The FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) process can be overwhelming and downright scary. We've collected a few tips and additional resources to help guide you through the process.
1. Start Early!
Plan for the unexpected. As with any application, FAFSA can sometimes have a long processing time or additional information could be needed after you’ve submitted your application. Starting early will help ensure you’re ready in time for your class.
2. Fill Out the Correct FAFSA application
The federal financial aid year does not run the same as a calendar year - this is important to know, if you fill out the wrong FAFSA application it can delay your awards process.
If you plan on beginning in classes BEFORE July 1 of the current year, then you will need the previous year/current year FAFSA application. If you're enrolling in a class that begins after July 1 of the current year then you need to start filling out the current year/future year FAFSA application.
3. Know What You Need
Heading into the process prepared will help it feel less daunting.
You will need the following in order to complete the application:
Student's Tax Returns & W2 (if they worked, they should have these)
Parent/Guardian(s) Tax Returns and W2 forms (parents will have to include their financial information for students under 24 years of age)
Be sure to enter the school code of EVERY school you're thinking of attending. This way each school has your application and there won't be any delays at the school you choose.
4. Where to Fill Out the FAFSA
You can fill it out online at FAFSA.ED.GOV ---> Remember to enter the school codes.
5. You're Not Obligated to Anything
Filling out the application doesn't automatically mean you're taking out loans, it simply shows the college what funding you are eligible for whether it's loans or grants. You can choose to accept or deny any of the awards you're offered. You can even accept some and deny others.
Fill out FA Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
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