If it is January, it is financial aid forms time. For the next 4 years you will be completing the FAFSA (FREE Application for Federal Student Aid) each January. You might also be completing a College Board Profile or other college financial aid forms too.
What are financial aid forms?
In October, we posted an article with tips for “Applying for Financial Aid: Get Ready Now”. Refer back to the blog for more information on different financial aid forms.
What steps do I take now?
Use this Do’s and Don’ts List to prepare to file your financial aid forms.
- Check on Requirements (see your EDGE account for details)
⬜ Check on FAFSA codes for colleges
⬜ Check for requirements for filing extra forms such as CSS Profile or own college forms
⬜ Check on any state form requirements
- Gather ALL information needed. Be sure you have:
⬜ Your social security number
⬜ Parents’ social security numbers
⬜ Parent income statements from 2015
⬜ Your income statement (if you had any) for 2015
⬜ Amount in savings, checking or other types of assets
⬜ Copy of tax return from 2014 to use as a guide
- Inform Colleges of Special Circumstances. Let the college know in a separate letter if:
⬜ A parent lost a job or income went down
⬜ Parents were divorced
⬜ There is a family member with special medical costs
⬜ There are any other special circumstances in your family the college should know about
Have more than 10 colleges to file the FAFSA for?
If you have more than 10 colleges to put on the FAFSA, prioritize your list. You can only add 10 colleges to the FAFSA at a time. See Prioritizing Top 10 Colleges for FAFSA blog entry for more tips on picking the colleges to put in your first FAFSA.
- Report more information than requested.
⬜ Don’t include assets from parent retirement
⬜ Don’t include a farm your family lives on
⬜ Don’t include a small business income or assets
⬜ Don’t include your family home as an asset
- File Late.
⬜ Don’t forget to file financial aid forms in January, or by mid February at the latest
⬜ Don’t forget to check all deadlines for forms at colleges
GuidedPath has you covered when it comes to your financial aid needs for college.
- Create a Financial Aid Form report to use when completing your FAFSA. It summarizes all the financial aid requirements for each of the schools on your list and has the FAFSA codes for all your colleges.
- Complete College Affordability Shaper Survey in Surveys section
- Watch for milestone reminder emails about upcoming financial aid deadlines
- Check financial aid statistics in GuidedPath on each college on your list
- Mark off each financial aid milestone as you complete it