Fall is a great season. There's back to school, apple pie, pumpkins and FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid). FAFSA season officially kicks off on October 1st.
MONEY FOR COLLEGE STARTS WITH FAFSA! Every student planning to attend college should complete a FAFSA which can qualify you for grants, scholarships, federal student loans, and work study.
How to Prepare for FAFSA:
Many people get very stressed just hearing about FAFSA but there is no need. Below is a list of information you will need to have on hand to complete your FAFSA. It is a step-by-step process and having the information handy will cut your time in half for completion. Below is a short list of items:
- FSA ID – The Federal Student Aid Identification is required for both the parent/guardian and the student. Your FSA ID must be created at studentaid.gov prior to completing and submitting your FAFSA. On that website, click on create an account.
- 2021 Tax Returns for Student and Parent – Have on hand copies of your entire Federal Tax Returns for both the parent(s) and student as well as your 2021 W-2s.
- Student’s School List – Have a list of schools for which the student has already applied or is planning to apply. By entering these schools into the FAFSA form, schools will be notified of your FAFSA completion in order to calculate any aid they can offer upon acceptance.
- Parent’s Date of Marriage or Divorce – Will require month and year only.
- Account Balances – Check your accounts for the most recent balances in both parent and student checking and savings accounts. Also, if applicable you will need provide balances for additional investment accounts such as: Stocks, Bonds, 529 Plans, Mutual Funds or CDs. You WILL NOT need to report retirement account information. (Except yearly pre-taxed contributions)
- If Applicable, you will also need to have on hand:
- If not a U.S. Citizen, Resident Card Number will be required
- Annual amounts of untaxed income received in household (child support and yearly contributions into 401K or 403B accounts)
- If you own a business that employs more than 100 people, you will need to know for FAFSA completion the total value of the business (buildings/equipment), and how much you owe on the business
Some Additional Reminders:
- Check to see if any of the schools you are interested in also require a College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile to be completed in addition to the FAFSA.
- For more information on financial aid, download our Financial Aid 101 guide.
Help is Available:
For free assistance in completing your FAFSA, schedule an appointment with the College Planning Center today! Scheduling for October is available now.
The FAFSA process can seem daunting, but worth your time to complete. Ask questions, keep track of deadlines, and remember – there is no more important requirement than the FAFSA and other financial aid forms required by your schools when seeking financial aid.