Last month, we shared our top tips when it comes to saving for education and planning for Financial Aid. Be sure to check out that post HERE. This month, we’re going one step further and focusing on one of the most important financial aid applications, the FAFSA.
What is the FAFSA and why is it so important?
FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid,” and is key to obtaining any federal financial aid including grants, work-study loans, and many other scholarships dedicated to helping pay for college. The FAFSA’s financial assistance can be used to help pay for:
- Tuition Fees
- Room and Board
- Books and supplies
- And any other educational expenses.
What do you need to complete the FAFSA?
In order to complete the FAFSA, you’ll need to be sure you have the following items:
- An FSA ID. If you are a parent filling out the FAFSA for your child, you’ll need two FSA ID’s, one for you and one for your child. A FSA ID is a username and password in order to sign into you FAFSA form electronically. You can register for your FSA IDs here: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm
- You and your child’s Social Security Numbers
- Your Tax Records
When and Where to Apply
The FAFSA became available on October 1, 2018 and should be completed as soon as possible to avoid missing out on available aid. The FAFSA deadline for the 2019-2020 award year for federal student aid is midnight, Central Time, June 30, 2020. But many Colleges and States have earlier deadlines; California’s deadline was March 2, 2019.
To complete the application, go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa. There will be a number of sections required to fill out in order to successfully submit your child’s application:
- Student Demographics
- Schools that you want your FAFSA information shared with: Include all schools you are considering, including those you may not have applied to or have not been accepted to yet.
- Student Dependency Status
- Parent Demographics
- Parent’s Financial Information
- Signature and Submission: Both the student and parent need to electronically sign the application using their FSA ID.
What happens next?
Once you’ve submitted your FAFSA application, the information will be shared with the colleges and schools you listed on your application. Each school’s financial aid department will use your information to determine how much aid you may receive from that school. Each school may have additional aid applications, but the FAFSA is always the first on their list.
A little knowledge can go a long way when it comes to successfully managing your finances. When you are confidently in control of your money, you can start enjoying your life instead of just saving for it.
Be sure to follow along for more monthly Financial Planning Tips from Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling. Make sure your money is working as hard as you are.