Middle and upper income parents often think they do not need to complete the federal FAFSA form for their children who are planning to attend college. They believe this because they know that they are less likely to qualify for need-based government grant aid. What they do not realize is that government education loans also require that they complete the FAFSA.
Another reason they need to complete the FAFSA is that an increasing number of merit-based scholarship applications require a copy of the Student Aid Report generated by the FAFSA.
I like to think of the FAFSA as a family's notification to their university financial aid office that they would like to be considered for any aid for which they qualify. Regardless of income level, most parents would like any financial assistance possible.
Filing a FAFSA is quick and relatively easy and is best completed by any family that would like to be considered by any type of scholarship, loan or grant assistance. State financial aid administrator associations often offer free help with FAFSA's in many communities.