What is the Income Limit for FAFSA 2023-24?

It’s that time of the year again when thousands of students google, “what’s the FAFSA income limit?”

While there is no income limit to apply for FAFSA, certain financial factors can impact the overall aid amount.

If you’re looking to apply for FAFSA 2023-24 and wondering if you’re eligible because of your financial status, look no further. We’ve covered the topic in great detail and tried answering some important questions.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used by colleges and universities to determine your eligibility for financial aid. It is also a requirement for many student loan programs and may be needed to qualify for grants, scholarships, or other funding opportunities.

As part of the process, students need to disclose their income, their family’s income, the size of the family, and assets among other things. The expected family contribution and the potential financial aid for the student are both calculated based on this information.

What is the FAFSA Income Limit?

The truth is there is no upper limit on income to apply for the FAFSA

Instead, your eligibility for free student aid such as the Pell Grant is decided on the cost of attendance and family contribution, among other factors.

How is Your Financial Aid Calculated?

Financial aid is calculated based on a number of factors, including your expected family contribution, the year you have been enrolled, your enrollment status, and the cost of attending the school you plan to attend.

After submitting the FAFSA form, you’ll receive an email from the government with your Student Aid Report (SAR). This includes a summary of the data you provided along with the EFC.

The financial aid officer will calculate your cost of attendance (COA) and subtract EFC to determine your eligibility for need-based aid.

For non-need-based aid, the college considers the COA and subtracts other financial aid you have been awarded.

Please note, starting July 2023, Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the EFC to help families better understand the financial aid process. 

What is the FAFSA Expected Family Contribution? 

The Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, is the amount that the federal government believes that your family can contribute towards your education.

Your parents’ income makes up a large portion of this calculation, but assets and other factors are also taken into account.

The higher your EFC, the less financial aid you will receive.

Your EFC is used by colleges as an index to determine your financial need.

Keep in mind that the EFC is just an estimate. You can appeal their decision if you think they got it wrong.

What is the FAFSA Income Limit for Zero EFC?

Qualifying for a zero EFC means you’ll get the maximum aid amount without having your family contribute anything. 

The annual income limit for automatic zero EFC for the 2023–24 academic year is $29,000 or less.

What is the Cost of Attendance?

Think of the cost of attendance (COA) as the total price tag of going to college. It’s the total amount of money that a student will need to spend in order to attend school for an academic year. This includes everything from tuition and fees to room and board, books and supplies, and other miscellaneous costs.

The cost of attendance can vary widely from school to school and course to course, so it’s important to do your research.

Why is FAFSA Based on Parents’ Income?

You might be aware that dependent students are required to provide their parent’s income information to apply for the FAFSA

But why is it?

A dependent student is most likely to receive parental support, and the federal government expects the parents to contribute towards their child’s education.

It’s important to note that a student can be considered a dependent even if they don’t live with their parents or are paying their bills and fees for college.

Can You Get Financial Aid if Your Parents Make 100K?

Several students don’t get the financial aid they’re supposed to because they skip applying to the FAFSA thinking their families earn too much. As there is no cap on income, we strongly encourage students to fill it out and submit. And therefore, you can and should apply to the FAFSA even if your parents earn 100K.

Should You Include Your Spouse’s Income on FAFSA?

One of the most common questions we get is whether or not to include your spouse’s income.

If you’re married, remarried, and entered into a prenuptial agreement, you should disclose your spouse’s income and assets. It’s required even if you got married after the end of the tax year for FAFSA.

Should You Fill the FAFSA if your Income is High?

There is a common misunderstanding that you are not eligible to apply for federal student aid if you or your family earn beyond a certain amount. This misconception is so pervasive that a chunk of aid meant to support deserving students remains unclaimed each year due to a lack of applications.

According to the National College Attainment Network, $3.75 billion in Pell Grants were unclaimed in 2021.

As stated earlier, there are no FAFSA income limits for parents of dependent students, and independent students and their spouses.

Therefore, you should submit the FAFSA even if you think your income is high.

Is there an Income Limit for Pell Grant?

The Federal Pell Grant is a need-based grant. The amount you receive will depend on your financial need, cost of attendance, your enrollment status, and whether you attend school for a full academic year or less. However, there is no income limit to apply for the Pell Grant.

What is the Maximum Pell Grant Amount for 2023-24?

The maximum Pell Grant award for the academic year 2023-24 could be $7,395.

Does FAFSA Know How Much Money You Have in the Bank?

As an applicant, you’re expected to submit full details of your income and assets and submit documents pertaining to your bank accounts.

If your application is selected for verification, FAFSA can check your bank information for personal and savings accounts.

Don’t see a question that you want to know about? Leave us a comment and we’ll reply to you.


  • Hussain Shoaib

    Hussain Shoaib is an author and digital marketer with expertise in financial aid and education. He has extensive knowledge of the Pell grant and FAFSA, and has published numerous articles on these topics.

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14 thoughts on “What is the Income Limit for FAFSA 2023-24?”

  1. I have a Master of Arts in Management and want to go back to school to get teaching credentials. I am 76 years old collecting Social Security and married to a retired teacher. Will I qualify for a Pell Grant?

  2. I am interested in attending U of M in Flint to get my teaching credentials. I have a MA in Management and have taught at the College of Southern Nevada where I also served on the Advisory Committee for the Real Estate Program.

  3. I am a first year student at MSU. I am looking for financial grants for next year. My mother is a single mom making about $50,000 per year. She contributed to my first year college cost with her savings. My father paid court ordered child support until I turned 18 this past summer. He does not contribute any support or financial assistance for my education and no longer pays any child support. My mother has sole custody of me. My father has told me he will not pay for any of my college cost or living expenses. My question is why do I have to provide any financial information for my father in any of my financial aide applications? This impacted my financial aide for my freshman year. Since he no longer has any child support requirements and does not provide any financial support for my living or education expenses, how do I avoid including his financial information in my request for grants?

  4. Hi I was wondering whether I should apply for a Pell grant without yet knowing what school or classes I want to attend. I’m a bit confused. Also, I recently through Coursera took a free course but if I want a paper certificate it will cost 50 dollars. Coursera does offer financial aid but again I’m confused if I should use their resources in regards to financial aid. Do you know if online colleges such as Coursera use an individuals Pell Grant or if they have other avenues? Thank you any information will be appreciated.

  5. I am married and separated from my husband with 3 children. He pays some child support. I have another child by another man that I did not marry. I live with a man that makes over 100,000 per year. Can I qualify for pell grant. I do not work.

  6. I received a Pell grant 2022-2023 and it does not seem like I am going to get a grant for 2023-2024 what could be the reason why i didn’t receive it.

  7. Hi!
    Will I qualify for Fafsa, if my income for 2023 gona be around 16k, though I have some savings from previous year ?
    Also, I had a situation when I got Fafsa to pay fully for vocational degree and then there was some kind of mistake from another college I went to( they thought I took college degree credits, which I did not. It was also vocational program as well). And that college,which gave full Fafsa, took it away completely and made me repay the whole amount, cause of that mistake.
    Is there anything i can do about it?
    I tried to prove at that time, I submitted required docs to prove vocational program, but didn’t work.
    And it was quite ling time ago.
    Maybe file a complaint, be repaid partially since they gave FAFSA and took it away??
    Thank u so much

    • Hi Nina,

      We recommend you apply for FAFSA regardless of your history to check if you can receive financial aid. You might want to check with the financial aid officer of the college you plan to attend for advice.


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