The financial backbone of every college student’s semester, FAFSA is a financial aid program designed to help ease the weight of paying for higher education.
If you begin to feel a cold sweat trickle down the back of your neck, it can only mean one thing (and no, it's not New England's unpredictable weather.) It’s every student’s favorite time of the year… FAFSA season!
The financial backbone of every college student’s semester, FAFSA is a financial aid program designed to help ease the weight of paying for higher education. While it’s nice to have financial stress lifted from you, many students find it a daunting task to fill out the FAFSA form each year. That’s why I present to you, FIVE facts about FAFSA that will show how easy it is to complete, and how helpful it can be for your future.
1. THE MEANING BEHIND THE ACRONYM
FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Student Aid”. It essentially explains what the process of filling the application out will be like. The most important part of this is the first letter… “F”… FREE. It doesn’t cost you anything to fill out a FASFA application, and could save you tons in the long run.
2. TIME IS A VALUABLE THING
When thinking about filling out financial information, it doesn’t seem like time will fly by with enjoyment. This may have you delay filling out FAFSA, but truthfully, it doesn’t take long at all! The US Department of Education says it takes only 30 minutes to complete the application. Given how much you can save, it’s a short amount of time well spent. If filling out the FAFSA is as intimidating for you as it is for me, you might put off filling out the form for as long as humanly possible. While there’s a very long window of time to submit the form, you might want to rethink how long you wait. FAFSA is treated on a “first come, first serve” basis, so the quicker you are to submit the form, the more money they are willing to give you. FAFSA starts accepting applications at the beginning of October every year, so if you are hoping to apply for aid for the upcoming school year, take a look at these important dates and deadlines.
3. NEVER TOO YOUNG OR OLD
Applying for financial aid is something associated with young students, since we barely have a loose grip on our life. However, what if you decided to take some time off before attending school? Would you still be eligible for FAFSA? Well, when it comes to FAFSA, it doesn’t matter if you take a gap month, year, or decade. There is no age limit to which you can fill out the FAFSA form. Not all students are young, and everyone can use some help paying for their education.
4. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Going through your financial information can be scary. If I walked up to a stranger and said “Hey, what’s in your 401K account?” they might have a breakdown. My point being, as a college student, you’re still learning how to process financial info. Luckily, no one says you have to do this alone. It’s okay to bring in your parents to help ease the stress, especially if you are using your parent’s financial information. Get the gang together and have some FFF (forced family fun) with FAFSA!
5. GIVE 'EM A CALL
While there is tons of information to help you on your quest to completing FAFSA, sometimes the FAQ page just isn’t enough. Luckily, you can call them at (800) 433-3243 for no charge at all. It can make a difference talking to an actual person who knows the process, so don’t hesitate to give that number a call.
In the end, FAFSA isn’t as scary of a process as it might seem at first. I hope after reading these fun facts, you can ease your shoulders a bit more and feel ready to fill out your FAFSA. Plus, I think the most fun fact of them all is this: FREE MONEY. Fill out your FAFSA
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