Financial Aid

BSU Pride

Common Questions for Students Among the LGTBQ Community at BSU

I am a transgender student and I don’t know how to answer the Selective Service Questions on the FAFSA.

Individuals who were assigned the sex of female at birth and have changed their legal sex designation to male are not required to register for Selective Service. U.S. citizens or immigrants who were assigned the sex of male at birth and have changed their legal sex designation to female are still required to register. 

NOTE: Transgender students are welcome to contact Selective Service regarding their registration requirements if they are unclear about how they should answer Question 21 or Question 22 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or need a status information letter from Selective Service that clarifies whether they are exempt from the registration requirement. This can be done by calling our Registration Information Office at 1-888-655-1825. Individuals who have changed their gender to male will be asked to complete a request form for a status information letter and provide a copy of their birth certificate. One exemption letter may be used in multiple school financial aid processes. Please be aware that these types of FAFSA flags may cause a delay in the financial aid award processing. It is helpful if the student files their FAFSA annually by the priority deadline of March 1st.

I can’t provide my parents information and the FAFSA says that because I am under 24 years of age I must provide parental information.

FAFSA: Determining Your Dependency Status

(To change closed captioning language on the video, click on Settings, Subtitles/CC, Auto-translate, and choose the appropriate language.)

Dependency Override
In some instances, a student may not be able to answer "YES" to any of the dependency questions, but you may believe you are independent. At times a financial aid office can use professional judgment to override a dependency status if it is an extenuating circumstance.  Oftentimes, the financial aid counselor just needs to speak with you to go over what your concerns are and the items we will need to collect. Each case is different, and we understand that these stories can be hard to share with us but we encourage you to come and speak with us so we can help you get the most financial aid as possible! Please contact our office to speak with one of our counselors to determine if you are eligible for an override. You will be required to provide written documentation of your claim of independence.

On the FAFSA form if you complete your application with a name that is not your legal name the college will receive the FAFSA as a mismatch and the federal government will “flag” the FAFSA. The college you decided to attend will we be required to collect a copy of your SSN card and state or federal ID. The financial aid office will need to take a copy of these documents so that they may update the FAFSA with the legal name. Any information that the BSU Financial Aid Office receives remains confidential and is used on an annual basis to confirm FAFSA flags. Each year, you will receive notice of a mismatch if you are unable to get your legal name changed to your preferred name and financial aid will ask you to provide documentation each year. Please keep in mind that all your communications from the Department of Education and Lenders will remain in the current legal name on file with the government and state. 

For more information, please read this Forbes article: Student Loans Are Even More Complicated For Transgender Borrowers. Here's Help.

Do I need a cosigner for a loan?

Private student loans will often request a cosigner. The cosigner needs to be a US citizen and have excellent credit history. 

What loans don’t need a cosigner?

Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans do not need cosigners and are in the students name only.

Yes.

Can I get free tuition if I was in foster care or ward of the state?

You need to visit with your financial aid counselor so that we can help you through this process.

Does BSU offer any scholarships for LGBTQ+ students with pressing financial needs?

Yes, the Barney Frank Equality Scholarship was created to help current students stay matriculated at BSU who have lost financial support from their parent or guardian as a result of disclosing their LGBTQ+ identity. More information about the scholarship is available through the BSU Pride Center.