Education / Youth

It’s FAFSA Time: Information for new college students!

fafsa

 

It’s FAFSA time. The 2016-2017 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available now!

Being accepted into college is a really great feeling, and it’s such an honor to be able to continue your education, further opening up doors for an awesome career and life ahead of you. While you may be deciding which college to attend, a college education for many of us comes with a price tag. Fortunately enough, there are programs that exist that are here to assist us in funding our educational pursuits and the federal government can help you pay for college. For those who may not be familiar with FAFSA, FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid application that you complete when you are seeking federal grants, loans and other state aid when it comes to funding your college education. Financial aid is determined by your need for financial assistance. A completed FAFSA helps the federal government and schools determines how much your family is expected to contribute and the overall cost of attendance for the school(s) you select. Completing the application gives you an idea of what to expect in your financial aid package and may make the difference between which college(s) you decide to attend. There is plenty of money out there waiting for you, but I’d like to share some tips with you to make sure that you can receive all the aid that you’re possibly eligible for when applying for the FAFSA.

Piggy Bank with blackboard

Tips to ensure you get all the aid that you are eligible for

  1. Make sure you check with your school to find out what the FAFSA deadline is. Schools, states and the federal government each have their own deadlines. Make sure you’re aware of each deadline.
  2. List all of the colleges that you have applied for or may potentially apply for. While you may be all set to go to the University of Miami, sometimes, life happens and a change of plan is needed. Each college is going to want to know what you’re eligible for, and the FAFSA application tells them what they need to know. Even if you’re not sure what college you’re going to in the Fall, it doesn’t hurt to send them this information sooner rather than later.
  3. Make sure that you’re entering correct information. Not having all the information needed or inputting incorrect information will only delay the process. So be sure that when you’re completing the application, you’re crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s. Did you spell your name correctly? Have you entered the correct Social Security Number? Check and check again. Then…check one more time!
  4. Have all of your ducks in a row. Make sure that you’ve obtained your FSA ID and write your passwords down so you can easily return to the website to check the status of your FAFSA application once it’s been submitted.

Before accepting any type of aid that you may be awarded, be sure you understand the details and what is required of you to receive the award. Do you need to maintain a certain GPA? Can the reward be revoked at any time? Will you have to pay it back at any point in time? What are the stipulations attached to accepting this reward? This is especially important if your family is taking out student loans to help fund your education.

 

To complete the FAFSA, click here.

For more information on Federal Student Aid or for more information on the whole FAFSA process, please visit the Department of Education’s website blog on FAFSA.

 

Post written by Diane Gaston, Project Inspire guest blogger

 

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