I have applied to a number of Ph.D. programs in mathematics, keeping in mind up until this point that the generally accepted wisdom is: "If you aren't fully funded, don't go."

Now, luckily, I have received full funding (TA position and full tuition waiver) from one university, and I still have five more places I'm waiting to hear back from, but the one funding offer I've gotten so far is from one of my safety schools.

I got accepted into another university that I would much better prefer attending, but without much of a chance of a full funding offer.

Now, I have already taken out significant (~40,000$) student loans for my undergraduate degree, and by no means plan on significantly increasing that to get my Ph.D, but I came to thinking: "What if I got accepted into a really good school, got decent, but not 100% funding, and decided to take out a small loan to attend?" and so I decided I should fill out FAFSA "just in case".

However, now that I am filling out the form, given that it requires you give a list of universities to send your information to before you receive information on how much funding you are eligible for, I wanted to know whether or not supplying this information to the schools I haven't heard back from decreases my chances of getting a tuition waiver or TA position from them, since they see that I already have funding? (which of course I don't want)

So is this a legitimate concern? Or should I go ahead and fill out the FAFSA?

  • 2
    Also, most schools now base their decision on a "need-blind" basis. Which means your ability to pay doesn't influence your ability to be admitted.
    – Michael
    Mar 27, 2017 at 15:08
  • In addition to the other posts here that I agree with, if an institution does have any funding that is based on need, they would probably require you to fill out the FAFSA to show your eligibility and need for funds. I am not aware of this coming into play for graduate school, but it is used for undergraduates.
    – Bryan Krause
    Mar 27, 2017 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


You should not worry about this. First of all you have already applied and usually you are not supposed to add any additional documents to your application. Secondly these information are separate so I doubt one will influence the other. And I wouldn't want to go to a program where they make you pay more to save money.


Let's imagine you attend a program that has offered full funding. They may not require you to fill out the FAFSA, but if there is any chance you'd be eligible for any external funding of any kind, that would require you to fill out some form or other, you can depend upon it, the department will ask you to fill out the appropriate form.

If you have not been asked to fill out the FAFSA by a particular school, you may omit that school's name from the list. You can always have a copy sent to an additional school later.

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