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Financial Aid questions!


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Hello all,


I just recently finished up my applications for graduate school, and am now starting to seriously think about financial aid (Fafsa, private scholarships, loans, etc.). I have a few questions though which I hope you all can help me with.


1. Decisions don't come out till March/April--Should I still go ahead and submit FAFSA and other applications before I find out whether or not I got accepted?


2. If I do submit the FAFSA, is it more appropriate to file as independent or dependent? I'm expecting to take out a lot of loans + work-study/internship doing school and will be responsible for paying for all expenses myself. My parents have been great and have helped out tremendously for undergraduate funds. I would think, though, that filing independent this time would be more appropriate since I am not expecting any EFC (expected family contribution)?



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Guest Gnome Chomsky

Correct me if I'm wrong, but: 


1) Yes, you should fill out the FAFSA as early as possible. I know people who fill it out on January 1st and make revisions as soon as w2 and tax return information comes in. The reason for filling it out early is it gets your name on the list as soon as you fill it out. This can lead to a better financial aid offer. I know for a fact this applies in undergrad. It might be a little different when applying for grad school. Also, when you fill out the FAFSA it gives you the opportunity to list 10 schools to send your information to. If you're applying to 10 or fewer schools, just list every school you're applying to. If you're applying to more than 10, then list your top 10 choices and make revisions later on if you need to. 


2) I'm pretty sure independent and dependent is a condition and not a choice. You're either a dependent or an independent student. The qualifications for dependency are pretty clear. You can look it up, but I'm pretty sure you are independent if one of the following applies to you: a) 24 year of age or older, b ) military veteran, c) a ward of the state, d) both your parents are deceased, or e) you have dependents of your own. So it doesn't matter if you feel independent or dependent. You have to qualify. I know 25 year olds who don't do shit who are technically independent, and 18 year olds with a full-time job and live on their own who are dependent. 

Edited by Gnome Chomsky
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For graduate school purposes, you are an independent.




At the beginning of the 2014–15 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate degree 
program (such as an M.A., M.B.A., M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., graduate certificate, etc.)? 
Did you answer Yes to any of the questions? 
If so, then for federal student aid purposes, you’re 
considered to be an independent student and do not have 
to provide information about your parents on the FAFSA. 
Edited by guttata
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