Monday, March 25, 2013

After the FAFSA: What Happens Next

So, you've filled out your FAFSA. Then what? Here is a short video from Federal Student Aid (FSA) that manages financial aid that helps students pay for tuition. It explains what happens after you have completed your FAFSA. The FAFSA is probably the most important piece of FA that you will complete.

If you have any questions about the process of obtaining FA or the process of filling out the FAFSA, contact your FA office at your school.

Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Fill Out the FAFSA

Below is a video made by Federal Student Aid (FSA) which is in control of the federal financial aid funds that students receive to pay tuition. The FAFSA is often the most talked about document that students have to deal with, and with good reason too. The first time you fill out a FAFSA, it may not be the simplest form to complete, but it's essential. In order to be considered for any other federal financial aid, you have to have a FAFSA completed. The FAFSA is without a doubt the most important element of the financial aid process.

Hopefully the video helped you understand the FAFSA a little more. You can always call the FAFSA help or your FA office if you need more information.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What to Expect in Student Loan Repayment

Say you're getting out of school and you have student loans. What are you to expect? Below is a great video explaining what to expect when you are approaching graduation.

In most cases, Stafford Loans have six months of grace period before you have to go into repayment. However, there are situations where you might have already used your six month grace period. If you are not sure, you should always contact your servicer. While the school can assist you with many FA related questions, once you have graduated your best contact will be your loan servicer. They will have the most current and most specific answers to your individual needs.

The best advice anyone in financial aid can give you is if you have any problems or questions, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. The worst thing you can do is put things off because often the problems will compound quickly, and usually the problems could've been avoided with a phone call.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Taxes and the FAFSA

Each year, the FAFSA has to be completed for any time that a student will be enrolled in a college. The FAFSA is like the gateway to financial aid since you have to complete the FAFSA in order to obtain other grants, scholarships, and loans. Because of this, the FAFSA needs to be correct. Fortunately, students have the ability to correct it.

That being said, when it comes time to fill out the FAFSA, should you wait to fill out your FAFSA until you have your taxes? That will depend on your school. Schools with enrollment beginning in the fall usually require the FAFSA to be required a couple months earlier than July 1 (depending on the state). Schools with open enrollment through the year will allow you to fill out your FAFSA anytime before you start.

The problem is what happens when your school requires you to fill out the FAFSA no later than April 1, but taxes aren't required to be done until April 15. What do you do?

You have to perform an educated guess, or the best guess as to your tax information as you can. Think of how many exemptions you will have, use your W-2 information, estimate the tax. If you do this, however, you should go back and update your FAFSA to match what the tax information came out to be. Some people will put in the previous year's tax information as a guess, but the problem with this is there could be big differences that you aren't aware of or have forgotten about which can change your eligibility very quickly. So, it's best to guess as closely as you can. If you're at the open enrollment school, then you probably should wait to fill it out until you have your taxes completed. The exception to this is if you don't have your taxes done later than April 15; in that case, estimate but also complete your taxes as soon as possible.

The key is to have the correct information, so make sure you go back and double check.