Completing the Free Application for Financial Student Aid

You have applied to college, now it is time to apply for some financial aid to make your dream to go to college more of a reality. You have probably heard of FAFSA and if you have not, I recommend you that as soon as you finish reading this; to go to the FAFSA’s webpage and start your application.

By submitting FAFSA you will be able to receive financial aid for college; this is where your financial aid package will be determined. Grants, scholarships, and loans are offered through the submission of your FAFSA application.

Important Dates to Remember

January 1 FAFSA is available

March 1 It is recommended to fill out FAFSA

May 1 Deadline to process FAFSA

Do not wait to submit your FAFSA, the sooner the better. Many colleges vary; some require that you start submitting your FAFSA in March and others earlier. The earlier you submit it in some colleges the more chances you will have for a better financial aid package. If you submit it after the deadline you will still be considered for some financial aid but definitely not the one you will desire. Do not procrastinate.

Completing Tax Return. You do not have to complete your taxes right away to fill out your FAFSA, but it is a good idea to do it soon since you can use the IRS DATA Retrieving Tool. Through the IRS DATA Retrieving Tool you can save a lot of time since it just transfers your tax return information into your FAFSA application.

In many instances, however, your college might require an early submission of your financial aid application. In those cases try to estimate how much money you made or if you are a dependent student, how much money your parents made. You can always come back after your submission to update your application once the tax returns have been filed.

Important information about:

Divorced parents. If your parents are separated or divorced, use the information of the parent you have lived with the most in the past 12 months. If you have lived with your parents equal time, then use the parent who has provided the most financial support to you in the past 12 months. If your parent has remarried, then you might include your stepparent’s information on the application. Remember to report your parent and stepparent as married on the application.

If no Social Security number. I remember when I was applying to college there were some students who did not have a social security number. Do not worry, there is still money for you too and you should definitely apply! These students with no social number were told to write 0’s in all the spaces, Ex: 000-00-0000. Please double check this info. Nevertheless, try your best to fill out this form.

To complete the FAFSA you will need yours and your parent’s information (if dependent):

  • Your social security number.
  • Most recent federal income tax returns, W-2’s, and other records showing the money earned.
  • Alien registration number if you are not a U.S. Citizen.
  • Bank statements or other records of investments (if applicable).
  • Records of untaxed income (if any).
  • An FSA ID you need to sign for.

Create an FSA ID. When you electronically sign up for FAFSA you need to set up an account by creating an ID and password. You can use this ID to sign in to all federal student aid programs. Parents can also set up one!

FAFSA code. Also, when you are filling out your FAFSA do not forget to get your college code and add it to the application. This way the FAFSA application will be submitted to all schools you are applying.

Is someone helping you fill out the FAFSA application? Don’t forget to leave your comments, I would love to know how is everything going.

 

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