During my college days, I knew many students – some of them were my classmates – who made it almost their rituals to fill up FAFSA. Now what does it mean?
FAFSA is the short form of Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is the perfect option if you wish the Federal Government to ease your financial pressure to pay for college fees. A FAFSA form is more than just a way to secure financial aid from government as there are many colleges that gather information about their applicants from this form and on the basis of the details, decide whether to grant financial aid to the needy students at the school level.
So, not filling out the FAFSA form could limit your options of getting financial aid during college years. Here is all that you want to know about the form and how it can benefit you.
Availability of college aid via FAFSA
The aid received by filling out FAFSA is available in different ways. Some students even don’t fill out the form as they think they will not be considered for the grants. In addition to grants, aids are also available in a variety of forms. Here are some ways to receive aid by filling out the FAFSA form:
- Subsidized loans (interest paid by government during your school days)
- Unsubsidized loans (often available at better terms compared to private loans)
- Work study (guaranteeing some kind of on-campus job)
- Special loan facilities for the parents of dependent pupils
It is up to your school to decide on the basis of information provided on the FAFSA form if you will be granted special assistance. If your particular school offers any special program, details given on the FAFSA form could be the deciding factors to help you qualify for small scholarships. Even if you are not sure about qualifying for a grant, it’s always wise to fill out the FAFSA form; otherwise you may miss out on chances and resources.
Be careful about FAFSA deadline
It is very important to remember the deadline of filling out the FAFSA form. Some forms are distributed on the basis of first-come, first-service criteria. There are some schools that require you to submit form within a particular date. The best option for you is to fill up your FAFSA form as early as possible after Jan 1 of every year.
You can fill up the FAFSA form with estimated details from the last year. If needed, you can always change it later. You will have most of the required information available to you towards the end of January.
So you see that by filling up the FAFSA form, you will lose nothing and there are some good chances to get a hefty amount in form of financial aid for your education.
Peter Christopher is the Editor to Finance Care Guide and a guest columnist for many blogs that deals with financial issues. He has devoted himself to full time speaking, writing and consulting on personal finance management. Visit him on Google Plus and Twitter.