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FAFSA Facts - Things you need to know!

03.03.2014, by Susan Conolly

By Suzanne on March 1, 2014

If you are (or have) a student who plans on attending college in 2014-2015, then hopefully you’ve already learned about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  For those who haven’t (and even for those who have!) here are some important facts to keep in mind . . .

FAFSA– This acronym stands for “The Free Application for Federal Student Aid”

APPLY – Completion determines a student/family’s eligibility for federal and state student financial aid and strongly correlates to college enrollment . . . especially among low-income students.  Applications can be submitted each year beginning January 1st so if you’re hoping for financial assistance for the 2014-2015 school year, APPLY NOW!!!

FREE– Completing the application doesn’t cost you anything and can make a huge difference in how much you’ll end up paying for a college education!

TIME– The government’s  web site suggests you allow an hour, however, on average it takes only 23 minutes to complete.  The first time will always take the longest.

SECURE- Your financial information is safe due to a secure web site connection.

DEADLINES- Federal, State and Institution deadlines exist for completing the FAFSA so keep track of those that apply to you.  Don’t wait to apply just because you haven’t yet filed your tax return . . . the FAFSA allows you to enter your previous year’s financial information as an estimate until you have your final numbers available.  In many cases, the FAFSA system can automatically upload and adjust your application with your current numbers once your federal tax return has been filed!

DETAILS– Don’t let simple mistakes (like incorrect birthdates and/or social security numbers) mess up your chances for financial assistance . . . double check everything!

RENEW– Each year that a student attends college their FAFSA must be renewed in order to continue receiving financial aid – filing the FAFSA is not a onetime thing!

*Make sure you use the OFFICIAL government web site . . . www.fafsa.ed.gov.  If you Google the acronym “fafsa”, a private company’s link for completing the application comes up first v. the official FREE government web site link.

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