One of the most important things you will do during your college education is fill out your FAFSA form. FAFSA stands for “Free Application For Student Aid“. This is the starting point for most successful financial applications. The FAFSA is a free form that you can get in a lot of places. You can order them online, or you can get them from the financial aid office at the college you are attending.
A lot of financial aid offices offer help to the student filling out the FAFSA, which is usually a good idea for first time students. The FAFSA is very complicated and comprehensive. It asks for extensive information regarding family income, educational history and also information on the colleges the student is planning on attending. In order to successfully process the FAFSA, the student needs to also produce documents verifying their identity such as a social security card.
The FAFSA must be turned in by January 1st for the year in which you wish to receive financial aid. Although it is permissible to turn it in later than that, doing so will delay the processing of the form by probably several weeks. The FAFSA is not only used to determine federal aid, it is also used by many states in determining what financial aid the student may receive from the state. If you turn the form in late, you may miss out on state money that can help with college expenses.
The FAFSA asks for information regarding the student’s financial situation. The student may be asked to furnish proof of income. If the student lives with family, they may have to provide income information about the family also. This depends on a circumstance called independent living. If a student has worked or is working, they may be asked to furnish last year’s tax return.
No matter where or how you apply for FAFSA, you will need a student PIN number that is only furnished by the Department of Education. This PIN ensures that no one else will have access to your personal information, and it helps the administration keep better track of who is receiving what aid. The easiest way to get this PIN is by filling out a form on the Department of Education’s website. Or if there is no Internet available it is possible to do over the phone.
To fill out the FAFSA a student needs to be enrolled in an accredited institution either full or part time. The FAFSA must be filled out every year that the student will be attending school. You can submit your FAFSA, and then make changes and corrections as needed. Once you have completed the form and received your PIN, you will be able to access your FAFSA on the Internet through the Department of Education’s website. There you can make corrections, as well as add and remove schools from the list. Any school on your FAFSA will receive a copy of this form. They will not process it until you complete enrollment, but at least it will be there.
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