Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Below are questions we hear a lot from counselors and students. You may find what you're looking for here, saving yourself the trouble of sending us an e-mail or picking up the phone.
Click on a question to "expand" it to show its answer. When you're finished reading the answer, you can click on the question again to make the answer disappear.
Q: Can someone from Federal Student Aid come talk to my students about the FAFSA (or about financial aid, or about loan repayment, etc.)?
A: Our team is very small, but we are occasionally able to make in-person visits to schools, libraries, or other venues to teach students, parents, and/or counselors about our programs and application. Check out our information on choosing a presenter for your financial aid event.
A: Our documents are free, and while many are online-only, we do still print a good selection of titles.
- You can order publications in bulk from the Federal Student Aid Publications Ordering System (FSAPubs).
- You or your students can order single copies of publications at www.edpubs.gov.
- Please note: The Counselors and Mentors Handbook on Federal Student Aid is no longer printed; you can get it in PDF at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov/handbook.
- Another question we sometimes hear is "Can I order your infographics in poster form?" As of fall 2015, our infographics are not in poster form, but we are considering printing one or two of them in poster size within the next several months. Because our print budget is small, and because infographics are intended to be online items, we do not plan to print infographics as a matter of course.
A: Federal Student Aid provides information about numbers of FAFSAs completed by school at StudentAid.gov/fafsa-hs-data. However, we do not provide lists of names of students who have submitted FAFSAs. Instead, we make that data available to state grant agencies, who then may choose to share it with high school counselors in their state. Please contact your state grant agency/state higher education agency for details about any efforts taking place in your state.
Q: Is my school allowed to link to your videos, fact sheets, infographics, or other resources from our website?
A: Yes; our information is free for you to use, and we encourage you to share it with students and parents. You're not allowed to charge anyone for our information, but you're certainly allowed to post it on your website, put it in your school newsletter, e-mail it to students or parents, tweet it, etc.
Q: I work in a college financial aid office and have a question about administering the federal student aid programs; can you help?
A: The Financial Aid Toolkit site is designed for high school counselors, TRIO and GEAR UP staff, and other college-access mentors who help students learn about and apply for financial aid. You can find information about administering the federal student aid programs at our Information for Financial Aid Professionals website at ifap.ed.gov.
Q: How do I submit a request for you to update my school's/organization's information for your FSA Pubs mailing list?
A: Please sign in at www.FSAPubs.gov using your ML number and go to Account Management to change your information. Be sure to provide your current e-mail address so we can send you our occasional updates.
A: You probably need to turn it on in your media player. The following instructions refer to videos on our Search Financial Aid Tools and Resources page.
- Make sure you download a video with Spanish captioning by clicking on the "Spanish Captioned" link associated with the video you'd like.
- When you click to open the video, look for an icon or other way to turn captioning on or off. For instance, in Windows Media Player, there's a small icon that looks like a stylized speech bubble in the upper right corner of the window when the video is playing.
- Click on the icon or whatever your player offers to turn on the Spanish captioning.
A: Yes. We encourage applicants to provide estimated information on the FAFSA if they haven't filed taxes yet. Once the student or parent files taxes, the student must log back in to the FAFSA and input the appropriate tax data. View our information for students about providing financial data on the FAFSA (before or after filing taxes).
Q: Can a student be considered independent if he or she doesn't live with his or her parents and/or isn't claimed on their taxes?
A: No, not as a rule. We recommend that you and your students review the information at StudentAid.gov/dependency to understand what makes a student independent and how special circumstances might affect dependency status
Do you have general questions about student aid or technical questions about this website? Fill out the form below and we will get back to you.
- If you have a question about the FAFSA, you might want to take a look at the online help at fafsa.gov before contacting us.
- For answers to questions about a student's specific financial aid situation (why haven't they received the funds yet, why was the amount of aid or type of aid different than they expected, etc.), the student should talk to their school's financial aid office. The school—and not the U.S. Department of Education—distributes aid to students.
- If you are working with a borrower who has questions about how to make a payment on a federal student loan, have the borrower contact his or her loan servicer.
Note that this form is not secure: Do not send any personal information such as Social Security numbers.
The Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) serves the public with information about the federal student aid programs and application process. Find the FSAIC's call center hours.
Call: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
TTY (for the hearing impaired): 1-800-730-8913
Locations without access to 800 numbers: 319-337-5665