In an article produced by Boston.com, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority suggests that most families need about an hour in order to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If these families have gathered all of their documentation in advance and they are somewhat computer savvy, they can answer all of the questions involved quite rapidly, and they can then move on to other tasks that could help a child to prepare for college.
But sometimes, families start working a bit too quickly or they omit a few details that are absolutely vital. Some families also just make mistakes as they type, or they work off information that isn’t quite current. When this happens, families will need to go through a formal FAFSA corrections process to get things amended. By doing so, they’ll make sure that federal administrators have all of the information they need in order to distribute aid fairly.
Common Factors that Prompt a Correction
Simple mistakes are routine in a FAFSA, but often, families make corrections because they’re working with tax information that isn’t quite accurate. According to the Internal Revenue Service, tax forms aren’t due from individuals until the 15th day in April. Some families wait until the very last minute to file their taxes, so they can save up to pay any fees they might owe. But families are often encouraged to fill out a FAFSA on the first day in January.
Families sometimes use old tax information on the FAFSA, hoping that their numbers won’t shift dramatically from year to year. But, some families do have dramatic differences in income and expenses from one calendar year to another, and when this happens, a FAFSA correction might be in order.
The Corrections Process
The U.S. Department of Education suggests that most mistakes can be corrected. Only those that involve Social Security Numbers are exempt from the corrections process. Those students who make a mistake in this area will need to visit the financial aid office of the school and start the application process all over again.
- Log into the FAFSA website
- Click the “Make FAFSA Corrections” button
- Enter their Federal Student Aid PIN information
- Amend any incorrect data
- Submit the application again
The review process can take some time to complete, but the student should be notified of any adjustments in aid.
If, after you’ve made your corrections, you find that you’re no longer eligible for the aid programs that would have made your education process affordable, please browse the tools on this website. We can help you to find scholarships that can reduce your overall education bill, and we can help you to find both public and private sources of loans that can help you to fund your dreams. All of our tools are free, and it’s easy to get started. Just start browsing, and call us if you have any questions or concerns that crop up at any step along the way.
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- Reality Check
- Revising: A Primer for Parents
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- What Happens Next?
- Why Submit the FAFSA
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