September 1, 2021
Applying for financial aid can be overwhelming for plenty of first-time students, however, with some foreground knowledge, it doesn’t have to be.
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it is how the federal government determines if a student is in need of financial aid for college. It helps students apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs to help pay for their education. This money can be used to pay for tuition and other college-related expenses.
How do I take advantage of FAFSA?
The form is meant to be submitted each year of college. A student will need to create an FSA ID to fill out the application and have access to their Social Security number (SSN), a form of ID like a driver’s license, federal tax information or tax returns, including IRS W-2 information, records of their untaxed income, and information on the amount of money in their savings and checking account. If a student is a dependent, he will need a parent’s FSA ID, SSN, tax records, income records, and savings and checking account amounts.
How can I prepare?
Start early! Parents and students often forget how important it is to start prepping for college during the junior year of high school. It is the last year of high school to really pad a GPA and the best time to begin applying for scholarships and grants while prepping college applications and essays. Get familiar with what types of information you and your child will need to have in-the-works for each college being applied for before the end of senior year. Getting an early foot in the door will help a student feel more comfortable with the daunting transition between high school and college. Having all the records and accounts needed to fill out the FAFSA will make the process much smoother.
Students and parents should work together to get prepped for college. Having people in their corner who are willing to listen and patiently handle the questions and issues that come up during this period will grant students the confidence they need.