For those of you who don’t know, the FAFSA is the Free Application For Student Aid. The FAFSA opens on January 1st for students that will be attending college the following school year, but the thing that a lot of students don’t know is…. YOU HAVE TO UPDATE THE FAFSA EVERY YEAR YOU ARE IN SCHOOL!!
If someone does not fill it out they can be at risk for losing a lot of financial aid for their college tuition. Here are some tips about the FAFSA that are important for everyone to know:
- Federal Student Aid comes on a first come, first serve basis. This means that you should fill out the application as soon as possible to get the most financial aid that you can. Even though the FAFSA does require the student’s and the student’s parents’ federal tax information from last year and this form doesn’t come out till February (after the FAFSA is already open), file the application using an estimate of what your annual income was last year. This will allow your spot in line to be kept and you can update the FAFSA when your federal tax form becomes available.
- As soon as you do receive your federal tax forms, file your taxes and update your FAFSA with all of your tax information immediately. The sooner your FAFSA is updated and ALL of the information is correct, you can receive your financial aid package from your college. This will allow you to plan your class schedule accordingly and make sure your college expenses will all be covered.
- Ask your college advisors for help with the FAFSA if you do not understand something or need additional help. All types of colleges have assistance with their financial aid program and are willing to sit down with you and your parents to go step by step through the FAFSA process. Some things on the application can be tricky or difficult to understand because the language is all very professional. Getting extra help will help you understand what exactly you are filling out and make sure that the entire application is completely accurate.
- Do not lie or make any mistakes on the FAFSA! If there are possible mistakes on your FAFSA or anything that could be suspicious, the IRS does request that your check with them to make sure all of your information is correct. If it happens that your information is not correct, it can jeopardize whether you will be able to register for classes and even attend school. So make sure all your income information is correct and you will be fine!
With these tips, you can find your way to getting your FAFSA done early and correctly! Financial aid is a big deal when paying for college. College is expensive and everyone deserves the opportunity to attend college, which means being able to afford to go! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!