Everything You Need to Know about Filing FAFSA
Financial aid is a blessing for a large majority of aspiring college students. It serves as the first step in the way of achieving their dreams and uplifting their murky financial situation. One might assume that applying for financial aid is just a click away, given the progressive move towards online applications. However, it is not. If you were to evaluate the application closely, there are a lot of moving pieces or requirements that need to be accounted for when filling a financial aid like the FAFSA.
This post summarizes everything that a potential FAFSA applicant needs to know about the process and how they can improve their chances of getting aid by focusing on some key points.
What is FAFSA?
Federal student aid is the largest student financial assistance provider in the United States. From grants, loans to work-study funds, the Federal Student Aid covers it all and is focused on assisting students in need, irrespective of their academic background. This is especially useful for first-generation college students as it can help them get essentially free money for college.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is an application that needs to be filled out by students in need to apply for the Federal Student Aid. It’s necessary that they fill this out because they cannot make claims elsewhere if they really want it.
With a lengthy procedure to complete the application, students and parents need to be on top of how this really works and the requirements that need to be fulfilled on their end. Some questions might come up like around paying back FAFSA, but this is nothing to worry about as FAFSA is just an application. You don’t need to pay back an application!
Documents Needed to File for FAFSA
The requirements mentioned earlier refer to the Documents that need to be ready to start the application. To start the FAFSA process, the student first needs to create an FSA ID, which allows them to sign their FAFSA forms digitally. It serves as an account to keep track of the application, along with containing information about the kind of Student Aid. As for the documents need in the process, here is a list of the prerequisites:
- Applicant’s Social Security Number
- Parent’s Social Security Number, if Dependent
- Driver’s License if applicable
- Federal tax Information or Tax returns of the student, dependent or parents
- Records of Untaxed income if any
- Information relating to bank accounts, savings, and cash
- In case the applicant is a non-US Citizen, their Alien Registration Number is required
When is the FAFSA deadline?
You need to be aware of the final date to complete FAFSA. Every year, the United States Department of Education starts accepting FSA applications on October 1st and the last date to file it is June 30th on most years. Bear in mind that deadlines for college applications may differ and students need to check the college’s resources to find out more.
In case you missed the FAFSA deadline, do not fret as all may not be lost. As noted earlier, the federal deadline is June 30th. However, colleges usually close it later than the US Department of Education and the student can still receive the financial help that they are seeking.
However, if the student has missed all the deadlines, then their chances of receiving help decrease. Some states and schools still help those in need, but it’s a case of “slim pickings” as the majority of the programs have run their course.
Get FAFSA Help with a UStrive Mentor
The last thing any student wants is to miss out on the opportunity to attend college even when they could have applied for an FSA. Navigating applications is tough, even for veteran students and that’s where UStrive comes in. UStrive connects students and parents to accomplished mentors from various fields who further help them navigate everything concerning their education. Simply put, UStrive helps you find college mentors.
From assisting on college applications to navigating career options, the mentors at UStrive make sure that their students are set up to succeed. These mentors work at big names such as American Express, Deloitte, and UPS, so you know you’re getting help from the experts!