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Monday, January 13, 2014

10 Facts about the FAFSA and other tips and insight

We at Do-Gooder Consulting wanted to share some wisdom regarding the FAFSA. We have also included some infographics that may feel free to share. They come from a slideshow were created for Oakdale Covenant Church's Academic Excellence Ministry.

  • FAFSA determines different kinds of financial aid, including federal and state aid, and possibly from the college itself.
  • You can't know how much financial aid you'll get if you don't fill out the FAFSA - and have an accepted college application. (A college won't offer you money if they don't think you can complete their program).
  • The FAFSA is free (as in Free Application for Federal Student Aid), so you should NOT pay to fill it out.
  • Even if you "only" get $500 in aid..what kind of job can you that is legal and ethical where can you earn $500 for an hour of work?
  • What you got (or didn't get) last year can change, so it's worth trying again. 
  • Financial Aid administrators have "professional judgment" and can override FAFSA results. (see below).
  • Documentation is the key to justifying any financial aid exceptions.
  • You might not trust the government with much, but you CAN trust a .GOV website, specifically FAFSA.GOV
  • "Officially" the deadline for the 3024-23015 FAFSA is June 30, 2015, but money runs out early. For example, the Illinois MAP Grant (worth up to $4700) ran out of money March 6, 2013. Before that, it ran out MArch 26, 2012. Just a few years prior, the money ran out in August.So fill it out as soon as you can after January 1.
  • You don't need to have taxes done (like the"old days" of your parents & mentors) to finish the FAFSA - do the estimated taxes, and update later.
  • File your taxes electronically (or have the preparer do so) --  then you can easily use the IRS Retrieval tool on the FAFSA to update your FAFSA.
See below for some other tips, and graphics you can share with friends.You can also search our blog for our other articles on the FAFSA and college financial aid.

Please leave a comment if you have a question about the FAFSA or the financial aid process.

Your name NEEDS to match what is on your Social Security card.
A different name can cause big problems.

Do NOT write off a college until AFTER you get that Financial Aid Award!