Federal Methodology (FM) explained

Federal methodology is the way in which the federal government determines how much money students are eligible for in financial aid when they apply for it through their university. Usually this methodology is used after a student has applied for financial aid using the FAFSA form. This method is also called the FM, and while it is highly confusing, it can still be used effectively to help you get the money that you need in order to pay for your (or your child’s) college education.

The first thing that you should keep in mind is that the federal methodology will take into account a family contribution. Essentially, unless there are some extenuating circumstances, the federal government assumes that your family will help you pay for your college education as long as you are below a certain age and have not been living on your own for a long period of time. If you have been financially independent for two years, then you will not have to worry about family contributions as they are no longer expected.

While the federal methodology was originally created by the federal government in order to deal with financial aid information, this method is also used by most states and colleges.

If you are still going to need your expected family contribution in order to pay for your college education, then you should find out how much the government will expect. The easiest way to do this is to fill out one of the many worksheets that the government offers. These worksheets will tell you exactly what information you are going to need and help you find out what the government is going to analyze in order to determine whether or not you should be granted any need-based financial aid.

Most of the information that will be taken into account in this situation will be the assets that your parents own. If your parents own less than $16,000 in assets, however, then you will not have any expected family contribution. If they own more than that, then the government will assume that you are getting money from your parents and give you less in financial aid than they would otherwise.