All the students who spent the fall applying to college now begin to think about how much it’s going to cost. Well, not really. Most students don’t give the cost much more than a cursory glance. But, the parents? They’re a different story.
This year there was a major change in the financial aid world – one that I personally had been waiting for literally for decades.
The application that colleges use to determine financial aid eligibility – Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was now available on October 1. (It used to be January 1.) To accommodate this change, tax information from 2015 is used. In past years families had to estimate the information or wait until they completed their tax returns in April. Now the information it ready.
But even with the information available, many parents are still anxious about completing the FAFSA.
I’ve learned in 28+ years of financial aid that FAFSA anxiety is real. But, it doesn’t have to be. Collect a couple documents, grab a cup of coffee (or maybe something stronger if numbers aren’t your thing) and let’s go.
Completing the FAFSA is less daunting than doing your taxes. And, I found even simpler than trying to request a duplicate ACT score. Trust me. I have a college senior. I’ve done it. I know, you’re thinking I’m in the biz, I know the language. But, the FAFSA has evolved to a very user friendly on-line experience.
Need some pointers? Visit our 10 Tips page.
Maybe you’re a little more visual? Try this video.
Most parents find that it takes about 30 minutes to complete the form. Less than that in future years. I completed the renewal FAFSA for my son in 8 minutes last year. My coffee wasn’t even cold.