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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Comparing Financial Aid Award Letters

 

You got into the top three schools on your list.  Each has sent you a financial aid award. One offer looks better than the other two, but is it really?  It’s important to compare financial aid offers.  Here are 6 questions to ask: 

  1. What is your Cost of Attendance (COA)? Does the college list all the costs for going to college: 1) Tuition & Fees; 2) Room & Board; 3) Books & Supplies; 4) Personal Expenses, 5) Transportation (getting to and from the campus). If the award does not include these items, search the website for the information or call the college.  
  2. What is your Expect Family Contribution (EFC) number on your Student Aid Report? The amount your family is expected to pay toward college is on the student aid report generated when you filed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This number is needed for comparing financial aid awards.  If your family contribution is close to or more...
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