Why it’s important to submit your FAFSA as early as possible

 Why it’s important to submit your FAFSA as early as possible

Why it’s important to submit your FAFSA as early as possible1 300x204 Why it’s important to submit your FAFSA as early as possible

Why it’s important to submit your FAFSA as early as possible

Higher education can be extremely expensive and getting the necessary funds ready can be a daunting task for parents who are not that well off. This is why it’s important for students to try their best to access as many funds as possible from all sources available to them. Although there are various methods to get the required funding, one of the best is to get help from the government in the way of a loan or grant. FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the application form provided by the government to enable students, and parents to apply for funds to be used for their high educational needs.

 

Each year, almost two million students get ready to file their FAFSA.gov forms, but most of them make the mistake of waiting for their final income tax before they start filing. This should not be allowed to happen because the earlier the forms are filed, the better chance of receiving endowment money, or scholarship awards that are available and allocated on a first come first served basis. Even if you have to guess at your income tax figures, its best to file the returns early before the majority of the applications starts coming in to swamp the officials right in the middle of the tax season.

 

Keep in mind that elite colleges also wait for the chance to enroll students with a high potential of becoming graduates in order to add color and character to their institutions. In the end, however, their decisions are based on the information provided by the students themselves and the manner in which they have filled their admission forms. But when it’s a question of financial aid, all they have to fall back on is the application for financial support and especially the FAFSA, which plays an important role in the final decision.

 

As stated before, without wasting time waiting for the current tax figures go ahead and use last year’s tax returns if your circumstances haven’t changed that much. If it has changed, make an intelligent guess and submit the figures you think are appropriate based on your calculations for the present year. Try to make them as close as possible to what you imagine would be this year’s numbers by adding or cutting back so that you can submit your FAFSA.gov form as soon as possible.

 

There’s no harm in this method because the moment you receive your actual numbers for the current year you can simply update the FAFSA, and it will be automatically forwarded to the colleges from you which you have requested financial aid. The colleges in question might have to modify the aid they were planning to award you, but this should not make a big difference, especially if you were able to keep as close as possible to the current figures in the first instance itself.

 

One of the main advantages of sending your Federal Student Aid application early is that you have a better chance of being informed of the financial support you are offered by each of the institutions early. This will give you the necessary time to compare the different aid packages from each school and help you to decide which one you prefer. The additional time you get to make your decision will no doubt help you in no small way to make the correct choice.

More Info:

FAFSA Advantages For College-Bound Students

FAFSA Advantages For College Bound Students 300x199 FAFSA Advantages For College Bound Students

FAFSA Advantages For College-Bound Students

Your FAFSA application is a way you can find extra money for your college education, based on your financial need. Almost every college and university will require you complete the FAFSA application, if you plan to obtain federally-funded or state-funded assistance. Even university merit-based awards may be dependent on your ability to demonstrate financial need and these parameters are determined by the information you provide on your FAFSA application.

 

There really isn’t a big secret, when it comes to obtaining additional funds for your college education. You don’t need to pay a membership fee or any kind of application fee, when applying for these corporate or private funds. Government agencies will accept the information provided on your Free Application for Financial Student Aid, better known as FAFSA.

 

There are a number of places you can start looking for additional financial aid, over and above what you might get in the form of Pell grants or federal student loans. The U.S. Department of Education’s FREE online search can be helpful. Your library, high school guidance counselor or religious and community organizations can be a helpful resource.

 

Even if you are eligible for government subsidies, because of the information provided on your FAFSA application, it’s possible to find all kinds of aid, through ethnicity-based organizations and associations or privately-owned corporate sponsors. This includes groups that cater to your particular gender, degree specialization or your personal characteristics- including whether you’re left-handed or you might have red-hair!

 

When you have made the decision to continue your education, through a university or college degree program, you will find that applying for federal or state aid isn’t that unusual. It’s estimated that 60-80% of undergraduates receive some form of monetary assistance, based on their financial need. There are merit-based requirements and if you become eligible for government funding, you’re required to maintain your SAP evaluations, or Satisfactory Academic Progress.

 

In other words, just because you qualify for monetary assistance, you may still need to prove some academic achievement and you will be required to attend a certain amount of credit hours, in order to be classified as a full-time student. Your university or college admissions office can be helpful, while most public and private educational institutions will have their own office, to assist you with your possible tuition assistance package.

 

If you aren’t sure what benefit you may gain from your FAFSA application, it’s possible to become qualified for more money, than the federal or state government may offer. Many university-based forms of tuition assistance combine merit-based and financial needs-based awards. You may be required to apply for government assistance, when you hope to gain admission, to many public and private institutions.

 

The other great thing about visiting the government website at www.fafsa.gov is that you can apply for government programs, but you can also get helpful tools that prepare you for entering college, even when students are still in grade school. The college prep checklist mentions taking challenging classes in core academics, besides studying hard and achieving the highest grades you can. There is a financial need element to FAFSA, but as a citizen of the U.S., you can learn a lot of information, when you visit the FASFA government website.

