How To Apply For FAFSA

October 7, 2019

Worried about how to pay for college? Don’t be. You can get free money from the government that applies to every household, no matter your income, from a program called FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You fill a form out along with your tax returns and the government decides how much financial aid you will receive. No matter how much help you receive, you will never have to pay the money back unlike student loans.

The official website is https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa. In addition, the site also offers several different tips about things like how to prepare for college, and even helps you apply for grants and scholarships. The deadline to turn in your FAFSA application is April 15th, 2020, but the earlier you fill it out the better. This way, you can use your time efficiently and ease the stress of waiting until the very last minute.

The first thing you should do is create an account (apply for a FAFSA ID), not using a school email, that’s easily accessible. You will use this account for the duration of your education, which is why is it necessary that students set it up themselves and not their parents. Then, you’ll need your social security number, tax forms from your employer (if you have been employed), and your parent’s tax returns from the previous year. After that, you’ll fill out a list of schools that you want to send your FAFSA information to, fill out another form with all your information, sign it, submit it and wait.

Two or three weeks later, you’ll get either a letter or email from the FAFSA department office about your Student Aid Report (SAR) which confirms whether or not all your information is correct; if it is not, you will have a chance to make changes.

Once you’ve been accepted into the college or career path of your choice, they will send you a letter showing you how much financial aid you are eligible for. This could be as early as winter and as late as right before the school semester starts. So, if you are a senior planning on attending college next year, you need to get started as soon as possible!

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