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College Financial Aid Application Available for Today's Modern Families
[January 09, 2014]

College Financial Aid Application Available for Today's Modern Families

NEWARK, Del. --(Business Wire)--

It's a New Year and college-bound students already have their first homework assignment: Apply for financial aid. Sallie Mae, the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education, encourages students and their parents to start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Known as the FAFSA, the form requires information about income, assets and family size. That information is used to calculate a family's expected contribution and to determine their eligibility for federal student aid as well as for many state, institutional and private aid programs.

Students won't need to sharpen their pencils to get the work done. The 2014-2015 FAFSA, which became available on January 1, can be completed online at

New this year, the form collects financial information from dependent students' legal parents regardless of marital status or gender, if those parents live together. For the first time, the form provides an option for dependent students to describe their parents' marital status as "unmarried and both parents living together."

Students may still need to study the inancial aid rules to determine who is considered a parent. Here are three questions students should consider to determine whose financial information to include:

  • Do your parents live together? If so, you should answer the questions about both of them.
  • If not, where do you live? The FAFSA requires you to answer the questions about the parent you lived with most during the past 12 months.
  • Is that parent remarried? You also must report your stepparent's income and assets on the FAFSA.

Dependent students must complete financial information for their parents, even if they will not help pay for college. Students have to meet certain criteria to be declared independent. For example, they must be older than 24, a graduate student, a veteran, an orphan, homeless, or have a child to support, to be considered for independent status.

At, Sallie Mae offers free resources to help make the process easier.

Join the conversation on how to save, plan and pay for college at

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae turns education dreams into reality for American families, today serving 25 million customers. With products and services that include Upromise rewards, scholarship search and planning tools, education loans, insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college. Sallie Mae also provides financial services to hundreds of college campuses as well as to federal and state governments. Learn more at Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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