10 Great FAFSA Tips

Tis the Season

It’s FAFSA season!!!  For the parents and students that are preparing for college this Fall the time is now.  Even if your taxes are not yet completed it’s not too soon to begin preparing.  FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Completion of the FAFSA is a must for anyone that is expecting to receive Federal Financial Aid.  Financial Aid consists of loans, grants and scholarships.  All of these may be combined to cover the costs of college expenses.

Preparation Tips:

  1. Visit https://fafsa.ed.gov/: Get familiar with the site features and resources such as the repayment estimator for student loans.
  2. Apply for a PIN: This will allow you to access your personal profile on the site at a later time.
  3. Create a Profile: This is where all of your personal information is input on the FAFSA site.
  4. Select the colleges that will receive your financial aid information: Find the College Codes on the School Code Search This can be found on the fafsa.ed.gov Home page.
  5. Collect all W2’s and income information: This will include all income information such as child support, alimony, stock dividends . . .
  6. Retrieve Identification information and include it on your FAFSA form: This would include Social Security numbers and Alien Registration numbers.
  7. Complete your tax information: Always plan to complete your taxes early and be sure to have a trusted advisor to review your tax information.  This is especially true if there have been drastic income changes.  You may also be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  This can allow you to have your income tax information transferred into your FAFSA application.
  8. Know the deadlines: You don’t want to be left out in the cold.  There are Federal, state and college deadlines to be mindful of.  Early submission is the best policy.
  9. Receive your Student Aid Report (SAR): This report will provide information about your eligibility for financial aid. Please allow up to 10 days for processing.  The time frame will depend upon whether you complete the paper or online version of the FAFSA.
  10. Review the financial aid packages from the various schools where you’ve been accepted and select the best options based upon your particular situation.

For more information visit:

FAFSA Website

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