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College Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Financial Aid Basics


At OneSimpleLoan, we strong believers in financial aid literacy to help you pay for college education and feel comfortable about student loans.  Please choose from the FAQ categories below to find answers to the most commonly-asked financial aid quesions. 


Financial Aid Basics FAQ Private Student Loans FAQ


If you still have questions that are not answered by this Financial Aid FAQ, please don't hesitate to email or call OneSimpleLoan toll-free at 1-877-663-7467 for a free consultation, especially before you borrow with anyone else! We're here to help you get the best that student loans offer, including the best rates and the best service.

OneSimpleLoan encourages prospective customers to apply for a federal student loan before applying for a private student loan, as federal loans are often less expensive and offer the widest variety of repayment options.


What is financial aid?
Is there an income cutoff for financial aid?
How do I save for my child's education?
How can I pay for my child's college?
What kinds of student loans are available?
Our family probably doesn't qualify for aid. Should we still apply?
Do we have to reapply for financial aid every year?
When can we apply for aid?
How do I find out if my family qualifies for need-based aid?
If I am divorced, whose financial info should my child use?
Is the non-custodial parent required to help pay for college?
I am divorced and remarried. Does my child's stepparent have to report his or her income and assets on the FAFSA?
If I filed for bankruptcy in the past, will this affect my child's future eligibility for student loans and other financial aid?
Can educational loans be discharged through bankruptcy?
I am not a citizen of the United States. Is my child still eligible for financial aid?
If my child is classified as an independent, what financial aid can he/she get?
How is "independent" status determined?
If my child was home schooled, can he/she receive financial aid?
Can I fill out the FAFSA for my child?



What is financial aid?
Financial aid is assistance to help a family cover the cost of college. It is intended to supplement a family's contribution and can include scholarships and grants, low-interest loans and part-time employment.

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Is there an income cutoff for financial aid?
Most financial aid is determined by family income, assets and ability to pay � also known as "need". There is no cutoff, but it is also true that many families make too much money to get large amounts of "free" aid. Government loans are available to supplement this. If government loans and other forms of financial aid do not cover the full Cost of Education for your child, you may need to fill the gap with a private student loan through OneSimpleLoan!

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How do I save for my child's education?
Common ways to save for school include savings accounts, savings bonds, 529 plans, Upromise Program and Coverdale ESAs. Any of these is a great way to start saving for your child's college education. The most important thing is to start saving as soon as possible. Consult with your certified financial planner to decide which option may be best for you.

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How can I pay for my child's college?
You can use many means to pay for school, including savings, family contributions, scholarships, grants, government loans, and private student loans. Consult with your certified financial planner to decide which options are best for your family.

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What kinds of student loans are available?
There are many options available for both you and your child. Your child can borrow using Subsidized Stafford loans (if your family income is low), Unsubsidized Stafford loans (if your family income isn't low), Perkins loans, and private student loans. As a parent, you can borrow the PLUS government loan in your name, if necessary.

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Our family probably doesn't qualify for aid. Should we still apply?
Definitely! You can't be sure you don't qualify for aid and you may not receive financial aid you could get by failing to apply for it. There are also some sources of aid like Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. Some other scholarships and grants, even if not need-based, require you to fill in the FAFSA. The FAFSA form is free. Some schools require the FAFSA even to consider you for non-need-based aid.

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Do we have to reapply for financial aid every year?
Yes. Almost all financial aid offices require application each year.

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When can we apply for aid?
You can usually apply for financial aid any time after January 1st of your child's enrollment year. However, your child must usually be admitted and enrolled to actually get any money.


Your financial need is based on the tax year, ending December 31st, so you can't know all the numbers until at least January 1st. Many folks don't apply until after they receive their W-2s in February. You can get a jump on the process if you use pay stubs and other information to figure out income and related info before that.

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How do I find out if my family qualifies for need-based aid?
Submit a FAFSA. Check the appropriate boxes indicating interest in student employment, student loans, and parent loans. This does not commit you to accepting these types of aid. You can accept or decline later. Leaving these boxes unchecked will not increase your grant aid.

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If I am divorced, whose financial info should my child use?
If a child's parents are separated or divorced, the custodial parent is responsible for filling out the FAFSA. The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived the most during the past 12 months. This is not necessarily the same as the parent who has legal custody. If your child did not live with one parent more than the other, the parent who provided the child with the most financial support during the past 12 months should fill out the FAFSA. Any child support and/or alimony received from the non-custodial parent must be included on the FAFSA.

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Is the non-custodial parent required to help pay for college?
This is a complex issue that varies state-by-state and school-by-school. Seeking advice from your child's school financial aid officer or your certified financial planner may be your best option.

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I am divorced and remarried. Does my child's stepparent have to report his or her income and assets on the FAFSA?
Yes, if a stepparent and parent are married at the time that a FAFSA is filled out, they must report their income and assets.

What if my child's stepparent signed a prenuptial agreement that absolves him/her from financial responsibility for my child's education?
Prenuptial agreements are ignored by the federal process.

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If I filed for bankruptcy in the past, will this affect my child's future eligibility for student loans and other financial aid?
Generally speaking, a bankruptcy should have no impact on eligibility for federal student aid. Parents who apply for a PLUS loan may be denied for adverse credit (which bankruptcy is). Most bankruptcies will have an impact on eligibility for private loan programs, including some school loan programs. Many private loan programs have credit criteria that preclude people with a bankruptcy within the past seven or 10 years from borrowing without a creditworthy cosigner.

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Can educational loans be discharged through bankruptcy?
Generally, no.

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I am not a citizen of the United States. Is my child still eligible for financial aid?
If your child is a U.S. citizen, but you are not, your child is still eligible for federal aid. If you do not have a Social Security number, you should use 000-00-0000 as your Social Security number on the FAFSA form.

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If my child is classified as an independent, what financial aid can he/she get?
Independent students are not expected to have a parental contribution for federal aid and this will be reflected in the EFC. Each college determines how it approaches aid based on this EFC for independent students.

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How is "independent" status determined?
For federal aid purposes, a student must fulfill the following criteria to be considered independent:


Be 24 years of age or have at least one of the following exceptions:

    • is married
    • has a dependent
    • is a graduate or professional student
    • is a ward of the court or an orphan
    • is a veteran

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If my child was home schooled, can he/she receive financial aid?
Home-schooled students can receive federal student aid if they have "completed a secondary school education in a home-school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under state law.� Home-schooled students who meet this requirement typically do not have to take a GED.

Some scholarships are available for home-schooled students. But others do require a high school diploma or GED. If you find scholarships that do require this, it never hurts to ask for an exception.

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Can I fill out the FAFSA for my child?
It is recommended that you help your child with the FAFSA to help ensure accuracy. If there are mistakes on the form, it will take longer to get your financial aid. You and your child can both apply for a PIN at fafsa.ed.gov (you cannot share a PIN) to access your account in the future and to sign your FAFSA form electronically.

Unless your child is an independent student, he or she will need your financial information, as well as his or her own, in order to complete the FAFSA.

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