Is FAFSA for Trade Schools?
Yes, FAFSA covers trade schools. Despite common misconception, the FAFSA is not exclusive to traditional colleges and universities.
But there are some things to keep in mind if you plan on applying for financial aid at a trade school.
In this post, we’ll go over how the FAFSA works with trade schools and what you can do to make sure you get enough financial aid to cover your tuition.
What is FAFSA for Trade Schools?
The FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, for trade schools is a financial aid application. It’s designed to help students who are attending or plan to attend, vocational or technical training programs to receive federal, state, and school-based financial aid.
By completing the FAFSA, trade school students can access grants, work-study programs, and low-interest loans to finance their education.
Who Qualifies for FAFSA with Trade Schools?
In the fiscal year 2022, more than 9.8 million students get over $111.6 billion in help from the government through FAFSA.
But it’s not just for everyone. To get this help, you have to meet a few requirements:
- You need a high school diploma or GED
- You must be enrolled or accepted in a degree or certificate program that is eligible
- If you’re a guy between 18 and 25, you need to be registered with the Selective Service
- You need a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
- Lastly, you have to keep good grades once you’re in your program
And here’s an important tip: Not just the government but your state and college also look at your FAFSA. They use it to decide who gets financial aid and how much they’ll get.
So make every single detail count when filling out your FAFSA!
The Different Types of Aid Provided by FAFSA
FAFSA opens the door to a variety of financial help options to pay for trade school. It’s not just about loans but also about grants that you don’t have to pay back.
Let’s look at the main types of aid FAFSA provides:
- Direct Subsidized Loan: A loan with better terms, where the government pays the interest while you’re in school.
- Federal Pell Grant: This is money you don’t have to pay back, given to undergraduates with exceptional financial need.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: Another grant which doesn’t need to be paid back. It’s offered to students with extreme financial need.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan: A loan you can get regardless of financial need. You’re responsible for paying all the interest.
Remember, it’s essential to understand all your options and make an educated choice about the financial aid best suited to your circumstances.
What Do I Need to Complete My FAFSA Form?
Filling out your FAFSA form isn’t hard, but you’ll need a few things on hand:
- Start with your Social Security number. It’s required.
- If you’re not a U.S. citizen, have your Alien Registration number ready.
- Get your tax returns, W-2s, or any other proof of how much you earned. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool could make this easier.
- If you’ve got them, you’ll need your bank statements and any records about investments.
- Do you have any untaxed income? You’ll need records of that too.
- You’ll need an FSA ID and Save Key. They let you save your progress and sign your FAFSA form online.
But remember, the FAFSA form isn’t just about you. It also needs details about your family’s financial situation, including their tax information. So, it might be a good idea to ask your parents for a hand to complete it successfully.
When to Submit Your FAFSA
Ordinarily, the FAFSA season starts October 1st each year. However, for the class of 2024 and others currently in December 2023, it’s time to begin straight away.
Keep in mind: the financial aid game operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so being early is always in your favor.
But there’s more than just one date to circle on your calendar. Actually, there are three types of deadlines you’ll want to jot down right away:
- College deadlines: Each college sets its own. So, pop into your prospective colleges’ websites or give their financial aid offices a call to find out the scoop.
- State deadlines: Your state has a say too. Every state has its deadline if you’re applying for aid from them. Make sure to check this!
- Federal deadline: For federal aid, you have until June 30 to get your application in for the following academic year.
And finally, you also need to remember that the FAFSA isn’t a one-time thing. If you’re planning to apply for aid throughout college, you’ll need to fill out a new FAFSA each year.
So, grab your calendar and mark those deadlines. Need help? Your school counselors can help.
Do I Pay if I Do Not Finish My Trade School Program?
Yes, you do. Whether you’re attending college or trade school, any funds you’ve borrowed through the FAFSA process will need to be paid back, regardless of whether you complete your program or not.
Keep in mind that this type of debt is different from typical obligations—you won’t be able to declare bankruptcy on it. So, one thing’s for sure: this debt will be your partner until it’s fully settled.
Ready to get started? Just head to studentaid.gov; you’ll find everything you need there.