Author Topic: Advice on FAFSA for an Adult Learner  (Read 1658 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Advice on FAFSA for an Adult Learner
« on: March 22, 2017, 08:33:26 PM »
It has been years since I have been a student, so I am not sure entirely how to even approach this question...

BUT - my employer is having me return to school for classes in pursuit of an advanced certificate in my field. (The certificate satisfies an education requirement which then lets me sit for an advanced test and license & designation and that would qualify me to have a promotion which outweighs the cost of returning almost within the first year after obtaining the designation). However, the courses are upper level, but still undergraduate courses. My question is, should I / do I / can I still fill out the FAFSA?

I don't even know if I HAVE to, or if I SHOULD. BUT, I was thinking both from a point of potentially trying to qualify for a grant or scholarship, should I even bother (I don't know if my situation will preclude me from any awards). My employer may reimburse me partially, but I am not sure of the specifics yet. I am also only going to be taking roughly 4 courses per year for the next year and a half or two (including summers).

Any advice is much appreciated!


  • Bristles
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Re: Advice on FAFSA for an Adult Learner
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2017, 01:07:36 PM »
I would say yes. Fill out the FAFSA. I work for a college. Our scholarship program requires that a student have a FAFSA on-file before any aid will be given. Assuming if you are working full time, you likely will not be eligible for Pell Grants (But hey, I don't work in Financial Aid nor do I know your income, so I could be wrong!), but even for our merit based scholarships, you need to have a FAFSA on-file. Also, apply for scholarships! I sat on the scholarship committee for a while, I was shocked at how few applications we got, because most students assumed they wouldn't get one any way, so why try? I always tell them why not try? It's a pretty short application and one application puts you in the running for a ton of scholarships (its a master application that enters you for every one you possibly qualify for based on whatever the criteria might be). There are also random state programs you might be eligible for based on being a returning adult learner that you would need the FASFA on-file to qualify. Talk to your Financial Aid office, there is a lot more aid out there if you spend a little time looking/asking about than people realize. 


  • Stubble
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Re: Advice on FAFSA for an Adult Learner
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2017, 01:35:48 PM »
Absolutely apply. It takes like 5 minutes. The asset test does not include retirement accounts, and it only asks for AGI, so folks maxing retirement accounts may very well qualify.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Advice on FAFSA for an Adult Learner
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 10:13:42 AM »
Why isn't your employer paying for this?


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Advice on FAFSA for an Adult Learner
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2017, 10:44:46 AM »
Apply! and it's super easy - the IRS will pull your numbers from your latest tax return and fill it out for you (of course you login, create a  password, yada, yada, yada, but it's not that hard.)

Make sure you use the real (free) one - the .gov - and not a lookalike site.

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Proud Foot

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Re: Advice on FAFSA for an Adult Learner
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2017, 02:21:01 PM »
It doesn't hurt any to fill it out.  Really easy to complete and doesn't take much time either.  The biggest thing for you to receive any aid would be your enrollment status.  You won't be eligible for most aid if you aren't considered at least half time.