- Aug 21, 2012
The FAFSA or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form that students that are looking for Financial Aid Options for their college education. The form will figure prominently if a student would be eligible for either need-based or merit-based financial aid for students. It is a gateway for consideration for nine federal student-aid programs, about 605 state aid plans and most institutional student aid that are available in the United States. According to the US Department of Education it will be accepting applications by January first on the summer or fall immediately preceding the student’s intent to attend school. The application period is for 18 months and is provided on a first-c0me, first-served basis until the funding runs out. This is the reason why students are advised to submit their FAFSA as soon as possible to they can be considered to the maximum financial consideration. The FAFSA will not give you funds but as part of the requirements for the application with certain funding facilities. The IRS is assisting the Department of Educational Loans Tips and allows students to retrieve tax information and input it directly to the FAFSA form through a tool. According to studentaid.ed.gov the website that is dedicated to FAFSA information, most states use the information that students put on the FAFSA to determine if the student is eligible for state or school aid. Students need to renew their FAFSA filing each year for updates and additional information that can be used to give you better chances to get student financial aid. The FAFSA contains at least 130 questions which have something to do with the household income, student income and dependency. The information is going to be used to determine the Expected Family Contribution. The factors that are used to determine the EFC is important because this will determine the amount the parents need to contribute for their child’s college education. The FAFSA does not have questions related to personal matters, race, religion or even sexual orientation. It is purely a questionnaire that will determine the ability of the person to finance his/her education. After the FAFSA is processed a Student Aid Report is generated. The SAR is the summary of the responses made by the student to the FAFSA. A student needs to carefully study the SAR because this will be used to determine if the student can qualify for student aid. Any discrepancy or errors should be reported immediately for proper correction. The electronic version of the SAR is made available to colleges and universities. State agencies also use the SAR in granting need-based financial help to students. Some colleges may also require a CSS profile which needs to be submitted before a nominal deadline. The CSS is a product of the College Board that is concerned usually for funds that is disbursed by a school than federal funds. Student aid is an important facet of staying in course. Students need to know what the things available to them are so that they can get the needed funds to power their education.