Getting a college education is undoubtedly expensive, with the nation’s top private universities having an average tuition of $200,000 for four years. Skyrocketing tuition, however, won’t stop students from pursuing their dreams and building their careers because they can seek financial aid to get through college. This financial aid package comes in the form of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA.
With the help of FAFSA, families of college-bound kids can get financial aid to help them in getting quality education. Most parents will want to know how to get the best financial aid packages, but are daunted by the seemingly complicated process of applying for it. Contrary to popular belief, filing for FAFSA doesn’t need to be complicated, and you can even get more free money for college if you’re able to follow these tips in getting a better deal.
The most important thing about filing for FAFSA is to file it early, which some people fail to do since they tend to wait for their taxes before filling out their FAFSA forms, believing that this is the easiest way to do it. On the other hand, you may input estimates on your form based on your last pay stub and last year’s tax returns, only updating the form with the accurate information once your latest tax return arrives. In which case, you don’t need to worry about manually encoding new numbers, for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool can do this automatically.
Filing your FAFSA form sooner than later works for your advantage, particularly since financial aid is given on a first-come, first-serve basis. This could also increase you chances of getting double the grants than people who file their forms later.
Explain, but Don’t Make Excuses
One of the prevailing myths about financial aid is that you can get a better aid when you imply that your family is not wealthy or your kids’ grades are too low. Answer the questions as truthfully as possible, and if you think there are other facts that you think financial aid officers have the right to know, you can send them a supplementary letter explaining your situation more clearly.
Don’t Be Overwhelmed
With the many requirements being asked in applying for FAFSA, most parents feel too overwhelmed by the looming deadlines and the requirements. The good thing is, you can seek help from advisors like John McDonough from the Studemont Group College Funding Solutions, LLC, who can guide your way in acquiring free college money to lead your children a step closer to their dreams.
10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of College Financial Aid, Time
How To Fill Out FAFSA: 5 Tips For Maximizing Your Application For College Financial Aid, International Business Times