If you are a parent of a soon-to-be college student or perhaps thinking of attending or completing your education, you will want to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as a FAFSA.
But where to start? As they say, knowledge is power! For many, the FAFSA, and the process of completing a FAFSA, can be confusing.
Lessening the confusion
First, take time to navigate through the FAFSA website. Unfortunately, a simple Google search with the terms FAFSA will return sites that may or may not be accurate.
We advise clients to simply visit Fafsa.ed.gov.
When visiting the Fafsa.ed.gov. site, navigate, browse, and explore, without any time constraints. Many folks search the FAFSA site when they need to either find or file information, and are trying to become acquainted with the site simultaneous to filling out a form. This can lead to confusion and frustration.
There is a lot of information to absorb; some information you will certainly need to know to complete the FAFSA, and other information is to educate you about various concerns surrounding colleges, loans, eligibility, etc.
Related read: Education Celebration: 3 Cheers for the New FAFSA
At minimum, find and know your school code and your school deadline (as opposed to the federal or state deadlines).
Next, know your state deadlines. 2016-2017 FAFSA Deadlines (FAFSA external site - all states)
Finally, gain insight from our CPAs and management consultants by reading their blogs:
College and Financial Planning blogs.
As you can see, while the FAFSA can seem overwhelming, with guidance, it can become easier to understand. If you have questions about FAFSA, planning for college, or how to strengthen your financial position, contact any of the CPAs and management professionals on our staff. We're happy to help and ready to start the conversation.