FAFSA: Wanting The Best Means Doing My Best! Encouragement From A Mom

by M. Elliott
(New Hampshire)


Like you, we have faced the ominous FAFSA giant for the first time. We've all heard the stories, and felt the dread it strikes in our hearts, knowing we must do it....


Guess what? It was EASY! Am I super brilliant? No. The best thing I ever did was to sign up for free help in filling it out. I had an hour-long appointment (which didn't take that long) and they told me exactly what to have with me. The gentleman literally walked me through it step-by-step, and answered any questions I had. I was even able to register my son for the Selective Service, which meant one less thing we had to do! In my case, I used http://www.nhheaf.org/pdfs/handouts/FAFSA_flyer.pdf, because I am in NH. The gentleman told me most states have this type of resource, so make it easy on yourselves. He was trained to do this, and it went smoothly and quickly.

Do not wait. As soon as you are able to apply, do so. This will serve you well in a couple of ways. First, you will not have to dread it, because it will be done! This also allows you concentrate on the myriad of other things needing to be done. Further, if there is an error (which there probably will not be if you get assistance), it gives you time to correct it. Mine sailed right through, thanks to the assistance I received.

Always tell the truth, and that means the whole truth! Do not worry about how much money it will determine your contribution to be.

Understand and accept the truth that you have an emotional relationship with FAFSA. That may sound strange, but think about it. You are very dependent upon something outside of your control to determine what your future may look like. And when you've heard horror stories about how scary it is, that takes its toll. Don't allow it to produce that concern. Simply address it quickly and accurately, and put it out of your mind. You will hear back that it has been processed, and sent to the colleges of your choice. They, then will contact you with further details. Meanwhile, you have alleviated the worry, addressed the requirements, and have moved on to the next step. Keep in mind, no matter how much FAFSA determines is your responsibility, there are other tools to utilize to get you where you need to be-a graduating senior at the college of your choice! I promise, absolutely promise, it was such a good feeling to know it was done, and done accurately. No stress, no fuss, and DONE! Good luck!

Read more tips on filling out FAFSA for the first time from other students and parents who have been through the FAFSA process.


Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you for sharing your experience with filling out the FAFSA for the first time. That is the hardest one to do, so you were very wise to get help. Also registering with the Selective Service on the FAFSA is also the right choice. Although my son was already registered with the Selective Service, his FAFSA was not accepted until we “corrected” it to say he wasn’t registered, and then we registered him online in the FAFSA. Then it was accepted! Good luck to you.

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More Tips on Filling out the FAFSA

FAFSA | FAFSA Hints | Expected Family Contribution
| Dependent or Independent Student | Parental Income on FAFSA | FAFSA Official Website | Printable FAFSA Application | FAFSA Application PIN Number | FAFSA Application | FAFSA Deadline

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FAFSA - Will Be Your Savior

by Kim Klippel
(Ballston Spa, New York, United States)

From one parent to another -- College Is Expensive -- but never fear help is on the way from the federal government.

As parents we are all looking for ways to pay for our children’s college education and one way is from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program. As a parent, the FAFSA application for financial aid will be the most important form that you will fill out to receive financial aid for your child’s college education. From my research into the world of financial aid all other college student momentary assistance programs require that the FAFSA application be completed first.

My other important advice about the FAFSA application process is to apply early! One reason is because the sooner you apply the more money your student may receive from the Federal government. The other reason is because some financial aid programs that you will want to apply for have a deadline of when the FAFSA application must be completed by.

There is no reason to not have your FAFSA application completed early. The form is available online on January 1st and once you do complete your application you many make changes online at any time to update information that you have submitted. To fill out the FAFSA application you go to fafsa.ed.gov It is free to complete the FAFSA application and submit it. Beware, if you are asked to pay any money than the service you are using may not be real.

The first thing you must do when starting your FAFSA application is to request a FAFSA Application PIN Number to start the application process. Remember this number because it is very important; you don’t want to start all over again. You must also know that there is a parent portion that you will need to complete and there is a student portion that your child will be responsible to complete.

One last piece of advice to all my fellow parents with college bound children -- Save Everything -- from all your tax information to PINS and passwords.

Read more tips on FAFSA Application for Financial Aid from other students and parents who have been through the FAFSA process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Kim for sharing your tips on the FAFSA application for financial aid from a parent’s point of view. In many cases the parent is completing the application, so we appreciate you sharing your tips. I especially like the reminder to save your PINs and passwords! Good luck to you and your children in college.

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More Tips on FAFSA Application

FAFSA | FAFSA Hints | Expected Family Contribution
| Dependent or Independent Student | Parental Income on FAFSA | FAFSA Official Website | Printable FAFSA Application | FAFSA Application PIN Number | FAFSA Application | FAFSA Deadline | FAFSA Correction

Submit your entry in our College Essay Contest:

To share your entry in our scholarship contest, just click here.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to FAFSA Hints.

FAFSA Advice

by Lisa P
(Sherburne NY)

Acronyms are used all over the place these days. You may have heard LOL and TTYL from a teenager’s conversation with one another. Well another acronym you will hear a lot in the college world is FAFSA, all parents that have college aged children are well acquainted with FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. I filled out all portions of FAFSA as early as I could (Application opens January 1st) and then once our taxes were complete I logged back in and updated all the information. It is a pretty easy process, the website is user friendly and walks you through the information. I would suggest getting yours and your students pin in advance, like the fall of their senior year. This number is essential in filing your FAFSA. The website to request a FAFSA Application PIN Number is http://www.pin.ed.gov/PINWebApp/pinindex.jsp

If you want any aid at all you need to file your FAFSA. We even had to have our information from FAFSA for private scholarships that my son applied for (and received). The earlier you file your FAFSA the better chance you have at receiving grants and student loans. Have all pertinent information at your finger tips when starting to fill in your FAFSA application, this will reduce your time and stress. Some items that you will need are your parent’s income tax information, your schools code, social security numbers and FAFSA pins, etc.

One other piece of advice that is very important is to watch your deadlines, not only for filing FAFSA but for scholarships too. You do not want to miss out on receiving funds from a source by missing a deadline. This past year has been a real learning experience for our family with our oldest son heading off to college this fall. There is so much to learn and take in when applying to colleges. In the end though when your student has that degree in their hand you will look back and say it was all worth it! Best of luck to you, may your school search be exciting!

Read more FAFSA Help and Free Financial Aid from other students and parents who have been through the FAFSA process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Lisa for sharing your advice about Free Application for Federal Student Aid aka FAFSA. It’s pretty easy once you’ve done it the first time. Be sure to pay attention to the FAFSA Deadlines for federal, state and college financial aid. Good luck to you.

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More Free Financial Aid Advice

FAFSA | FAFSA Hints | Expected Family Contribution
| Dependent or Independent Student | Parental Income on FAFSA | FAFSA Official Website | Printable FAFSA Application | FAFSA Application PIN Number | FAFSA Application | FAFSA Deadline

Submit your entry in our College Essay Contest:

To share your entry in our scholarship contest, just click here.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to FAFSA Hints.


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