Jan 242012

Filling Out Your FAFSA

Here is a quick video tutorial to get you started on filling out your FAFSA.  Filling out the FAFSA is a real pain!!! It is probably worse that filling out your taxes.

Depending on who you are, student or parent, you may be asked for all kinds of information about your finances and assets and assets of people in your family including children.  If you can, gather as much information as possible, including everything you’d use for your taxes, plus bank statements and mortgage information.  These guys are not shy about asking for everything!

But just remember that it is probably going to be worth the effort because it is required by about every school in the USA if you even remotely stand a chance of getting financial aid or a merit scholarship.  Yes. You or your kid could get a merit based scholarship but the school still uses FAFSA to process it (somehow).

Once you start filling out the FAFSA you can save your work and come back later.  You can also start filling out the FAFSA with incomplete information, say if your taxes are not completed yet.  There is a chance to update you form when you get exact tax return data of any new information.

Keep all your FAFSA information together where you can find it again next year.  You have to fill out the FAFSA EVERY SINGLE YEAR you or your kids is in college receiving financial aid.  One good thing is that your information carries over to the next year’s form, some of it anyway.

FAFSA – The Official Site

How to Get Started on Your FAFSA

Aug 122008

Filling Out the FAFSA is a Pain But Worth It

When you are single mom it is sometimes hard to juggle work, your child, and even having some or any kind of a social life.  If you’re going to college it’s even harder to time manage and money manage your life and your lifestyle. Here comes FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

To get financial aid you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA.

Financial aid is a good way for the single mom to pay for college and at the same time, give her the flexibility to have a little money extra to pay off some living expenses that are procured of being a college student as well as a single mom.

With financial aid, you will have to pay the money back, but you can be assured that your tuition and books will be paid for.  It is always prudent to look for scholarships and grants before financial aid, because with those programs you do not have to repay the money.

fafsa free application for student aidThe first thing you have to do to apply for financial aid for college is to fill out a FAFSA application. FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Student Aid”.  With this application you will be asked personal information like the location, what kind of money your parents made, whether you support another person (as a single mother you do), and what kind of money that you made the previous year.

If you are financially secure and make too much money financial aid may not be granted to you.  This is also true if your parents are able to help you pay for college and they make a lot of money.  In these situations, your application may be denied.  You have to prove to the financial aid office that you are indeed a single mother, and you need the money no matter how much your parents make.  You can appeal the rejection of the application by visiting the financial aid office and completing an application of repeal form to begin the appeal process.

Once the application is accepted, you will be notified through the mail and you will be issued a pin number.  A pin number is a 4-digit number that will identify you as the owner of your student financial aid account.

Once your application is secure, you must then choose a lending institution.  This is usually a financial aid lending institution that is nationwide, or you can use a local bank that is in your own town.

When you sign for of the financial aid at the lending institution, you will be asked to sign paperwork that you will be responsible paying back the loan.  Paying back your loan is one of the most important things about getting a student loan.  If you don’t pay back the loan, you can have your paycheck garnished, you can lower your credit score, and any tax refund that you might have coming back to you from either the state or federal government will be held back as payment on behalf of your student loan.

Remember, if you do not need the money, do not accept it.  You have to pay these loans back.  Even though they have little or no interest attached to them, you are still responsible for paying them off once you graduate.  Paying back the loans as soon as possible means as a single mom with your child and your family, you no longer have to worry about a large amount of student loans that are out.  Filling out the FAFSA can be painful or easy depending on your financial circumstances, but it has to be done.