The college application process is so tedious. You’ve got to write a ton of essays, get teacher recommendations, take a bunch of tests and so much more! It can be a bit of a headache and once you send off your applications to colleges, you get to have a sigh of relief. You’ve done it. You’ve applied for college!
Not so fast. The process isn’t over just yet. You’ve got to fill out your FAFSA now. I’m sure you’ve heard a ton about FAFSA and how important it is. But do you really know what the FAFSA is? No worries, I’m going to break it down a bit for you.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a form that helps determine the amount of federal financial aid (think $$$) that you’ll be receiving to attend college. It also will let you know, based on the information you provide about your family income, how much you are expected to contribute to your education. Yes, more forms for you to fill out! It may not sound exciting, but it’s extremely beneficial to you and your pockets. Completing the FAFSA allows you to be eligible for different types of financial aid such as grants, loans and work study (we’ll talk about what those terms mean in an upcoming post).
Failing to complete the FAFSA means potentially walking away a ton of money for college. Yeah, don’t do that. Students may think their parents’ make too much money to be eligible for the FAFSA. Or that you can’t complete it because it’s too hard and too long. Don’t be discouraged! Completing the FAFSA could be the different in you receiving money for college or having to pay out of pocket. Here’s a great link that shows who is eligible for federal financial aid: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/basic-criteria
For all of the seniors, FAFSA will be available to begin filling out on January 1st, 2016. Stay tuned to the ImFirst.org blog, as we’ll be giving you a weekly low-down on all things FAFSA related.
Now go forth and conquer the FAFSA.