Here at Send Your Kids to College we aim to help students and families better navigate the college planning process. A big part of what we do is help you by filling out the 3 big important aspects of college financial planning. The FAFSA, NYS Tap, and the CSS profile can be all taken off your hands, for a small fee of $79 that goes directly into funds that we hand out to WNY students who do enough to earn the annual Young Achiever's Scholarship. This award is provided to 3 students each year in the form of a $1,000 check to go toward school. On today's blog we wanted to touch on a few things that many people think are true about FAFSA, but are really just myths.
1. "The FAFSA is only for Federal Student Aid"
The FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is something that every student needs to do, regardless of financial status. It doesn't matter if your parents make a lot or not, it's a part of the process. What you may not know is that some schools don't even consider you for any of their scholarships (including academic scholarships) until you've submitted a FAFSA form. "Federal Student Aid" does not mean 'free money'. There are.3 types of financial help; grants, low-interest loans, and work-study funds.
2. "I Haven't Applied or Been Accepted Yet- I can wait to Fill out FAFSA.."
You can complete and submit your FAFSA form before submitting any college or career school applications. You will need at least one school on your form, but ask our experts about what you should do if you have other schools in consideration. We can always make arrangements when you work with a professional who has done these before.
3. "Only Students with Good Grades and/or Good Credit Get Financial Aid"
This is one of the most common myths or misconceptions regarding the FAFSA form process. It should be everyone's goal to have the highest grades, and the highest credit score possible, but these things don't have much to do with your FAFSA. You don't need to get a credit check for most federal student loans, and you won't need a cosigner to get a federal student loan in most cases. Though good grades can CERTAINLY help a student earn scholarships, most federal student aid programs don't take grades into consideration.
4. "I only need to fill out my FAFSA One Time."
Many people think the FAFSA ends after the first time, but this is not the case. the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form applies to a single academic year, which means each new year you will need to make sure you meet the FAFSA deadlines for state and college aid to maximize the aid you could receive.
5. FAFSA is hard, and a waste of time.
It can be frustrating to dig into this world, that's what we are here for. Though the fact that the FAFSA is hard isn't necessarily true, it only takes a few minutes of actual labor, the process can certainly put you at a standstill if you are under prepared. You may also think if you didn't qualify for financial aid last year, you won't the next, this is also untrue. Many times things change and sometimes a school could create a new grant or scholarship, and the factors used to calculate your aid could change from one year to the next. If you don't submit a form, you're out of luck.
These are only a few of the most common myths surrounding the FAFSA form process. If you have a child who is in school now, or you need help with a kid who's getting into college now, get in touch with us to learn how we can help. We really care about what we do and can help make the process easier, and maybe even save you a few thousand dollars off your college bill..
Stay tuned to the Send Your Kids to College blog, and be sure to check out the podcast! You can find it here on the site or over on YouTube! "Like" us on Facebook to stay up to date!