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Postby axiomofchoice » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:00 pm

So US citizens and residents here, have any of you filed FAFSA for grad school? Is it needed?

I vaguely remember reading somewhere (on one of the UC schools' website) that one needs to file out FAFSA in order to receive any financial assistance, including fellowship. I cannot find that reference anymore and I almost wonder if I just dream it out of nowhere :shock:

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Postby BobD » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:18 pm

You must file FAFSA by March 1 in order to be eligible for "priority processing" for any type of fellowship at UC Berkeley. From the website:

http://grad.berkeley.edu/admissions/pdf ... upport.pdf:

The Graduate Division offers a variety of awards for entering students, including:

• Berkeley Fellowships which are awarded to outstanding applicants to doctoral programs in
all fields;
• Chancellor’s and Cota Robles Fellowships which are awarded to exceptional applicants who
enhance the diversity in the graduate student population at Berkeley; and
• Regent’s Intern and Predoctoral Humanities Fellowships which are awarded to exceptional
applicants to doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences who are planning a
career in university teaching and research.
All awards are competitive, based on merit, and offered to doctoral students of outstanding achievement.
To be considered for graduate funding, applicants must complete the Fellowship Application for
Domestic Students, or, if international, the Fellowship Application for International Students.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA) by the March 1, 2011, deadline for priority processing

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Postby t2kburl » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:34 pm

The above policy may vary from school to school. Typically the FAFSA is only required if you intend to take any need based federal student loans. There are subsidized (no interest accrues while you are still in school) and unsubsidized (interest DOES accrue while you are in school) guaranteed federal student loans which you can take out, if you meet the criteria determined by the school's financial aid office. They need the FAFSA to make this determination. After the financial aid office receives your SAR (student aid report - from your FAFSA), they typically require copies of your completed tax returns, and possibly further documentation, before they determine an award amount for you. You are not obligated to accept the loans, if they award them to you. If you choose to take a federal student loan, you will have to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), pay a lender fee and have any school expenses deducted from it, before you see a penny of it.

Bottom line, if you don't need or don't want loans, you probably don't need a FAFSA. But no harm is done by completing one anyway.

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Postby rolandgill » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:50 am

Its the application is the gateway to be considered for the nine federal student aid programs and the 605 state and most of the institutional aid available. The U.S. Department of Education begins accepting the application beginning January 1 of each year for the upcoming academic year. Each application period is 18 months; most federal, state, and institutional aid is provided on a first come, first served basis. Students are advised to submit a FAFSA as early as possible for consideration for maximum financial assistance.

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