Tips on filing the FAFSA

Be Prepared to Complete Your FAFSA

FAFSA tipsCompleting your financial aid application can be quick, easy and painless with just a little bit of preparation on your part. Make sure you have the following information handy: Social Security number, driver’s license number, your federal tax return, your parent’s federal tax return, information on assets and other untaxed information, and the U.S. Department of Education PIN number assigned to you. Having this information at your fingertips allows you to complete the application on the first try, rather than having to save it and add information later. It also means you won’t have to make corrections later to an incorrect or incomplete application, which will get your financial-aid application processed much sooner.

Verification of FAFSA Information

Like a tax audit, which is not a fun process, the verification process of your student loan application may occur randomly or because something on your application may be incorrect. First off, don’t panic. The federal government knows that people make errors when entering information, so there are a number of reasons that your application may be flagged for verification. If you made a mistake on your application, just follow the directions provided by your school on how to correct it. In addition, when you are asked to verify information, submit the requested materials as soon as possible to ensure that your financial aid processing isn’t delayed. You may be asked to provide copies of past federal income tax returns, W-2s, or other financial information.

Save Time, Renew Online

Once you have completed the online federal financial aid process, you will not have to fill out the form again. By using the online application, you save yourself valuable time because much of that information will be transferred to the application for each new year. Any changes that occur since the last time you filled out the application (such as contact information or address) need to be updated along with current information regarding your financial situation. The first time you apply, you use a PIN number to identify who you are. This PIN number stays the same and you can use it each time you renew. If you have Direct Student Loans, the PIN number will remain the same when you access information during repayment.

Financial Aid Criteria Includes Student Achievement and Good Grades

The grades you receive throughout your college education can have an impact on your financial aid. Your financial aid office will track your progress to make sure that your grades meet the office’s requirements and that you are making satisfactory progress toward your degree . What is meant by “satisfactory progress” will be determined by your institution. You can easily find out what the requirements are by contacting your financial aid office. If you aren’t meeting the requirements, the office will make first contact with you.

 

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