10.03.12 | What color is the FAFSA form this year

Every year we get the same question, so here is your answer:

For the 2013–2014 year, the FAFSA will be green, with a purple section for parents.

For the current year, 2012–2013 the FAFSA is orange.

In previous years:

  • 2011–2012 FAFSA was Yellow
  • 2010–2011 FAFSA was Blue

For detailed information on completing the FAFSA, visit FAFSAonline.

08.14.12 | Tips for the First 2 Weeks of College

Posted in College Life, Twitter by Student Loan Network Staff

Welcome back readers. With college right around the corner, many of you are beginning to realize that, in a few weeks, you’re going to be leaving home to start the next chapter of your lives. For many, the idea of going to a new school by yourself is overwhelming. As excited as you are for college, you’re dreading the first few weeks of adjusting to college life. I’m here to alleviate some of that anxiety. In this article, I have compiled a handful of suggestions on how to handle your first few weeks at college, some of which I personally did, others that I wish I had done, but all of which I would do now if I had the opportunity.

Be Outgoing

Your transition to college will be much easier if you are sociable. When going to the cafeteria alone, don’t eat alone. Instead, sit with a group of people you’ve never met and introduce yourself. In addition, introduce yourself to your classmates and the kids in your residence hall.

Learn People’s Names

The first piece of advice is useless if you can’t remember the name of the person to whom you just introduced yourself. Here are some useful tips from CNN on how to remember names.

Keep an Open Door

When you’re in your room, prop the door. An open door is a way of welcoming anyone to stop by, and doing so will encourage others to come into your room to meet you.

07.24.12 | Easy (and Interesting) Ways to Earn Money This Summer

Posted in College Life, Scholarships, Twitter by Student Loan Network Staff

With the summer winding down, many of you are starting to wonder if you put aside enough money for college.  You had a great summer, but you only worked 10 hours a week, and you know that you will want to spend a lot of money in college.  Fear not, there is still hope!  With a month left until you leave for college, there are still plenty of opportunities to earn money without missing out on the rest of summer.

Be an Extra in a Movie

Lights, camera, action!  If you’re looking for your 15 seconds of fame, you can make it happen…and get paid for it!  Movie sets are in constant need of people to serve as extras in their movies, so look online and sign up with a casting company.  Signing up is free, and you’ll be notified of opportunities such as these that are close to home.  Plus, if you have any unique skills, you may be eligible to be paid extra.

Join Focus Groups

Imagine getting paid $50 to talk about Facebook and Twitter for 2 hours.  Would you believe me if I said that you could?  Focus groups are constantly in need of teenagers to discuss their views on school, social media, and hobbies to figure out how to make their product more appealing to our age group.  A quick Google search will reveal focus groups close to you.  Sign up, and you will be notified of upcoming opportunities that you qualify for.  Just show up, have fun, and cash that check. (more…)

10.08.10 | FAFSA Tip: Eligibility for Independent Student Status

Posted in FAFSA, Financial Aid, Stafford Loan, Student Loans, Twitter by Student Loan Network Staff

I have received some inquiries about my previous blog: Four Bizarre things you did not know about the FAFSA.

What qualifies you as an Independent Student?

If one or any of the following apply to you, then you will be considered an Independent Student:

  1. You are enrolled in a Masters program, Doctorate Degree, or graduate Certification program
    • age does not matter, if you are enrolled in any of these types of programs you are considered and independent student
  2. You have a child or children that are your legal dependent(s)
    • you may have a family member etc. that is considered your dependent…he/she does not necessarily have to be a child
  3. You are married
  4. You are under the age of 24 and both of your parents are deceased
  5. You were a ward of your state until you were 18 years of age
  6. You are 24 years of age or older
  7. You are a Veteran of the United States Armed Force
  8. You were a foster child after the age of 13.
  9. You are an emancipated child as determined by a court judge.
  10. You are homeless or at risk of homelessness as determined by the director of a HUD approved homeless shelter, transitional program, or high school liaison.

Want more details, visit: FAFSA Online : Independent Students

The most important aspect of this is to remember that your school has the right to reassess certain circumstances, a process called professional judgment.

Some students have no contact with their parents, and therefore cannot use their tax information for filing the FAFSA. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll need to go to your school’s financial aid office and ask them for help. Chances are, you’ll also need to bring plentiful documentation (rent, utilities, etc.) to prove that your situation is as you say it is. You’ll be asking for a professional judgment override on dependency status.

What this means is, if you’re under 24, in order to file as an independent, you must first go to your local courthouse and ask to appear before a judge to be ‘legally emancipated’ and apply as an independent student.

Update: We just wrote a pretty helpful blog about how people in situations like yours can get a FAFSA dependency change. For information on this, read Appealing Your FAFSA Dependency Status

More: When are the FAFSA Deadlines

Five most recent FAFSA form help blog posts: