<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://q.quora.com/_/ad/bdd9d941ae754c498fe2d2326d029ffa/pixel?tag=ViewContent&amp;noscript=1">

Do You Have to Pay Back FAFSA?

Featured Stories

Filter By Categories

When you make the choice to apply for financial aid, which can include federal loans, work-study opportunities, and grants, the first step is to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is commonly known as the FAFSA form.  It is important to understand the purpose of the FAFSA form in order to know how your financial aid will need to be paid back.  

The purpose of using the FAFSA form to apply for financial aid is that the government, as well as many schools, use the information provided in the FAFSA to decide if you are even eligible for any types of financial aid and how much aid you are eligible to receive. More specifically, after submitting your FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) which will list your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Any schools that you choose to receive your financial aid information will also receive this report. These schools then use it to determine the type of aid for which you qualify. This can come in the form of federal loans, parent loans, scholarships, grants, etc.

The type of financial aid determines whether it needs to be paid back. Generally, grants, scholarships, and work-study funds will not need to be paid back unless for some reason you leave school and the funds have already been disbursed. In this case, you may be required to pay back funds, but that often depends upon the institution providing the funds. Student loans will need to be paid back. The specific terms will be outlined and explained in your promissory and during what is called entrance counseling. When you pay back your student loans will be dependent upon many factors, which can include how long you are in school, income, and life circumstances, among other things.

Ultimately, what is important to remember is that filling out a FAFSA does not guarantee financial aid nor is it financial aid. It is simply a form that determines your eligibility for financial aid. This aid can include many different types, including loans, grants, and scholarships. Ultimately the school you attend and the cost of that school will determine what you have to pay back.

Edmit's advice helps you to be better off after graduation.

  • Merit and financial aid estimates based on your student profile
  • Earnings estimates and financial scores for your college and major
  • Recommendations to save thousands on college

Sign up for updates

Popular Tags

Financial Aid and Scholarships* Cost of College* paying for college financial aid FAFSA Student Loans* grants and scholarships federal student loans Saving for College* Salary and Career* college tuition 529 plan cost of attendance expected family contribution private student loans college financial planning financial aid award taxes career college savings plan room and board on-campus housing merit scholarships budgeting for college college expenses federal financial aid merit-based financial aid private universities public universities edmit hidden gems edmit team college costs parent PLUS loan college applications living expenses CSS profile education expenses financial need income application fees career fit choosing a major financial aid appeal off-campus housing choosing a college college majors loan forgiveness affordable college degree programs loan repayment repayment plans researching careers student loan assistance student loan debt work-study application fee waivers career exploration college search coronavirus edmit scholarship institutional aid net price private scholarships SAT career goals college visits in-state tuition prepaid tuition plans ACT budget free tuition international students internships need-based financial aid need-blind colleges qualified higher education expenses retirement savings school-based scholarships southern colleges standardized testing tuition discount tuition guarantee tuition payment plans 401k UGMA UTMA applying to college college financial health college ranking systems college spending college transfers credit score discretionary income distance learning education savings accounts fees financial literacy full ride scholarship gap year grants health insurance options investment ivy league schools liberal arts degree meal plans midwestern colleges need-aware colleges out-of-state tuition saving state aid tuition increases western colleges 568 presidents group Inversant MEFA asset protection allowance best price campus life college advisor college credits college deposit college viability community college concurrent enrollment cost by region cost by state crowdfunding dorms early decision educational expenses esports fee waivers financial wellness for-profit universities fraternities and sororities full tuition graduate school home equity loan income share agreements job applications line of credit lists medical expenses medical school military benefits net price calculators new england colleges non-profit universities online learning online tuition out-of-state students percent need met private college consultant remote learning self-assessment siblings small business state schools student bank accounts student organizations subsidized loans title IV schools travel expenses tuition decreases tuition insurance tuition reciprocity undocumented students unsubsidized loans work-based learning