If you don't find the answers you need in the list of frequently asked questions below, you can email us or call us with your question.
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 email 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® process (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 at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov/orderpubs.
- 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?" Because our print budget is small, and because infographics are intended to be online items, we do not print infographics.
A: Federal Student Aid provides information about numbers of FAFSA forms completed by school at StudentAid.gov/fafsa-hs-data. However, we do not provide lists of names of students who have submitted FAFSA forms. 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, email 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.
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 may be 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.
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 comments or questions about this website? Fill out the form below and we will get back to you.
- If you have a question about the FAFSA form, 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 his or her 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 deaf or hard of hearing): 1-800-730-8913
Locations without access to 800 numbers: 334-523-2691
Sign Up for Our "Partner Emails"
We consider school counselors, college access organization staff, and other mentors to be our partners in educating students about applying for and receiving federal student aid to help make their college dreams a reality. Several times a year, we email our partners with updates about our products and services, reminders about upcoming professional development opportunities, tips for outreach to students, and more. Sign up to receive our partner emails. Note: The emails we send are intended to keep counselors and mentors up to date; they do not contain information for students or parents. Please send students and parents to StudentAid.gov for information about federal student aid.