A college education is an expensive adventure, and paying for it requires all the help you can get. Grants or low interest loans from the federal government can help, but in order to get them you first have to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filling out a government form can be a time consuming and painful ordeal. Fortunately, the FAFSA isn’t that bad especially if you’ve done some prep work ahead of time. The FAFSA can be completed online, but before you begin, here’s what you need to know about filling out the FAFSA.
The student will need a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, which can be created online by following this link. If the student is a dependent, it will be advantageous for the a parent to have one as well. The parent’s FSA ID can be used to pull in tax information from the IRS.
Social Security Number
If you don’t have your Social Security Number memorized, you’ll need it. If a parent is going to be involved in the process of paying for the student’s college, then their social security number is needed as well.
When filling out the FAFSA, you’ll need to supply your current bank account balance as well as the worth of any investments you might have. These assets do not include your primary residence, 401(k) or pension accounts.
Last Year’s Tax Return
The FAFSA site can pull much of your personal and tax return data using your FSA ID. But there still some information will need to supply manually by digging through your tax return. Having found it ahead of time will keep you form having to stop midway through the FAFSA.
How Long Does Completing Filling Out The FAFSA Take?
The first time I filled out the FAFSA, it took about an hour. I just recently did a FAFSA renewal for my son’s second year in college, and it took less than half an hour.
The federal government can be a great source of financial aid for you or your child’s college education. However, the first step to accessing those financial opportunities is to fill out the FAFSA. Filling out any government form can be frustrating, but by doing a little prep work up front can make it much easier.
How about you, EOD Nation, have you filled out the FAFSA? Is there anything you would add to this list?