Financial Aid 101 for Parents
Published on Mar 10, 2023 by Jess Reider
A guide to help parents better understand their role in the financial aid process.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely your child is considering their options for college or they’ve decided to pursue their dreams and enroll in a degree program with Full Sail University. When looking at the various costs associated with tuition, housing, and living expenses, you may feel somewhat overwhelmed, but it's important to remember that this is a team effort! Regardless of how your child's educational expenses will be paid for, your involvement is crucial throughout the process, and our Financial Aid representatives are here to help you navigate every step of the process.
The first step in finding financial support for your child’s educational goals is to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to do this, your child will be required to create an FSA ID; if your child is designated as a dependent, you will also be required to create your own FSA ID.
This login for the US Department of Education’s online systems will be needed throughout the process and is your unique ID when dealing with federal student aid. To create an FSA ID, you will be required to share important personal information including your social security number and date of birth.
The FAFSA will help determine how much money your child is eligible to receive through grants, loans, and other programs. When filling out the FAFSA, you and your child will share your financial information, including information from your income tax returns. It's important to remember that you and your child will need to submit a FAFSA each academic year.
Full Sail’s School Code is 016812. Depending on when your child plans to start classes, please ensure that the FAFSA submitted is reflective of their current academic year. Contact the enrollment team if you’re unsure about the year on their FAFSA application. FAFSA applications for the new year are made available on October 1.
Types of Financial Aid
Based on eligibility, you and your child may require multiple sources of aid. If grants and loans from the federal government do not cover the total cost of your child’s education, you may need to explore scholarship opportunities, paying for costs out-of-pocket, or taking on credit-based student loans.
Let’s break down the different types of financial aid and what they mean:
- Scholarships are funds awarded to students based on certain factors, such as academic achievement or financial need. Learn more about Full Sail-specific opportunities with our Scholarship Guide.
- Grants are a type of financial aid that does not have to be repaid in most circumstances.
- Loans pertain to borrowed money – either from public or private sources – that must be repaid with interest. These can include federal loans (such as Stafford loans, Parent PLUS loans, and Graduate PLUS loans) and private loans.
- Work study refers to a program that allows your child to earn money through various job opportunities while enrolled at Full Sail.
- VA Benefits are specific to veterans of the US armed forces and their dependents. If you are a veteran and would like to confirm what benefits your child may be eligible for, head to the Veterans Affairs site to learn more.
**Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid Programs requires that your child be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen. For more information on eligibility for non-citizens, head here.
We’re Here to Help
Full Sail’s hands-on approach to education also extends to our enrollment and admissions process.
“Speaking to my own experience, financial aid was so hands-off. No one ever told me about the loans that I was borrowing, as far as interest rates,” shares Full Sail Financial Aid Representative Lauren Boye. “But the conversations that we have with students and parents, where we walk them through everything and answer questions they have ... just being that resource for them is, I think, very beneficial.”
Our Financial Aid department is dedicated to helping you and your child navigate every step in the process and is ready to answer your questions. You can send the department an email or call them at 800.226.7625.
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