If you are applying for financial aid for the academic year 2010-11, you know the most important form you will fill out is the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA form (Find this form at www.fafasa.com). You have to fill out this form both to be eligible for loans and grants from the colleges you are applying to as well as for federal aid.
Luckily for you, the process of completing the FAFSA has gotten a little simpler. First, you no longer have to type in all your tax data. There is a new import feature that will allow you to share what you have already submitted to the IRS. The FASA site also has easier navigation and better help sections. Third, the site now includes a new eligibility estimator tool and a shorter worksheet.
In addition, the new form will automatically skip questions that do not apply to a specific applicant based on answers to previous questions.
Information you will need to fill out FASA include bank records and investment statements and year–end pay stubs. You will also need basic information like what is on your driver’s license and Social Security numbers.
Apply right away, even before your income tax is completed. (It’s okay to use estimates for now.) Better early than late! Everyone should apply, and don’t forget that private colleges may require a separate aid form, the CSS/Financial Aid Profile.
Collegebasics offers clear and comprehensive information for students and their parents who are just starting to apply for financial aid for college. You can find articles that will help you with the application step-by-step, explain what financial aid officers don’t tell you, and tell you where to look for aid beyond loans and grants.