Financial Aid

Financial Aid FAQ


What's new with the 2024-2025 FAFSA?

  • Federal Student Aid (FSA) has made changes to the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to simplify the application and make it user friendly. Here are a few important things to know:
    • Both students and parents must have an FSA ID before completing the application. Your FAS ID can be used to log into your FAFSA, signature on the FAFSA and complete other online forms required to receive aid. o Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
    • The number of students in college will no longer apply in the FAFSA calculation.
    • The family size will be more in line with the number of exemptions on the federal tax forms.
    • If parents are divorced or separated, the parent who provided the most financial support in the last calendar year will now complete the parent section of the FAFSA.
    • The net worth of a family’s small business and/or farm is no longer exempt from the FAFSA.

How do I apply for financial aid?

  • To apply for most financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at before the start of the FALL semester. This form is used to determine federal, state and school aid.

What is Henderson State's Federal School Code?

  • 001098

Why should I complete the FAFSA when I know I won't qualify for aid?

  • Completing the FAFSA will provide you with federal eligibility which includes Pell Grant, student loans, and work-study.
  • Most student loan programs required the student to complete a FAFSA and many colleges and universities use the FAFSA to award institutional grants and scholarships.

Do families need to complete a separate FAFSA for each child?

  • Yes. However, after you've completed a FAFSA on the web for one child, you will be given the option of transferring parental data for that FAFSA to the FAFSA for the next child.

If my parents are legally separated or divorced but filed taxes jointly last year, do I need to include their joint financial information on the FAFSA?

  • No. Only the parent with whom you resided the longest during the preceding 12 months should provide financial information. If you did not live with either parent or lived with both equally, then the parent who provided the most financial support should provide financial information on the FAFSA.

Do I need to include my stepparent's income on the FAFSA?

  • Yes. Your stepparent's financial information must be included even if he or she is not helping you pay for your education.

What if my parents live together but were never married?

  • You will indicate on the financial aid application that your parents are living together but not married and provide information for both parents on the application.

My parents refuse to provide their tax information for the FAFSA. Can I still get financial aid?

  • Yes, but you will only be eligible for the unsubsidized Stafford Loan, which means you must pay interest while attending college. However, if your inability to obtain parental information is due to unusual circumstances (parental incarceration, abuse, abandonment, etc.), you should contact your college's financial aid office to inquire about a dependency override, which will allow you to apply as an independent student.

If I plan to get married after filing the FAFSA, should I list my status as married?

  • No. Because the FAFSA is based on the information provided on the date it was completed, your marriage status would be "unmarried" if you complete the FAFSA before you get married. However, once you get married, contact the financial aid office about updating your marital status.

Does the FAFSA consider me an independent student if I am expecting a child during the academic year for which I will receive financial aid?

  • Yes. Also be sure to include the child under household size.

Will a family's retirement assets decrease a student's financial aid eligibility?

  • It depends on how they save for retirement. Certain assets such as pensions, life insurance and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are not evaluated when determining financial aid eligibility. Nor is home equity included for the home in which the family resides. Other assets such as savings accounts, 529 plans, certificates of deposit, stocks, mutual funds and other real estate are included. However, the formula used to calculate the expected family contribution (EFC) assumes families are saving for retirement and provides an "asset protection allowance" according to parental age and marital status. This amount is subtracted from the total net worth of the assets, and of the remainder, only 12 percent is considered available assets. A smaller percentage of assets, six percent, is actually assessed for the parent contribution. Families should not need to tap into retirement savings to pay for college.

I live with my foster parents and their children. Should they be reported in parents' Household size?

  • If you were in foster care at or after age 13, you can answer 'Yes' to the question on the FAFSA that asks if you were in foster care any time after you turned 13. You will automatically be considered an independent student, which means you can skip Section Four of the FAFSA.