More Info:

Tips For Completing University Admissions Or Financial Aid, Using The FAFSA Application

 

Tips For Completing University Admissions Or Financial Aid Using The FAFSA Application 200x300 Tips For Completing University Admissions Or Financial Aid, Using The FAFSA Application

Tips For Completing University Admissions Or Financial Aid, Using The FAFSA Application

If you have already started the admissions process for attending a university, you may have heard about the FAFSA application or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. While there are some students that mistakenly swap the words around and regard this government application as FASFA, the official website for completing your application will be found at FAFSA.gov. Most college-bound students should try to complete this application, once they have completed the admissions process and certainly, by applicable deadlines.

 

To get a Pell grant or any type of subsidized federal student loans, you will be required to complete the application. Most public and private colleges or universities will require you to complete this step, in order to determine your family or student contribution and determine whether you qualify for any type of financial aid.

 

FAFSA is a necessary step, but it can save you a lot of money on your tuition costs, besides offering you free money towards your degree. While you need to make an application on an annual basis to update your family’s financial status, the process isn’t that difficult, once you have done it. You may need to submit a list of your family’s assets, income, debt and extraordinary expenses, such as excessive medical bills or multiple children in college. Parents should consider their age until retirement, but the online application process takes you through the questions and you just need to be sure to update or change them, if your financial situation changes.

 

There are just a few qualifications you must meet, in order to be eligible for any kind of monetary assistance towards a higher education. You need to be a citizen or be an eligible non-citizen, besides having a valid Social Security number and you must be able to show you’re eligible for a college education. This means you must have a high school diploma or obtain your GED, (General Education Development) certificate. Home-schooled students are eligible, as long as the program is approved by the applicable state laws.

 

Helpful tools on the government website, includes the FAFSA4Caster, which provides an estimate of your expected family contribution and it determines what types of financial assistance you may be eligible for. It doesn’t matter what age you are or what year you are attending in school, this is a free tool available to help you determine your costs of a college education. In the winter of your senior year, you can use this tool to learn the steps you must take to obtain any kind of financial aid and you will also get a reminder to complete your FAFSA application.

More Info:

 

Regardless of whether you believe you qualify for free money to fund your college education or not, it may be required you complete the FAFSA application. There are other places you can find free money, but many grants and scholarships determine your eligibility, through information contained on this government inquiry. State aid, including any with a needs-based characteristic, will require completion of this important format, in order to become eligible. It’s important to learn about the details at your earliest opportunity, if you plan to attend any college or university.

Don’t Make Common Mistakes On Your FAFSA Application

 

Don’t Make Common Mistakes On Your FAFSA Application 216x300 Don’t Make Common Mistakes On Your FAFSA Application

Don’t Make Common Mistakes On Your FAFSA Application

Once you have completed your application for admission to your chosen college or university, completing the FAFSA application will be required to determine your financial aid eligibility. There are millions of students who receive free monetary awards or subsidized federal student loans, based on the answers given on their FAFSA document. You should be familiar with some of the common mistakes, which could delay the processing of your application, and it could end up raising your Expected Family Contribution figure.

 

Common FAFSA mistakes include calculating your earned income, incorrectly. While the instructions are given for calculating this number, it can be confusing, when it’s possible to use your W-2’s to arrive at the correct number. You should always add Box 5 of your W-2 to Lines A-4 or B-6 of a Schedule SE, if applicable. Keep in mind that figures are double-checked against tax returns and other federal agencies, so it’s perfectly acceptable to use this approach to calculate your earned income correctly.

 

You might be surprised how many applicants forget to sign their applications, even though their PIN can be used to sign electronically, when filing the online version. If you mail in your paper version of FAFSA, it will be mailed back to you, which causes further delays and it might be mailed back to your house, even though you are already at college.

 

There are worksheets at the end of the application, to be used for figuring out untaxed income, so this portion of the process shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s possible that erroneous reporting can cause you to miss a deadline, if it causes delays. If your Expected Family Contribution isn’t calculated correctly, it could cost you more money or delay the process of other types of monetary assistance.

 

Any university-based grants are contingent on completion of your FAFSA documentation and it must be processed, in order to be considered for monetary assistance. Obtaining a Pell Grant can be automatic, when you use the online version, but you can also find state aid is dependent on proper completion of the federal program documents. Proper completion can make you eligible for more free funds to assist with your tuition, but improper completion could cause you to miss other opportunities, whether government-backed or offered by private organizations and the university or college of your choice.

 

You may be surprised to learn that one in seven forms aren’t completed correctly, but there are a number of reasons. The most common FAFSA mistakes, besides the ones already discussed, could include listing incorrect marital status, forgetting to include step-parent’s information, forgetting to include yourself in the household size or leaving a field blank.

 

The processor assumes you forgot to answer the question, so you must make sure every blank is completed with an answer. If you are unsure of an answer, read the instructions and questions completely and carefully. You can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED AID or look under the “frequently asked questions” on the FAFSA website.

