Under secretary of education answers FAFSA questions on Twitter

When applying to campus-based or online Christian colleges and universities, most students know they should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This application gives individuals access to work-study programs, loans and federal and state student grants, making it an important part of the college application process. However, this form can be complex and even confusing, especially if students have never had to fill it out before. To help individuals navigate through this process, Martha J. Kanter, under secretary of education, recently answered people’s FAFSA questions on Twitter.

One of the questions Kanter received was whether or not students need to have their taxes done before they fill out the FAFSA. Although many students believe they need to file for taxes prior to submitting the form, Kanter said they can choose to fill out the application first. If they decide to do so, they should select “will file” on their FAFSA and use income estimates from their most recent tax information on the form. Then, when they do file their taxes, they can go back and add the correct values to their application.

Students who tweeted during the live social networking event also wanted to know how they can become eligible for state grants, which can be an important type of financial aid for many individuals. Kanter told her Twitter audience that they should check their state’s grant page on the U.S. Department of Education’s website. Here, degree seekers can find a wide variety of information on not only state grants, but also scholarships and other forms of financial aid.

Other questions focused on whether specific types of courses are covered under the financial aid provided by FAFSA. For instance, one student asked whether or not this type of monetary assistance can be used towards summer courses. Kanter responded by tweeting that financial aid can be applied to these types of classes, as long as the student has remaining eligibility for the academic year. Additionally, students asked if there have been any recent changes to whether or not financial aid applies to remedial classes. The under secretary said there has not been changes. However, she suggested that students talk about this subject with financial aid officials from their schools.