FAFSA and You | 02.12.10

Posted in FAFSA, Financial Aid By Student Loan Network Staff

To open, I’d like to ask a simple question: Have you filed your FAFSA yet? If no, you should know that the FAFSA is one of the most valuable financial aid tools in a student’s arsenal (besides scholarships and grants, which are the best) because it shows the government and your school that you need money for college.

In the eyes of your future school, neglecting to file a FAFSA is equivalent to leaving a gigantic tip on on a small meal – you only do it because you don’t care, or money is no object. Depending on your level of need, there is potential to get a significant portion of your cost of attendance financed at attractive interest rates, and/or qualify for a Pell Grant, which you do not need to pay back. Also, the FAFSA applies to both undergraduate AND graduate students.

So why the urgency? “I read on the Government website that my FAFSA isn’t actually due until June 30, right?” — Technically yes, but the real answer is no. In the case of colleges and universities, the financial aid department of your school will actually set a separate financial aid deadline in order to give themselves enough time to put together everyone’s aid packages.

The bottom line: The longer you wait to file your FAFSA, the less chance you have of receiving an excellent financial aid package from your school. Also, be on the lookout for a separate school-only financial aid form – sometimes they require more than just the FAFSA to evaluate your need; you can contact your financial aid office to ask if there are more forms involved.

One last thing! Don’t forget to send your FAFSA to all the schools you applied to. When you are completing the application, there will be an option toward the end to add the receiving schools by school codeā€¦ just make sure you get them all in there and you will be A-OK paperwork-wise when your school begins to review financial need.

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187 Responses to “FAFSA and You”

  1. Austin Campbell says on May 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm:

    I filled out the FAFSA but my mother did not file a tax return. To qualify for the Pell Grant I was told I must fill out a form fromhttp://www.irs.gov. Problem is I have no clue what form to fill out. HELP!!

    Reply To This Comment
    • Evan Jacobs says on May 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm:

      Hi Austin,

      If your mother did not file her tax return and you are under 24 years old, then you won't be able to even complete the FAFSA application. Tax information for the previous year is required in order to determine your EFC and ultimately, figure out how much they can lend/award you in financial aid.

      If you are under 24 years old, make sure she files an IRS 1040 or 1040EZ form as soon as possible. We are past the tax deadline now, but the sooner that form is submitted and accepted, the quicker you can get federal aid. There are tons of websites that help automate the process, including Turbotax and Taxslayer.com.

      If you are 24 or older, you don't need her tax information for the FAFSA and can just go forward using your own financial information from last year.

      Reply To This Comment
  2. Cherl says on May 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm:

    I always apply for the FAFSA fairly early but my school application usually ends up taking life thus impacting my financial aid anyway :(

    Reply To This Comment
  3. Walter says on May 3, 2010 at 11:55 pm:

    I applied for FAFSA and on my way to bigger, higher and better thing in life for me and hope and pray that everyone will apply. GOOD LUCK

    Reply To This Comment
  4. Shequise says on May 1, 2010 at 12:32 am:

    can be difficult but in the end its all worth it

    Reply To This Comment
  5. Ally says on April 23, 2010 at 3:03 am:

    i wish i read this article before filling out my form

    Reply To This Comment
  6. danielle says on April 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm:

    i already did mine

    Reply To This Comment
  7. Anne says on April 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm:

    If you can't fill it out by yourself; you can go to the financial aid office at your school, and they will help you

    Reply To This Comment
  8. Darryl Barksdale says on April 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm:

    F.A. F. S. A. Helps me ands other students to fulfill their College Dreams and It takes alot of stress off of you, worrying about how I am going to pay for my College Education, and books. Because if I was not elgible for F.A.F.S.A. I would have stop, because I could not afford to pay my semester turition for the next four years.

    Reply To This Comment
  9. Janet White says on April 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm:

    I applying hope all goes well. good luck everyone

    Reply To This Comment
  10. Darryl Barksdale says on April 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm:

    Why is the Governor of each State taking over the Federal Grants monies in each State.

    Reply To This Comment
  11. Julie says on April 14, 2010 at 4:38 am:

    FAFSA !!! thanks for the reminder.

    Reply To This Comment
  12. Ryan says on April 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm:

    Cool! this was helpful! thanks for the information!

    Reply To This Comment
  13. Namiko says on April 13, 2010 at 11:54 am:

    Oh, thank you for this information, I didn't know about FAFSA before

    Reply To This Comment
  14. Schanell says on April 13, 2010 at 12:22 am:

    Luckily, I applied early this year.

    Reply To This Comment
  15. Michael Rea says on April 12, 2010 at 8:32 pm:

    The fafsa is a cool way to get money real quick

    Reply To This Comment
  16. Any says on April 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm:

    This is great! but i cant apply for a FAFSA :(

    Reply To This Comment
  17. Jessie says on April 12, 2010 at 2:49 am:

    I applied for FAFSA, but how is that related to Pell Grants?

    Reply To This Comment
    • Evan Jacobs says on April 12, 2010 at 12:54 pm:

      @ Jessie – When you apply for the FAFSA and submit your income information to the Department of Education, it also serves to qualify you for a range of grants. Basically, if your EFC is under $15,000 or so, you could potentially qualify for a Pell Grant that does not have to be repaid.

      Pretty great program for low income individuals & families. Hope this answers your question :)

      Reply To This Comment
  18. Joy says on April 11, 2010 at 10:33 pm:

    I did not do FAFSA, but I wish i did.

    Reply To This Comment
    • Evan Jacobs says on April 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm:

      Hi Joy,

      If you are still in school you can file your FAFSA late and potentially still get some federal funds towards your education.

      Reply To This Comment
  19. hmmm says on April 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm:

    to many questions :(

    Reply To This Comment
  20. NNR says on April 11, 2010 at 10:40 am:

    I filled out my FAFSA and and I received aid from the colleges that I applied to.

    Reply To This Comment
  21. Dakota says on April 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm:

    I already did my Fafsa, but I’ll be sure to send some of my friends this way.

    Reply To This Comment
  22. michelle says on April 9, 2010 at 3:23 am:

    do only seniors have to fill this out? Im a junior and dunno when i should send mine in..

    Reply To This Comment
    • Evan Jacobs says on April 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm:

      Hi Michelle,

      You would actually fill this out the Spring before your first semester in college. So if you were starting school in Fall 2011, you would wait until January 2011 to fill out the FAFSA.

      Thanks for the great question :-)

      Reply To This Comment
  23. Thang Nguyen says on April 8, 2010 at 3:50 am:

    I applied for FAFSA and now I'm waiting for it…God bless me and others !!

    Reply To This Comment
  24. Rachael says on April 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm:

    I wasn't eligible to receive any money after filling out my FAFSA; however, it is a huge help to many people.

    Reply To This Comment
  25. Nshuti says on April 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm:

    it's the best way to Go!

    Reply To This Comment

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