FAFSA for 2023 Opens OCT 1st! Avoid These Mistakes
We are in another Fall semester already, and that also means FAFSA for 2023 is already beginning! Many people know that FAFSA is a part of the college planning process, but our blog is meant to help parents (and students) better understand how it all works. Ultimately if you need help, we are available to prepare all FAFSA forms fully, just give us a call or reach out via the contact form! Take a look back through the blog to learn more about FAFSA!
Today we wanted to focus on a few key misconceptions or mistakes that are made with regard to FAFSA.
"We'll Get to It"
Perhaps you have a kid who's going to be attending college next year. Did you know Oct 1 is already time to prepare your FAFSA forms? If your kid is playing football or soccer or cheerleading this fall, they probably aren't thinking about college NEXT fall. One of the biggest mistakes that folks make is thinking that just because the FAFSA season begins on OCT 1, doesn't mean you have to get it done early.
Many people think they can wait until the last minute to complete the forms, which, technically is true, but also could mean less financial aid.
"I Do Everything for My Kid"
As much as we love our kids and want what's best for them, not including them in this process is a major mistake. Unless you plan on paying the kid's student loans back after they graduate college, you'll want to involve them in the process as early as possible. Kids today just DON"T KNOW what they are doing with regard to financial aid for college. In their mind, the money is coming from nowhere, and reality doesn't set in until the 4 (or 5+) year party is over. A good partnership relationship is best, whereas the parent SHOULD involve the student, and a student SHOULD have a hand from their parent.
No parent should force a kid to figure it out on their own or do it all for them either.
"I am Re-Married"
Divorce is a reality that some families are forced to deal with. FAFSA can be challenging when dealing with a separated family. Typically the custodial parent is responsible for completing the form, but what if that custodial parent is re-married? The new spouse's financial information is now a part of the process and impacts the financial aid. It's important for families with divorced and/or remarried to be aware that some things may need to be worked out ahead of schedule in order to be ready for Oct 1.
Appeals Are Possible
Sometimes if you work with a FAFSA preparer like Jeff Boron here at Send Your Kids, there are ways to appeal a decision on Expected Family Contribution. We always recommend getting your FAFSA filed AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE so that your student has the best chances of getting access to grants and other programs that are first come first serve. It's ALMOST OCTOBER 1st! Do you know where your children are on their FAFSA forms? If you have ANY questions regarding the FAFSA and/or financial aid process please don't hesitate to reach out to us via our contact form or by phone. We are more than willing to help you better understand what needs to be done, and we can even prepare all of your forms for you. Stay tuned on Facebook and Linkedin for more tips!