Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fill out the FAFSA before your child is accepted!

Did you know that you should fill out the FAFSA even before your child gets accepted at college? It is true that those who submit the FAFSA the earliest get the best shot at financial aid for two major reasons:
1) You become first in line for the aid that’s available that year and
2) The financial aid office is not frazzled yet because of all of the applications that come in during the month of March.

The FAFSA will be available in the first week of January and the sooner you submit the FAFSA, the better your chances of getting financial aid.

Please note – all male students who are 18 years of age or older must be registered for selective service. If you haven’t already registered, the FAFSA will complete the process for you when you answer Yes to that question in the Student Information section.

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Get your 2006 taxes or your best estimate for your 2007 taxes if they are substantially different than 2006.
2. Get a list of all of your current assets – that includes savings accounts, checking accounts, investment accounts, real estate owned, business owned, etc. It does NOT include any IRA or 401K or cash value of life insurance policy assets.
3. Create a list of all schools your child applied to and get their school codes. If you don’t know them, you can look them up on the website.
4. Go to fafsa.ed.gov NOTE: This site is entirely free! Don’t use any imposters that charge you to file the FAFSA
5. Apply for a PIN for both parent and student
6. Print out the 2008-2009 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet for yourself – this is your record to keep. Do not mail it to the school or the government. The bottom half of the left side of the first sheet provides a list of all of the information you need.

That’s probably enough for now. Finding all of that information is usually quite difficult and most people need to put it all down and do something fun before trying to put all of the information into a government form.

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