Hey Im new to these forums and am looking for some opinions on financial aid for students. I am a college student and these are strictly my opinions on FAFSA. I would like to hear what your opinions are! Every year students are required to fill out a form called FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form determines a students eligibility for federal student financial aid (Pell Grant, Stafford Loans, Plus Loans and work study programs). This form consists of numerous questions regarding the students finances along with his or her parents because students under the age of 24 are required to be claimed as dependents regardless if the parent / parents help the child or not. Their information is required because of the EXPECTATION (not the TRUE ABILITY) that a parent will contribute to their childs education. These questions are then entered into a formula that calculates an EFC (Expected Family Contribution). What I am trying to get at is that this FAFSA is a load of crap (in my opinion). Here is why: This form is based on expectations and not actuality. 1) If a student is living on his own, paying for his own living expenses, paying for his own college then this student is not a dependent. A dependent is Someone who relies on or requires a person or thing for support, supply, or what is needed. Just because a student is under the age of 24 does not mean that student should be penalized because of age or of expectation. Expectations are not real, they are goals and guide lines. Ex: Parents expect students to get good grades, but is that always true? NO! In actuality, not all students can achieve good grades. Some have disabilities, some have disorders, and some just dont care. If we calculated everything by expectations then we would fail. 2) The FAFSA does not include everything. For example: One of the questions on the FAFSA form asks how many household members are in college. Now, if a single parent (paying child support making around 50k a year) is in college and is also putting his child through college, the student can only put 1 member in the family is in college. This is because the child is not putting the parent through college. This is true and I agree with that but if a parent is putting himself through college plus his child then this affects the parent ability to contribute to the childs education. Now if child support can affect a students EFC number then why shouldnt a parent in college? It is still an extra expense that is affecting his total gross salary. Now on the flip side a parent can put on their FAFSA form that they have 2 people in college because they are considered to be putting themselves plus their child through school. But here is the catch by that time a parent is more than likely going for a masters or doctorate degree so they are ineligible for Pell grant. Now they talk about how important education is and about how children are the future. They create programs to assist students but they make it difficult for anyone to receive it. Instead of investing in students they would rather invest millions of dollars in private airlines. Now you say well there are loans. I understand and along with millions of other student I have taken out loans. So, basically what we are pushing for is our future to start their life out in debt. Now there is only so much money a student can take out with federal loans. What happens to those students that cant afford college because their parents dont make enough to help them and they (and their parents) dont have the credit to take out a private loan? Go to a cheaper school? Is that your answer? But dont we as Americans expect greatness? I know I do I expect to make straight As every semester. I expect to learn from the best teachers. I expect to be able to go to the best school so that I can get the best education. But in reality the things we EXPECT dont always come true. So why create a financial aid program on expectations?