Ep. 25 FAFSA Series Pt. 1: Getting Organized #financialaid
It’s FAFSA SEASON! This is the first of a four-part series on everything you need to know about the FAFSA. Part one of this series is to help you get started by getting organized. The FAFSA is the starting point and the gatekeeper to all of the federal and state aid and grant programs. We will provide you with a checklist as well as information about what to do and know ahead of time. Get Ready!
- Educate yourself about federal (and state) student aid programs. Do you know what your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is? Here is a calculator to find out.
- Understand that it is really your child that needs to complete the FAFSA. Help them understand whether or not parents (one or both) information is needed to be included or not. For example, is your child considered a dependent or independent student for FAFSA filing purposes? If they answer YES to any of the following questions, they are considered INDEPENDENT.
- Are they 24+?
- Are they going to school for an advanced degree (Masters, Ph.D.)?
- Are they married?
- Do they have children of their own that they provide 1/2 the support for?
- Are they 13+ and parents deceased or have been in foster care?
- Are they on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Are they a veteran?
- Go to the FAFSA website (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov) to get a FSA ID. You need to obtain one for yourself and the student must get one also. The reasoning is so that both of you can view and edit the FAFSA application online.
- The documents that you should start to locate and gather are as follows:
- Social Security number or Alien registration number
- 2015 tax return (if you have not filed as of yet, you can use your 2014 AGI info)
- Bank statements (including investment accounts)
- Any additional information about untaxed income (business income, real estate investment income, unemployment etc…)
- Know the deadlines for your state for the FAFSA as well as state aid. Here is a PDF to download and review for your state: Deadlines
Additional Resource Recommendations:
Ep. 9 Financial Aid 101
Ep. 21 Financial Aid Myths & Tips