Tired of waiting by the mail box after you sent in your FASFA paperwork. Well there is an easier and faster way to see how you can afford college. An education is an investment and one that appreciates with age and many prospective students want to know if it is in their budget to go to school.
The people at FASFA, the federal government, decided after accelerated programs, on-line schooling and thousands of other degree programs it became more relevant for today’s workforce, that people needed faster results to see their financial aid for various schools. Now prospective students can apply for financial aid on-line at the FASFA website wwwfasfa.ed.gov. In case you have never heard of this form it is called the Free Application for Student Federal Aid. Once completed you will see what loans and possible grants you may be eligible for attending school. Grants are government funds that you do not have to pay back while loans are amounts you will pay back after attending and receiving your degree.
Before going to the site to fill out your FASFA here is a list of things you should have before going on the site and applying for aid. If you miss one of these steps you can delay your response more and cause yourself unnecessary headaches.
* Apply for your pin. Your pin can be applied for at the FASFA site and this is very important item if you want to electronically sign your FASFA application once completed. If you do not apply for the pin first and do your application instead you have to wait more to get the results you want including your estimated award letter which breaks down estimates of what you qualify for as far as aid. It only takes about 24 to 48 hours to receive your pin which can be sent directly to you by email or if you are concerned it can be sent directly to you by mail.
* Find your previous year’s tax return. Once you received your pin find your tax return numbers from the prior year. Financial aid is given to those who are need and perhaps have no other way to attend school. They can determine this by certain figures off of your last year tax return. The more money you make in a year can affect how many loans you qualify for, but other things like dependents and age can affect your results for receiving grants. Moreover, it is important you have this information before doing any FASFA application. If the numbers are not accurate, this also can affect the timing and accuracy of your financial aid package.
* Be aware you may need a co-signer. If you are younger than 23 years old and are not identified as independent you are required to have a co-signer. So someone else who is older that 23, who is usually a guardian or parent, will be asked to co-sign your loans. This part can get sticky sometimes because parents believe that all of these loans can get put back on them once the student graduates. This is completely false, all loans are still the responsibility of the student. Parents and guardians do not pay a dime of these loans, it is all explained in your financial aid package once accepted.
* Find out the school codes. All colleges or any form of higher education that is accredited by the department of education is allowed some form of federal aid. Before you apply to these schools, sometime money is the main objective as to what school is best for that student, so the FASFA asks you what school or schools are you applying. By calling the registrar, financial aid department of each school or going tot he schools financial aid website you are applying to, you can ask for the school code. The school code is needed on the FASFA for a more accurate estimate of what you qualify for as far as aid for that particular school. Now you still may have to apply to that school through their own Financial Aid department, but once your file is on the FASFA site it can be pulled by that desired school to determine your award letter after filling out their forms.
After you complete these four easy preliminary steps to the application process you are ready to go fill out your FASFA on-line. take your time with the application as it is not hard but if you come across a problem there are numbers or email addresses to call or send a message in case you need any extra assistance with the FASFA. Those people at FASFA deal with these issues, concerns or general questions all the time so do not be afraid to ask if you have a question.