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12 Myths About the FAFSA Form and Applying for Financial Aid


Posted By: Melissa Elliott - 4/3/2018 12:05:23 PM
There’s so much information available about financial aid that it can be hard to tell the facts from fiction. We’ve got you covered! Here are some common myths—and the real scoop—about financial aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.

MYTH 1: My parents make too much money, so I won’t qualify for any aid.

FACT: The reality is there’s no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. It doesn’t matter if you have a low or high income; most people qualify for some type of financial aid, including low-interest federal student loans. Many factors besides income—such as your family size and your year in school—are taken into account. Don’t make assumptions about what you’ll get—fill out the application and find out!


MYTH 2: The 2018–19 FAFSA® form launched on Jan. 1.

FACT: The 2018–19 FAFSA form launched on Oct. 1. You should submit a FAFSA form as soon as possible.


MYTH 3: I should use my 2017 tax information to fill out the 2018–19 FAFSA® form.

FACT: You must use your 2016 tax information to complete the 2018–19 FAFSA form. (The requirements changed last year.) It doesn’t matter if you or your parents haven’t filed 2017 taxes yet because the 2018–19 FAFSA form doesn’t need that information. You won’t have to update your FAFSA form after filing 2017 taxes either because 2016 information is what’s required.


MYTH 4: I support myself, so I don’t have to include my parent’s info on the FAFSA® form.

FACT: This is not necessarily true. Even if you support yourself, live on your own, or file your own taxes, you may still be considered a dependent student for FAFSA purposes. The FAFSA form asks a series of questions to determine your dependency status. If you’re independent, you won’t need to include your parents’ information on your FAFSA form. But if you’re dependent, you must provide your parents’ information.

If you’re a dependent student, find out who is considered your parent for FAFSA purposes. (It’s not as obvious as you might think.)


MYTH 5: I should wait until I’m accepted to a college before I fill out the FAFSA® form.

FACT: Don’t wait. You can start now! You must list at least one college to receive your information. You SHOULD list all schools you’re considering even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet. You can add up to 10 schools at a time. If you want to add another school after you submit your FAFSA form, you can log in at fafsa.gov and submit a correction.

The schools you list will use your FAFSA information to determine the types and amounts of aid you may receive.


MYTH 6: If I didn’t receive enough money for school. I’m just out of luck.

FACT: You still have options! If you’ve received federal, state, and college aid but still find yourself having to fill the gap between what your financial aid covers and what you owe your school, consider scholarships, part-time work, and payment plans.


MYTH 7: I should call “the FAFSA® people” (Federal Student Aid) to find out how much financial aid money I’m getting and when.

FACT: No, you’ll have to contact your school. Federal Student Aid does not award or disburse your aid, so we won’t be able to tell you what you’ll get or when you’ll get it. You will have to contact the financial aid office at your school to find out the status of your aid and when you should expect it. Just keep in mind that each school has a different timeline for awarding financial aid.


MYTH 8: There’s only one FAFSA® deadline and that’s not until June.

FACT: Nope!  You should also be aware of your school deadline.  The Vernon College financial aid priority deadline for the Fall 2018 semester is June 27. Submitting all required documents by this date ensures that we will have your financial aid file completed and awarded prior to the payment deadline.  


MYTH 9: I only have to fill out the FAFSA® form once.

FACT: You have to fill out the FAFSA form every year you’re in school in order to stay eligible for federal student aid.


MYTH 10: I can share an FSA ID with my parent(s).

FACT: Nope, if you’re a dependent student, then two people will need their own FSA ID to sign your FAFSA form online:

  1. You (the student)
  2. One of your parents

An FSA ID is a username and password that you use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as fafsa.gov.

If you’re a dependent student, your parent will need his or her own FSA ID to sign your FAFSA form electronically. If your parent has more than one child attending college, he or she can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. You’ll need a unique email address for each FSA ID.

MYTH 4: I support myself, so I don’t have to include my parent’s info on the FAFSA® form.Your FSA ID is used to sign legally binding documents electronically. It has the same legal status as a written signature. Don’t give your FSA ID to anyone—not even to someone helping you fill out the FAFSA form. Sharing your FSA ID could put you at risk of identity theft and could cause delays in the FAFSA process!


MYTH 11: Only students with good grades get financial aid.

FACT: While a high grade point average will help you get into a good school and may help with academic scholarships, at Vernon College financial aid recipients must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and have a successful pace of completion rate that is at least sixty-seven (67%) percent of all courses attempted at VC. 


MYTH 12: It costs money to submit the FAFSA® form.

FACT: Absolutely not! You NEVER have to pay to complete the FAFSA form when you go to fafsa.gov. If you’re paying a fee, you’re not on the official government website.


need more help?

FACT: The VC Financial Aid Office is available to answer your questions.  Please call or come by and we will be happy to assist you.  We want to provide you the financial support you need to afford your education! 


