Did you know that fewer than half of children in the U.S. live in “traditional” nuclear families? If you work for the FAFSA, then that answer is no.
If you are a college student, you know the pains of filing for financial aid every. single. year. I just recently had to fill out my FAFSA again for next school year, and it was not a pretty experience.
Let’s start with the fact that my mom passed away this past summer. It’s very hard to be required to think of this in financial terms, but the FAFSA makes you do this. I had to file as an “independent” student this year. This means that I would not be required to provide parental information. But I was not approved, therefore delaying and possibly eliminating my financial aid I need for school.
This is because the FAFSA does not understand the concept of having anything other than a “normal” mother-father-child family.
They assume every single college student has this type of family. On the FAFSA you can only put your mother or father as your provider, so other caretakers such as grandparents or stepparents do not count. This makes it almost impossible to understand how to fill it out if you don’t fit in this category.
Just because my family does not qualify as this, I am being punished by having my financial aid unapproved.
Also, the people of FAFSA think parents' entire income goes straight toward their children’s college fund as if they don’t have bills to pay, food to buy, or health problems to take care of. They also ignore the fact that some parents are uninvolved in their child’s life and therefore do not even help them pay for their college. Many students I know struggle to pay for college on their own and owe thousands of dollars in loans because of this.