The deadline for filling out your FAFSA is March 1. You can begin filling it out after January 1.
What’s a FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/), and it is like one-stop shopping for student money. Or, as they put it, “the source for free information, guidance and tools for federal student assistance.”
It’s how I got my University Graduate Fellowship. I highly recommend it.
A FAFSA application does take some time to fill out, so don’t attempt it in the 15 minutes you have while your husband or kids are in the shower. You’ll probably need at least an hour.
Sound daunting? You won’t know your options and possibilities until you try, correct?
What will you need? Your, or your parents’, 2011 tax returns. If you don’t want to wait for your return, you can use estimated numbers. However, if you are able to download the information directly from the IRS, you will save yourself a lot of time.
Also, you might want to make a pot of coffee and settle in.
There’s a huge “START” button on the main page, so I assume that will be self-explanatory for most of you. At the end, FAFSA will tell you what types of aid you are eligible for.
Many awards are limited to on-time applicants, so get moving.
Yours in the Joy of Knowledge,
P.S. One other, slightly unrelated note, is that federal regulations prohibit you from receiving more financial aid than the cost of your attendance. Be sure to report ANY other funds you are receiving, such as grants or stipends, to your university.