The holidays have ended and high school students are back at school. Seniors are awaiting their acceptance letters or finishing up last minute admissions applications. But that does not mean that the college planning workload is over. In fact the second phase of the process has just gotten underway. The FAFSA became available January 1st.
These tips will make he process smoother for students and parents.
1. Know the deadlines for filing for financial aid for es h college you apply to for admissions. Generally they are anywhere from February 1st to March 1st.
2. The student AND one parent must apply for a FAFSSA ID at FAFSA.ed.gov before you can complete the inline application.
3. If you do not have you W-2s or your federal tax teturn completed for 2015, estimate with your last pay stub for 2015. If your income is fairly consistent estimate based on your 2014 federal tax returns. You WILL need to update the application once your 2015 tax returns are filed.
4. Keep a file with all documents and correspondence from the financial aid offices you are dealing with.
5. Be sure to print the students’s name and social security number on any documents submitted, especially if the student’s last name is different then the parent’s.
6. If you have an usual family situation —loss of a job, foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce/separation or death of a parent, contact each individual college AFTER the FAFSA is submitted to ask what their Professional Judgement or Appeal Process is.
7. Read your Award Letter carefully. Know what action you must take. Do you need to accept and return a copy of the award letter? Do you need to complete a Federal Student Loan Promissory Note online? Do you need to complete a Student Loan Entrance Interview?
Follow these tips and you should have a little trouble with applying and receiving financial aid for which you are eligible.