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Myths & Facts

Financial aid can be confusing, so we created this page to help dispel some of myths associated with it.

I can't afford college.
A college education is more affordable than you think. NOVA has the lowest tuition of any college or university in the Washington, D.C. area. If you need financial aid to help pay for college, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
My parents make too much money.
Financial aid is intended to help students from a variety of financial backgrounds afford college. Your parents' income is not the only factor used to determine your eligibility to receive aid. Things like home mortgage costs, number of family members in college and parental age also play a factor. Aid is awarded to many students who thought their family income would disqualify them.
My grades aren't good enough.
While grades play an important role when applying for academic scholarships, most financial aid programs do not take grades into consideration, provided that you maintain satisfactory academic progress while in school.
I don't have any special talents.
It's true that students who excel in athletics, music, community service and more can qualify for generous scholarships. However, many scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic performance, extracurricular activities and unique interests. Visit Scholarships for information on available scholarships.
Only minorities receive financial aid.
While there are many scholarships awarded on the basis of ethnic backgrounds, federal student aid funds are awarded on the basis of financial need. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form that students seeking financial aid are required to fill out doesn't ask for your ethnic background.
I have to wait until after I've been accepted to apply.
Since financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as you apply.
It's too complicated to apply.
Applying for financial aid is easy. Simply complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. The website will walk you through the process and provide online and telephone support for any questions you may have.
International students can't get financial aid.
This is true; however, permanent citizens and green card holders are eligible for financial aid.