July 17, 2006
FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a bit of a beast, and is not well understood. Let’s take a brief look into the FAFSA and clear up some of the mystery.
Is the FAFSA required? YES! The FAFSA is what your school uses to determine what financial aid you are eligible through that school. It affects federal aid such as Stafford and Perkins, and scholarships and grants from your school.
The FAFSA is crucial to your financial aid package. You must get it in, and you want to get it in early. The earlier the better, actually, as much financial aid is first-come first-served. The FAFSA also must be accurate to the best of your knowledge. It’s like your taxes, an honest mistake is one thing, but deliberately hiding your assets is a big no-no.
There are a lot of confusing questions on the FAFSA. Here are a few small tips to keep things straight –
- When the FAFSA refers to “I”, “You”, “Your”, etc. it is referring to the student! (not the parent, family, or FAFSA preparer)
- Always double check even basic things like your address and ZIP code.
- Nothing will kill a FAFSA faster than errors or omissions! Check everything!
- Colors matter on the 2006-2007 FAFSA. Items pertaining to the student are in BLUE, while items pertaining to the parent(s) are in PURPLE.
- The blank space answer is your enemy. If you’re uncertain, put a 0 (zero) don’t leave it blank.
While the deadline for the FAFSA for the 2006-2007 school year has passed, visit the FAFSA Tutorial on FafsaOnline.com and prepare yourself for nex year’s onslaught.