you'll find some helpful information from the U.S. Department of Education's Homeroom blog - to read the post in its entirety, click here.
How many FSA IDs will my children and I need? How many FAFSAs do we have to complete?
An FSA ID is a username and password combination that serves as your legal electronic signature throughout the financial aid process—from the first time your children fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA®) until the time their loans are paid off. You AND each of your children will need your own FSA ID. Parents and students can create their FSA IDs here. Each of your children will need to fill out a FAFSA.
Example: You have three children who are going to or who are in college. You’ll need four FSA IDs—one for you as the parent (only one parent needs an FSA ID) and one for each child. You’ll need to fill out three FAFSAs, one for each child.
Your children will also need to provide your (parent) information on their 2017–18 FAFSA unless they are going to graduate school, were born before January 1, 1994, or can answer “yes” to any of these questions.
Can I transfer my information from one child’s FAFSA to another so I don’t have to re-enter it?
Yes! Once your first child’s FAFSA is complete, you’ll get to a confirmation page. On the confirmation page, you’ll see a hyperlink that says, “transfer your parents’ information into a new FAFSA.” Make sure you have your pop-up blocker turned off and click that link.
Tip: If you want the process to go as smoothly as possible, your second child should have his/her FSA ID handy so you’re ready for the next step.
How does having more than one child in college impact the amount of financial aid my children qualify for?
Having multiple children enrolled in college at the same time could have an impact on your children’s eligibility for need-based federal financial aid. The information you provide on the FAFSA is used to calculate your child’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is a combination of how much a parent and student are expected to contribute towards the student’s cost to attend college. The EFC is not necessarily the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your child’s school to calculate how much financial aid he or she is eligible to receive. Since we recognize that a parent’s annual ability to pay doesn’t change as you have more children enroll in college, we divide the expected parent contribution portion by the number of children you expect to have in college.
Have more questions about filling out the FAFSA? Click below to view the recording of our recent webinar, "Completing the FAFSA: What You Need to Know" with Student Choice's College Access Counselor.
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