Just What is FAFSA?
Fafsa stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is use by aid providers to determine the amount of the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is the amount that is expected of the students family to contribute toward the student’s college education. This contribution expectation will vary from student to student because it is based on individual specific financial situations.
The FAFSA is often 100+ questions long and can cover various areas; the student’s family situation, the student’s educational background, the student’s educational plans, the student's finances, the student’s families finances. The form can be daunting and make a student and their family put off filing the FAFSA. Many times putting off filing can result in a student missing out on aid available at that time. So, do not fear the FAFSA!
A few things to put you at ease:
There is one website and only one. www.fafsa.ed.gov
You start here, every year. The form is free so do not be duped by look a like sites that charge.
Before you start you will need
- Your Social Security Number. Your Parents Social Security Numbers
- Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned.This is for both students and parents (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
- An FSA ID to sign electronically.
You can create and FSA ID number here .https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm
Both students and parent will need the FSA ID.
The IRS retrieval tool will help
This tool will transfer pertinent information from your tax return directly into the student’s FAFSA. This can save you up to 30 minutes! http://www.finaid.org/fafsa/irsdataretrievaltool.phtml
It pays to file early
The FAFSA form is available to complete on October 1. The earlier you submit, the better, since FAFSA money can be a first come, first served kind of pool at some schools. If funding is limited and your application arrives at the end of the process, you could be out of luck.
Understand loans, grants and work-study
Need-based financial aid comes in three main forms, and having a clear understanding of their differences is essential to make sure you are applying for the aid that best suits your circumstances.
- Federal student loans are a common form of need-based financial aid to help students make up the difference left after any merit-based aid is applied. These loans require repayment beginning after you are no longer enrolled in college or drop below half-time enrollment.
- Unlike student loans, grants are a need-based financial aid that does not need to be repaid upon graduation. There are several Federal and state grants available to students in need, and filling out the FASFA is the first step to figuring out which ones are available to you.
- The Federal work-study program offers part-time employment to students that demonstrate a financial need. This allows the student to earn money that can be used to pay towards educational expenses while working in a field that supports their studies.
In short, the FAFSA is often the first step in applying for your share of the billions of dollars in student financial aid that are available every year, including scholarships, grants, low-interest loans and work-study programs. At Morrison Tech we can help you start the process and will be there along the way with any questions. The school code for Morrison Tech is 008880. Please feel free to contact our Financial Aid Office at (815)772-7218 x 203