What You Need to Know About FAFSA and Outside Scholarships

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How Outside Scholarships Affect Your Financial Aid?

If you’re going to school and you’re applying for financial aid, there’s something you should know: getting outside scholarships, or scholarships that weren’t awarded to you by the government or school you’re attending, will impact your financial aid package.

[If you’re looking for some quick ways to get more FAFSA money by appeal, click here. If you’re looking for a guide to cutting your FAFSA fill-out time in half, click here.]

Outside Scholarships and The Government

What happens when you receive an outside scholarship is that your need-based financial aid, which is afforded to you by the government, gets reduced. There’s very little your school can do about this, as it is federal law.

If you’re wondering why, it’s because you’ve found outside help to aid you in covering the costs of your education, thereby reducing your need for help from the government.

Some financial aid, like the Pell Grant, will remain unchanged; however, other grants and loans, such as the Stafford Loan, the Perkins Loans, and others, will be reduced.

If you’re unsure what, if any, financial aid might be reduced, we recommend contacting your school directly to learn more.

Stay on Top of Scholarships

Another thing to keep in mind: if you do receive an outside scholarship and you’ve already sent in your FASFA, notify your school’s financial aid office as soon as possible.

This is important to do quickly because otherwise, you might need to pay back some or all of financial aid package to the school or the government.

Outside scholarships are great because you don’t have to pay them back and you can put them on your resume.

However, make sure that you understand that getting this honor will change your financial aid package: be prepared for this likelihood so you don’t end up wondering what happened to your final tuition cost.

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