Applying for FAFSA entails filling in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, which is also referred to as the ‘FAFSA form.’ This is something that is done by either people who are planning on going to college, that is, prospective college students or people who are already progressing with college students, also referred to as current students. Sometimes, parents and guardians of the two categories of students may be involved in the process of applying for FAFSA.
Ways in which you can go about applying for FAFSA
The first step in the process of applying for FAFSA will, quite naturally, be that of gaining access to the actual Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. This you can easily do through the FAFSA website, which is www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Now the first way in which you can go about applying for FAFSA, once you have gained access to the form, is to fill it online, and submit it at the click of a button, at the FAFSA website. The FAFSA website is part of the larger US Department of Education online ecology.
The second way in which you can go about applying for FAFSA, once you have gained access to the FAFSA form, is to print it out, fill it manually, and then proceed to mail it by post.
Approaches you can use when applying for FAFSA
The first approach, which is what most people use, is the DIY approach – where you apply for FAFSA by yourself, as the process is fairly straightforward.
The second approach is that of relying on a professional preparer, to whom you have to pay a fee. This is an approach you may use if you feel that the process of applying for FAFSA is too complex for you, or if you lack the time for it.
Tools to help you when applying for FAFSA
There are many tools that may help you in applying for FAFSA. One particularly useful tool, which is actually recommended by the authorities that process FAFSAs is the IRS’ Data Retrieval Tool. This can help you with the retrieval – and automatic entry — of the tax information which is required as part of the FAFSA.
Forms of student aid applied for
When applying for FAFSA, you actually render an application for many forms of student aid, including:
- The student loans that have to be repaid.
- The student grants that don’t have to be repaid.
- The government-funded work-study programs.
Issues to remember when applying for FAFSA
There are many issues to remember when applying for FAFSA, including the facts that:
- There is a deadline, by which FAFSAs are supposed to have been submitted.
- Some forms of student aid are awarded on first come first served basis, hence the need to ensure you fill in and submit your FAFSA as soon as possible.
- You need to be truthful, knowing that there are numerous mechanisms for counterchecking the information you provide in the FAFSA.