For students that have their vision set on a particular university, they will need to evaluate their financial assistance needs. If they’re applying for higher education this year and need financial assistance, the most essential thing students can do is apply for federal aid.
Over 19 million prospective students file for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year as a primary source for financial support. While the application may seem daunting at first, it’s a critical part of getting the money students need to attend their dream school.
Let’s take a look at what FAFSA is and the steps students need to take to submit their application.
What is the FAFSA?
FAFSA is a free online application that provides financial aid eligibility for higher education. The FAFSA helps determine what financial aid individuals qualify for and the expected monetary contribution families will have to pay for. Schools will use it to put together their financial aid package for each year they attend college and may include federal student loans, grants, and more.
For the 2021-2022 academic year, students can submit their FAFSA application starting Oct. 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. It’s also important to be cognizant of the college and state’s financial aid deadlines.
4 Steps to Apply for the FAFSA
For a frictionless process, use the following guide and get one step closer to attending higher education:
1. Gather the Relevant Information
Students will need to provide specific information in the application regarding their identity and family income. To streamline the process, gather the following documents ahead of time:
- Family size and income
- Social security number
- Personal income (if applicable)
- Driver’s license number
- Federal tax information
- Information regarding current assets
- The colleges they’re applying to
2. Create a Federal Student Aid ID
Next, they will create a Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID) with a username and password. It will give them access to the US Department of Education websites and allow them to file the FAFSA each college year. The students and their parents will have separate IDs and it takes about ten minutes to finish online.
3. Fill Out the Application
With an FSA ID, the student can start the FAFSA application online or in the app by clicking “Start a New FAFSA.” Students can start by filling out the student demographic category (name, age, social security number, etc.), entering the schools they’re applying to, and selecting whether they are their parent’s dependent or not. Next, they will add in their financial information like their income and tax return data. If they are a dependent, they’ll need to add the parent’s information as well.
4. Sign and Submit
Before officially hitting the “Submit” button, verify all the information is correct and error-free. Once the application is reviewed, the individual can electronically submit their form and wait for the financial aid package.
Develop a Strategy to Navigate the FAFSA Application Process
It’s a smart idea to fill out the FAFSA as early as possible so students don’t miss any important deadlines. When students prepare themselves with the right documents, filling out the FAFSA can be a simple and streamlined process. Individuals can get started by talking with their parents about financial aid and gathering the necessary documents.
Looking for more information regarding financial aid? Contact Bruscan Educational Information Services to help guide you through the process to maximize your potential.