More Info:

Applying For FAFSA, In A Few Easy Steps

 

Applying For FAFSA In A Few Easy Steps 300x199 Applying For FAFSA, In A Few Easy Steps

Applying For FAFSA, In A Few Easy Step

FAFSA, (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), is the benchmark of establishing financial need for your college education grants, subsidized federal student loans or scholarships. More than $80 billion is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, to those that complete their application and are deemed eligible.

 

The earlier you complete your FAFSA application, the more apt you are to get funding, although you can submit your application as late as June. Your college or university of choice will establish earlier deadlines, when it comes to those that need to apply for financial aid and typically, you are required to complete your FAFSA application by sometime in February or March, for most early-decision admissions.

 

Once your financial-needs have been established, it’s possible to become eligible for additional funding, but you may need to complete another round of applications, to obtain these awards. Some university-based grants are based on financial needs, while others are merit-based, but the main purpose of completing the FAFSA application is to determine the amount of money you and your family can contribute towards your college education. The EFC or Expected Family Contribution determines the amount of awards you are eligible for.

 

Every year you are in college, you will be required to complete or update your FAFSA application, but once you have completed the application form, you will find it gets easier, each year. The online process is faster and more efficient than the paper version, especially since you can have 45 days to make additions, changes or final adjustments, after you have saved it. If you qualify for a Pell Grant, you get it automatically.

 

Essentially, each application period runs from January 1st to June 30th of the following year, so you can get a head start on your college education, while still in high school. As you are determining which college or university to attend, you can also determine what semesters you are requesting funding for, whether you are considering Spring and early Summer semesters or Fall and Winter semesters.

 

If you are a dependent student, you will need to request a PIN from the Department of Education, as will your parents. To complete the FAFSA online process, your social security number, along with your parent’s social security number will be required. You may need several income tax documents, along with assets and liabilities forms, as listed on the website, in order to complete the application process. You will need the Federal school code for the college or university you plan to attend, but they can be found on the website, along with your application.

 

Set a couple of hours aside to complete the questions, but you can always start on your application and save it, to make changes and updates, later. Once you complete your FAFSA application online, you can submit it online, for the quickest processing. The paper version takes longer, but as long as you meet the deadline, it is perfectly acceptable. Be sure to calculate your income correctly, (including untaxed income), and don’t forget to sign the application. Your parents will need to sign, if you are a dependent student, but this can be accomplished by using your PINs as an electronic signature, for the online version.

Additional Resources:

FAFSA Helps Millions Of College Students Receive Federal Aid

FAFSA Helps Millions Of College Students Receive Federal Aid 300x225 FAFSA Helps Millions Of College Students Receive Federal Aid

FAFSA Helps Millions Of College Students Receive Federal Aid

Through the U.S. Department of Education, millions of FAFSA applications for federal student financial aid are processed, every year. Many colleges and universities require the FASFA application be completed, in order to become eligible for any type of university-based grants or scholarships. Families and students can become educated about the steps involved with receiving any type of monetary assistance from the government, by visiting the website at the FAFSA website.

 

Since the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid office is responsible for disbursing billions of dollars in aid, besides servicing millions of student loans, many colleges and universities will have their own financial office staff. This can be helpful to realize, in the event you are unsure how to proceed, once you’ve been accepted to a specific college or university and received your financial award notification. While you may receive suggestions from the school about ways to pay for your college education, you are still responsible for completing your applications for any loans and free awards for tuition assistance, they may suggest.

 

FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and you won’t incur any costs, when completing the application. Since it is considered the first step to receiving any type of monetary assistance, to defray costs of tuition and housing, it’s important to focus on completing this free application, first. Many of the other types of financial-needs awards will be based on the final determination, made by the information contained in your filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

 

Since there are millions of college students that will annually file these applications, many lower-income students are able to afford an education at top-notch universities or colleges. The amended Higher Education Act of 1965 has opened up a number of options, when it comes to receiving subsidized federal student loans, besides establishing your qualifications for the Pell Grant or other types of financial assistance, including work-study programs or needs-based scholarships offered by individual colleges or private foundations and organizations.

 

The first thing that high school students should do is start narrowing down their list of colleges and investigate or visit the campuses, tuition costs and areas of expertise. You may contact the colleges to get more information about individual admission requirements and deadlines. You need to investigate early decision or early admission programs and deadlines, since these allow adequate time to make important decisions about monetary assistance to apply for. Many of these options will have individual deadlines to consider, so getting your FAFSA application completed is an important first step.

 

You should be careful when searching for privately-funded awards, since there are some scams that exist. You should never need to pay money to be considered, unless you are becoming a member of an industry-related association or community organization. Completing the FAFSA will open the doors to other types of financial assistance for your college education, but it’s your responsibility to investigate all the options that exist. The Internet makes is simpler to complete your application and investigate other options for free college tuition assistance which exist.

More Info: