It’s that time of year again. Federal Student Aid has launched the 2018-2019 FAFSA. Anyone planning to attend college in fall 2018 should complete the 2018-2019 FAFSA. Each October the new FAFSA becomes available to file. The great thing about filing the FAFSA in October is families are given more time to plan how to pay for college.
What You Need to Know About the FAFSA
The free application for federal student aid or better known as the FAFSA is an application that students and families complete yearly to determine federal aid eligibility for the student. The application consists of student and parent demographics, student and parent financials, student dependency status, and a list of schools the information will be sent to.
Completing the FAFSA could mean a big payoff. The information entered on the FAFSA will determine the student’s financial need. Based on the amount of need the student has could result in a state grant, institutional scholarship, Federal Work Study, and/or loan.
The FAFSA can be completed at FAFSA.gov . You will need to gather certain information for both the student and parent before filing the FAFSA. The first thing needed to file the FAFSA is an FSA ID. Both the student and parent will need an FSA ID. This ID will be used to login to complete the FAFSA as well as electronically sign the FAFSA.
Other items needed to complete the FAFSA are social security numbers, driver license numbers, tax returns for the 2016 year, along with other financial records such as savings and checking account statements, W-2 forms, child support paid, bond and investment records, and business and farm records.
Once the FAFSA is submitted the application will be processed and the information will be sent to the schools listed on your FAFSA. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) most likely via email. Be sure to read the first page of the SAR. This page will indicate if there is any further action needed on your part.
FAFSA Filing Tips
- Login to complete the FAFSA using the student’s FSA ID. The FAFSA is to be filed in the student’s name.
- Gather all information needed to complete the FAFSA before starting to file. The process will go much more smoothly.
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The FAFSA has never been easier. Student’s and Parent’s tax returns can be accessed electronically via the IRS DRT and the data is transferred directly to the FAFSA.
- Sign the FAFSA electronically. Using the FSA ID to sign the FAFSA will allow the application to be processed quicker and sent on to the schools.
- Pay attention to the Student Aid Report you will receive most likely via email. It will indicate any further steps you will need to take or correction you will need to make.
Now that you know more about the FAFSA grab yourself a pumpkin latte and fill out the FAFSA!
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