Filling out the FAFSA

The most important thing students applying for college this fall can do is ensure they are filling out the FAFSA in a timely and thorough manner. At first glance, completing the FAFSA seems intimidating and time-consuming. Students and families who take the time to properly prepare should have no difficulty filling out the FAFSA quickly and easily.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is used by students and parents to receive financial aid from the federal government. It helps the Department of Education evaluate need and determine how much financial support you require. Any federal loans, grants, and work-study positions are determined by the FAFSA.

FAFSA Mistakes to Avoid

  • Apply for the FAFSA even if you don’t think you qualify for aid. There are opportunities available you might not be aware which you’d miss out on by not applying. You could save thousands of dollars by applying.
  • Submit your application early. Many funds for college are granted on a first come, first served basis. If you delay, you miss out.
  • Pay attention to detail. Minor mistakes, such as a misplaced digit in your SSN may result in delays. Carefully read instructions as you apply. And re-read your application prior to pressing submit.

What Happens After I Submit My Application?

Once your FAFSA application is submitted, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report within a couple of weeks via email. This report will detail a number of items, but most importantly your Expect Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is used to determine eligibility for federal aid, as well as need-based aid. Review this document carefully. If you think there’s a mistake, Accolade Financial can work with you to submit an appeal.

After you work with Accolade Financial to confirm your EFC it’s time to apply to colleges. Only once a student is accepted will a college offer their own financial aid package. However, Accolade Financial works with families to put together comprehensive estimates to help you plan ahead.