Admit it: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA, can be both confusing and daunting. Yet, completing and submitting the FAFSA is essential. Cappex recently reported that over two-thirds of U.S. college students receive financial aid packages, and of these awards require the completed FASFA. Adding to the frustration, the FAFSA is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. As many families are in the process of completing this time-consuming but necessary application, Crisp Consulting + Coaching would like to offer a few strategies to assist families with the FAFSA application process.
FASFA Fact 1, Just Do It: Many families question the feasibility of receiving financial aid and neglect completing the FAFSA, when, in fact, all families should complete the FAFSA as most financial aid sources will require it. Public and private colleges require it for institutional money (some public and most private schools will require additional forms such as the College Board’s CSS/FInancial Aid Profile). Pell Grants, the U.S. government grants, require the FAFSA. Perkin Student Loans require the FAFSA. In short, complete the FASFA.
FASFA Fact 2, PINS: The first step is logging on the FASFA website and creating a Federal Student ID known as your PIN. From here you will be able confirm specific state deadlines for aid and use the FAFSA4Caster to estimate your federal aid eligibility.
FASFA Fact 3: Needs: Before you spend hours gathering receipts and birth certificates, gather the essentials for completing the FASFA. You will need your current bank and business/investment statements, driver’s license number, Social Security number and your most recent tax returns.
These FASFA strategies will help you in financially preparing for college. As always, it is better to start earlier than later.
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Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant with Crisp Consulting + Coaching who works with families in Asheville, Charleston, Raleigh-Durham and Savannah to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success. As a former professor, administrator, and teacher, Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.