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January 5, 2015

New Year = FAFSA time for College-Bound Seniors

by Elaine Cook

First of all, we hope you all transitioned smoothly into the New Year!  (although as I write this, I am not a big fan of our first blizzard of 2015!)

So, this post is dedicated to those seniors who suddenly only have one short semester (or 1 & 1/2 trimesters) left before graduation!  Was that an audible groan I just heard?  It’s hard to imagine that it will be here before you know it!!

For college-bound seniors, it is important for your families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)The web link has lots of great information, including:

  • Online Application
  • Deadlines
  • School Search Codes
  • FAFSA Filing Options
  • Announcements

Parent(s) and the student will both need to apply for an electronic pin.  Your electronic personal identification number  (PIN) will serve as your identifier to allow access to personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems and will act as your digital signature on some online forms. If you do not already have a PIN, you can request one online by clicking APPLY FOR PIN. Your pin number will stay the same for your entire educational career, so be sure to keep it in a safe place!

The sooner you can complete this form, the better.  The catch?  You must have your taxes done prior to completing the FAFSA.  This make the process much easier since the FAFSA application will direct you specifically to put which line item from your taxes where on the FAFSA form.  And as with all scholarship money, it gets divvied up on a first-come, first-served basis by colleges, so the sooner  you get the FAFSA submitted, the better!

Many schools have Senior FAFSA night, where the High School Guidance Counselor will help explain the process.  Please contact them if you have any questions regarding this application process.

 

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