Hello fellow bloggers!!
Today I wanted to go over a very important “how-to” on filling out the FAFSA form.
In case you don’t know or need reminding, the FAFSA form is free application that students and often parents/guardians fill out in order to be eligible for federal financial aid (e.g. grants and loans). I know it can look scary, but I promise it’s easier than it seems!!
To get started, you are going to need to go to: www.fafsa.ed.gov and apply for a PIN number. The PIN number is what you will use to essentially give your signature on the completed form and the number you will need to access your file. If you become stuck on something, the FAFSA application gives you helpful information on each box/line you need to fill out over on the right hand side of the page.
The first portion of the application is going to be information about you. You will to fill in your address, birthday, high school, any prior college, financial information (2013 tax information), etc. Even if you have not completed your taxes for 2013 yet, don’t worry because you can estimate the financial section based on your 2012 taxes J. The next part of the application is going to determine whether you are an independent or a dependent student. If you are considered a dependent student, you will need to enter your parent(s)/guardian(s) basic personal information, as well as their financial information also. The last two parts of the application are extremely important- listing the schools that you have been accepted to/are attending and signing the form!!!
Once your FAFSA is submitted, you will receive what is called a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is going to tell you two things: 1) how much money you will be expected to contribute towards your education (EFC) and 2) how much financial aid you will be eligible for.
Pay close attention to these deadlines for Illinois students:
Now….. Go file your FAFSA!!!!