HOW TO FINANCE COLLEGE

HOW TO FINANCE COLLEGE
It's really not that difficult

It’s really not that difficult

 

Congratulations on getting in to college. Now, how do you pay for it? Well there are a lot of ways to pay for college: you can write a check, get grandma and grandpa to write a check, maybe you got a scholarship, or maybe you need financial aid. Well however you pay for it there are five letters you need to know…FAFSA.

The FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is free and quick, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school. In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

Filling out the FAFSA® can be a straightforward and easy process. Here are some helpful tips to make it even easier.

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WHERE TO FIND FAFSA:

Online you will find it at www.fafsa.gov then click on the “Start A New FAFSA” button on the home page and off you go.

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GETTING A PIN

You’ll need a Federal Student Aid PIN, a personal identification number that allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically.

Click here to get your pin.

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GATHERING THE DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO APPLY

The FAFSA asks for information about you, lot of it. Some of the information is easy (your name, date of birth, address, etc.). Some you will have to gather, especially financial information. Some of the documents you will need are:

  • Social Security Number
  • Parents’ Social Security Numbers
  • Driver’s license number (if you have one)
  • Alien Registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Federal tax information for you and for your parents:
    • IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
    • Foreign tax return and/or
    • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia, or PalauLISTING COLLEGES For purposes of federal student aid, it does not matter in what order you list the schools. However, to be considered for state aid, several states require you to list a state school first. Therefore, if you plan to list a state school in your state of residence as one of the schools in this section, list it first. You can list up to 10 schools on the online FAFSA. Be sure to sign with your Federal Student Aid PIN so your FAFSA will be processed as quickly as possible.

If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you will use the same documents to estimate your income. You will have to modify your FAFSA after you file.

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LISTING COLLEGES

You must list at least ONE college to receive your information. The schools you list will use your FAFSA information to determine the types and amounts of aid you may receive.

For purposes of federal student aid, it does not matter in what order you list the schools. However, to be considered for state aid, several states require you to list a state school first. Therefore, if you plan to list a state school in your state of residence as one of the schools in this section, list it first. You can list up to 10 schools on the online FAFSA.

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SIGNING AND SUBMITTING THE FAFSA

Be sure to sign with your Federal Student Aid PIN so your FAFSA will be processed as quickly as possible.

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WARNING!!!

The FAFSA is FREE, so if a website asks you to pay to fill it out, you’re not dealing with the official FAFSA site. Remember, the FAFSA comes from the government, so it’s on a .gov site: www.fafsa.gov.

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FINALLY

Relax. The FAFSA is simpler to fill out than the application that got you in to college.