Q: I’m concerned about my personal information. How will it be used and protected?
A: All information is kept private and confidential. It will not be used for any purpose other than helping you apply for financial aid.

Q: What should I (the student) do if I have a special circumstance and cannot get my parent’s data to report on the FAFSA?

A: If you are considered a dependent student and have no contact with your parents and are unable to provide your parents’ data on the FAFSA, you may have a special circumstance. If you are completing FAFSA on the Web, answer the questions regarding special circumstances and the remaining student questions. Sign and submit the form for processing. If you are completing a paper application, complete as much of the form as you can, sign, and submit it for processing. Your application will be incomplete and no EFC will be calculated, however, the financial aid offices at the schools listed on your FAFSA will still receive your data. Contact those schools listed on your FAFSA for further assistance to complete your application. Examples of special circumstances are your parent or parents are incarcerated or you had to leave home because of an abusive situation.

Note: Not living with your parents or the fact that your parents do not want to provide their information on your FAFSA, are not considered special circumstances. If you are in this category, you should still submit the incomplete FAFSA and contact the financial aid offices at the schools listed on your FAFSA for information about applying for unsubsidized loans only. You do not have to demonstrate financial need to borrow an unsubsidized loan, but you will be responsible for paying interest on the loan during all in-school, grace, deferment, and forbearance periods.

Q: If my parents are divorced, whose information do I need?

A: Report the information of the parent with whom you lived the most during the 12 months preceding the date you completed the FAFSA. It does not make a difference which parent claims you as a dependent for tax purposes. If you did not live with either parent or lived equally with each parent, the parental information must be provided for the parent from whom you received the most financial support during the preceding 12 months or the parent from whom you received the most support the last time support was given.

Q: If I live with an aunt, uncle, or grandparent, should that relative’s income be reported on my FAFSA?

A: Generally, no. You can only report your birth parents’ or adoptive parents’ income on your FAFSA. Only if a relative has adopted you and is now your adoptive parent can you report that person’s information on your FAFSA. However, you must report for question 44(j) any cash support given by relatives except food and housing.

Q: What if my parents can’t attend with me?

A: You are strongly encouraged to bring your parents to the session. If you do attend by yourself, you’ll need to bring your parents’ most recent income tax return and any other financial records you have.

Q: What if I don’t have required tax and income documents available to bring with me to College Goal South Carolina?

A: Don’t let that stop you from coming. You can bring any financial information such as the previous year’s forms, bank statements, pay stubs, etc. for making estimates. You can even complete part of the FAFSA with no financial information and complete the rest later.

Q: Who sponsors College Goal South Carolina?

A: College Goal South Carolina 2014 is a cooperative, charitable effort of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. It is funded by USA Funds, a nonprofit corporation that works to enhance postsecondary education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services.

Q: I am now a U.S. citizen but have an Alien Registration Number (A-Number). How do I indicate this on the application?

A: Indicate that you are a U.S. citizen; do not provide your A-Number.

Q: What can I do now to prepare for College Goal South Carolina 2014?

A: Go to and apply for a PIN (Personal Identification Number). This number allows both students and parents to apply for aid online, make corrections and access records. Both students and parents need a PIN BEFORE the FAFSA is submitted.

You should also research and apply to colleges that you are interested in attending and continue to investigate sources of scholarship aid in your community.