It depends on the type of aid and/or loan. Parent information is required on the FAFSA because the federal student aid program is based on the premise that parents are responsible for paying for their child's education according to their ability, as determined by a common set of criteria that are used for all applicants. The purpose of the FAFSA is to determine that ability and therefore the student's eligibilty for need based aid. Just filling out the FAFSA does not obligate the parent to repay anything. However, part of the aid that is offered will usually be federal student loans. For subsidized and unsubsidized Direct loans, the student is the borrower and there is no co-signer needed, so a parent would never be required to repay these loans. However, the amount that the student can borrow is quite limited, and often doesn't cover the entire cost of school, so many parents choose to apply for a federal Parent PLUS loan. Since the borrower for this loan is the parent, then the parent is responsible for paying it back, even though it is used to pay for the child's education. Private student loans from a bank or credit union are also often used to cover a funding gap. If the borrower is the parent, then the parent would be required to pay it back. If the borrower is the student, most will need a co-signer and that is typically a parent. If the student later defaults on the loan, then the co-signer would be required to repay the loan, just as s/he would with any other loan that s/he co-signed for.