Completing FAFSA if Unsure About College Plans

Q: I am the foster parent for a 17 year-old who is thinking of going to college in the fall. I know that the deadline for the FAFSA is coming up, on March 2nd. I am unsure whether or not she should complete it, given that she is not certain if she will attend or what school she will attend. Are there any negative consequences for her if she completes the FAFSA and then does not attend college?

A: No, there are no negative consequences. If you are not sure whether the youth will attend college in the fall, or even if they will graduate from high school, it is better to complete a FAFSA now and keep the option for college attendance open.

If the youth is not able to graduate or changes his or her plans about attending college, the information can be updated. No ­financial aid funds will be automatically issued to the youth. By simply completing the FAFSA you will not putting the youth at risk of financial aid debt.

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