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Financial Matters: The FAFSA

fafsa financial aid Oct 07, 2020

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the primary form used by colleges to determine eligibility for need-based aid. In some cases, colleges will not consider an applicant for merit aid unless that student has first submitted a FAFSA. The FAFSA should be filed as soon as possible after October 1st of the student’s senior year, and then yearly while attending college.

The FAFSA collects basic information about both the student’s and his/her parents’ incomes and assets and uses this information to determine an expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that the student and family are expected to contribute towards that individual’s college expenses during the next academic year. The difference between the EFC and the total cost of attendance at your college of choice is known as demonstrated need. Colleges use this information to prepare a customized financial aid package for each admitted student who qualifies for financial aid....

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Six Tips to Sail Through Completing the FAFSA

 

Your eligibility for financial aid will be based on the calendar year starting in January of your junior year.  Now is the time to learn what information you and your parents will need in order to file a FAFSA.  

What is the FAFSA? 

The Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form students and parents must complete and submit to the federal government to determine their eligibility for financial aid and scholarship opportunities. 

Who files the FAFSA? 

Since this is a federal application, it is for US citizens or students with a legal status in the United States.  International students are not eligible for federal student aid. 

What kind of aid does the federal government offer? 

There are three types of aid offered by the US government: 1) Grants, 2) Student Loans, 3) Work-study.  Colleges will also often use the FAFSA to award their own need-based financial...

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How Do You Know How Much You Will Pay for Your College?

 

Paying for college is often compared to paying for airline tickets. No two people pay the same price. What will your costs be at college? How much you pay for college depends on so many factors.  Knowing what those factors are, and how college will look at your family’s financial situation, will help you know what the price of your “college” ticket will be. Knowing how it will differ from one college to another will help you compare one college to another.
 
How do I know if I am eligible for financial aid?

What do colleges look at to determine how much you pay for college? The FAFSA or Profile forms are used to determine how much your family can contribute to your college education. The forms include questions to find out: 

  • How much income your parents make
  • How much income you make (if any)- even babysitting counts
  • How much savings or investments your parents have
  • How much savings you have in your name

What is an “Expected Family...

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