October 1st is the opening date to submit your FAFSA for the 2018-19 school year. So what is FAFSA and should you complete an application? FAFSA is a Free Application For Financial Student Aid. You should complete an application if your child is even thinking of enrolling in college next year.
WHY SHOULD YOU APPLY?
You won’t know what’s available to you if you don’t apply. Nearly every student is eligible for some form of aid. There are many factors considered in the formula to determine eligibility. Financial Aid is not solely based on parent’s income, contrary to popular belief. The FAFSA is not just an application for federal grants. It includes federal student loans and federal work study funds along with a few other possible resources.
This is a free application. You have nothing to lose. In fact, you may save yourself thousands of dollars that you didn’t know were available.
Even if you are not immediately qualified, your family situation may change. Having the form on file will expedite the process if the need should arise.
Some scholarships actually require the completion of FAFSA.
HOW DO YOU APPLY?
Visit fafsa.gov Be sure to go to the right site. If you are asked to provide a credit card or pay a fee, you are at the wrong site. This is a FREE application.
Apply as close to opening day, October 1st, as you can. Some aid is first come, first serve based. Each state and college has set deadline dates. Apply early to be safe and receive the most aid you can get.
Complete your FSA ID prior to starting the application.
Gather all important documents such as; drivers license, social security numbers, birth dates, bank statements, investment information and latest tax returns.
Read all requests and details and complete your answers carefully.
Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for verification of your tax information.
List any school you are considering applying to. You can add up to 10 on your application, and there are special instructions if you wish to add more than 10.
Be sure to sign your application.
Completing the FAFSA should be one of the first steps you take towards college preparation. You will need to apply annually as long as you/your child is a student. It is used to create financial aid for one year. For more about college prep visit college checklist and tips for moving your child to college.