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1970 marked the beginning of Vernon College. Throughout this decade the College continued to grow and more students enrolled in both on- and off-campus courses. On January 20, 1970, a majority of the citizens of Wilbarger County voted to create the Wilbarger County Junior College District. Following that decision, Vernon Regional Junior College was established and on April 9, 1970, the newly elected Board of Trustees appointed Dr. David L. Norton as the College’s first president. Campus construction began in May 1971, and included an Academic Science Center, Administration-Fine Arts Center, Applied Arts Center, Library, and Student Center. The following year, on September 5, 1972, classes met for the first time on the Vernon campus with a total of 608 students. On August 1, 1974, Dr. Jim M. Williams became the College’s second president. In the fall semester of that year, combined on- and off-campus enrollment exceeded 800 students. During the 1975-76 academic year, the College expanded its services to include a learning center on Sheppard Air Force Base. During this year, enrollment in credit courses, both on- and off-campus, rose to a level of 1,199. The scope of the Vocational Nursing Program was enlarged during the 1976-77 academic year with the assumption of the Bethania School of Vocational Nursing in Wichita Falls. In August 1976 the Physical Education Center was dedicated in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas A. King longtime benefactors of Vernon College. Growth and changes continued during the 1980s. In August 1980 a Student Residence Center, designed to house 128 students, opened for occupancy. Further expansion of program offerings in the Wichita Falls area was accomplished through absorption of an existing proprietary school that was renamed the Vernon College Technical Center and the integration of the nursing program from the Wichita Falls Independent School District. On March 22, 1982, Dr. Joe Mills took over the leadership of the College as the third president. That fall, the College fielded its first intercollegiate rodeo team. During 1983-84, the Department of Cosmetology and the Career Development Center (previously known as the North Texas Skills Center) were established in Wichita Falls. On the Vernon campus, the Chaparral Center was completed, and the Pease River farm purchased through a state land trade. The following academic year, 1984-85, Vernon College reached a record credit enrollment of 1,863 and a record continuing education enrollment of 7,056 registrations. A Vocational Nursing Program opened in Seymour, and the Board of Trustees established a college foundation and approved an agreement to allow construction of the Red River Valley Museum on the Vernon campus. In February 1987 the College played its first intercollegiate baseball game on the Vernon campus. During May of that year, the new Natatorium was opened in the King Physical Education Center. A newly constructed Athletic Dormitory opened to house 28 athletes in August 1988. In October, Trustees voted to add women’s volleyball as a varsity sport, effective with the fall 1989 semester. In May 1989 Vernon College moved all Wichita Falls programs to one centralized location—Century City Center. Since the College opened its doors 38 years ago, many individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations have made an investment in our students through the creation of endowed and annual scholarships. As of this year, more than 100 scholarship funds are available to help students pursue their educational dreams.VERNON COLLEGE PHILOSOPHY: Vernon College is a constantly evolving institution, dedicated primarily to effective teaching and regional enhancement. With this dedication to teaching and to the community, the College encourages open inquiry, personal and social responsibility, critical thinking, and life-long learning for students, faculty, and other individuals within its service area. The College takes as its guiding educational principle the proposition that, insofar as available resources permit, instruction should be adapted to student needs. This principle requires both flexibility in instructional strategies and maintenance of high academic standards. Strong programs of assessment and accountability complement this educational principle. VC accepts the charge of providing a college atmosphere free of bias, in which students can exercise initiative and personal judgment, leading to a greater awareness of personal self-worth. It strives to provide every student with opportunities to develop the tools necessary to become a contributing, productive member of society. Vision VERNON COLLEGE VISION: Vernon College will promote a culture of success for our students and communities through learner-centered quality instructional programs and exemplary services. Values VERNON COLLEGE VALUES: Vernon College promotes a culture of success through our shared values and commitment to: Accessibility Accountability Building Relationships Diversity Inclusion Innovation Leadership Quality Student Success Teamwork Our values define who we are and guide us in conducting our business every day. Our values are our morals – what is important to us at our college. Mission VERNON COLLEGE MISSION The mission of Vernon College is teaching, learning, and leading. Vernon College is a comprehensive community college that integrates education with opportunity through our instructional programs and student support services by means of traditional and distance learning modes. Therefore, to fulfill its mission, the College will provide access, within its available resources, to: Career technical/workforce programs up to two years in length leading to associate degrees or certificates; Career technical/workforce programs leading directly to employment in semi-skilled and skilled occupations; Freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences, including the curricula leading to associate and baccalaureate degrees; Ongoing adult education programs for occupational upgrading or personal enrichment; Compensatory education programs designed to fulfill the commitment of an admissions policy allowing the enrollment of disadvantaged students; ; A continuing program of counseling and guidance designed to assist students in achieving their individual educational goals; Career technical/workforce development programs designed to meet local and statewide needs; Support services for educational programs and college-related activities; Adult literacy and other basic skills programs for adults; and Other To help prospective and current students, faculty, and staff locate important information about Vernon College, this webpage provides links to helpful information on a variety of government mandated and consumer information. Examples are academic programs, cost of attendance, financial aid, safety and security, and institutional financial reports. Vernon College’s presentation of this information complies with the Higher Education Act, as amended, and implementing regulations.