Happy weekend, all!  Now, you all know (or should, anyway) that the FAFSA takes the cake in terms of important financial aid documents.  College students know they need to submit it, they know the FAFSA is required by the government for federal aid, but students rarely have the inside scoop on everything FAFSA.Queue fafsa.gov.  There is but one place to get the full story on FAFSA, mainly because it's their story.  Students and their families will learn the purpose of the FAFSA and the goals of the operation itself, what information is required for the application, your college's FAFSA code number (if it has not yet been provided to you...or if you forgot!) and much more.

Moreover, fafsa.gov is THE place to retrieve and/or file the application itself.  Do a Google (or Bing or Yahoo or whatever) search on "FAFSA."  Go ahead.  Chances are LOTS of results came up, maybe even this blog.  What you need to remember, though, is that anyone claiming that you can submit your application to the federal government through their site is very likely full of it.  This means that the dot-coms are all out, because *Surprise!* they charge you money to do it.

That first "F" in FAFSA stands for "FREE," as in Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  The only way to effectively apply for federal aid is to go to fafsa.gov or work with a financial aid consultant who will assist you in filing through the official FAFSA website.  Students may choose to submit the application totally online, in digital format, or to retrieve the application from the website and submit it in hard copy.  In either case, make sure that you've reveiwed the necessary materials for application completion to avoid scrambling to locate important documents.Remember, too, that by downloading and printing a hard copy application from fafsa.gov, students and their families can practice the application as much as necessary to get the hang of it.  FAFSA mistakes happen all too often, and practice makes perfect.

Upon attempting the FAFSA for the first time in practice, odds are high that you will be scratching your head at a few of the questions.  How do I figure out my Adjusted Gross Income (signup required)?  What about calculating my Expected Family Contribution?  Don't panic, however, because the answers are nearby.  With some patience, anyone can implement the necessary steps to answer such inquiries.

To review:

  • fafsa.gov=only official website to submit the application free-of-charge
  • FAFSA website offers federal aid info that only they can provide
  • File FAFSA online or hard copy
  • Take advantage of FAFSA practice

This should all be a good start to becoming more familiar with financial aid and the idea behind FAFSA.  Try to learn as much as possible, as it will only help later.  For more solutions, visit Go Financial Aid online.  Good luck to everyone!

Categories: Financial Aid | Financial Aid Applications | FAFSA
Tags: fafsa fafsa.org financial aid

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