The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is required by all colleges and universities if you are applying for any type of financial aid. You can access this form at www.fafsa.ed.gov. This form takes income information and tax information from your past year's taxes. This form uses a general formula that the Federal Government set up to determine your EFC (expected family contribution). This number is then sent to all colleges/universities you are applying to and then financial aid offices try to create aid packages that cover the costs outside of the EFC. This form is available after January 1 and should be completed sooner rather than later before college funds run out.
-Need to get pin for student and one for parent (to sign FAFSA electronically) Can get a pin prior to completing FAFSA by going to www.pin.ed.gov
-Uses parent and student tax information from past year
-Gives an EFC
-Parents are generally expected to contribute approximently 5% of income but students are assessed at closer to 35%. These amounts together make up part of the EFC.
-You cannot complete the FAFSA until January of the year you plan to start college
-You can complete an estimater to find out EFC prior to senior year. Estimater can be found at www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov
-FAFSA is a free form. If you get to the end and they ask for a credit card, you completed the WRONG form. There are fake FAFSA sites. Make sure to go to the governement site for the FAFSA.
-The FAFSA can be completed before you have the current year's tax information. You will just have to go back and edit it when the current year's taxes have been completed.