Filing a FAFSA is elemental to saving money for college. If you have not started on yours, it is time to get cracking. It is a bit of a process but it is worth it. To make it easier, here are 10 things you need to know about the FAFSA.
- Parents and students must have unique FSA ID.
It has to be separate. Both parents and the student must have their own username and password, which serves as your FAFSA signature.
- Forms are color-coded.
If you are confused which forms must be filled out by parent or student, just check the page borders: blue is for students and purple is for parents.
- You can get back to it.
You can save an incomplete FAFSA application by creating a save key, which allows you to return and add more information.
- It is a smart form.
The FAFSA analyzes your answers as you add them in and leads you through questions applicable to your specific information. You do not have to fill out everything, just those that are relevant to you.
- Pay attention to the work-study question.
Eligible students can earn money and help pay for their college through the work-study program. The question can be easy to miss so watch out for it and make sure you check Yes.
- You can send information to over 10 colleges.
The trick is to do it multiple times. The form will let you add 10 schools to receive your information. Once you get your confirmation and Student Aid Report, you can go back, delete the previous schools, and add new ones.
- The college list is random.
It does not matter what college you put in first. The order does not impact the school’s financial aid decision. The colleges only receive the student and parent information and do not have access to the submission list.
- Check out helpful hints.
Help is always available. On the right side of the window, you can see helpful hints or hover the cursor on a confusing question. There are also live chats. If you are still unsure how to complete the form, you can call with a representative who will gladly assist you.