The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is officially open today, October 1, 2017. FAFSA aid is given on a first come-first serve basis, so it’s important to file early. Families of new or returning college students need to complete the form using 2016 tax information.

Valuable advice from Money Magazine, Oct. 2016, “4 Things to Know About the New FAFSA”

“Just submitting a FAFSA will automatically qualify you for a low-cost federal student loan of up to $5,500 for freshman year....The FAFSA is also required for many other kinds of aid, including work/study jobs; federal parent PLUS loans; scholarships from state agencies, private foundations, and colleges; and, in a few cases, merit aid.”

Steps:

1) Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov or https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/

2) Student creates a Federal Student Aid Identification Number (FSA ID). 

3) Parents create their own FSA ID.  “Parent” refers to a biological or adoptive parent or a person determined by the state to be a parent (for example, if the parent is listed on the birth certificate). Grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older siblings, and uncles or aunts are not considered parents on this form unless they have legally adopted the student.

4) Know your deadlines as all colleges set their own dates. If you're applying Early Decision (binding) or Early Action (non-binding) some college deadline dates may be as soon as November 1. 

Filing a FAFSA or CSS/PROFILE too late can seriously impact your child’s eligibility for need-based financial aid and maybe even merit aid. 

This is for informational purposes only. Simply College Prep is not a certified financial planning company and bears no responsibility for user forecasting or financial planning.

 

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