What you should know before you apply for financial aid

All this month, we’re talking about financial aid. On Monday, we defined some of those scary financial aid terms. On Wednesday, we debunked some financial aid myths. 

Today, we’re going to give you some suggestions on what you need to do and know before you apply for financial aid.

The Student Advisor Blog  lists three things you need to do to before filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – known as the FAFSA – online. (We’ll have more about the FAFSA in Monday’s blog post.)

1. Get a PIN
A PIN will allow you to electronically sign your FAFSA. You can get one from the U.S. Department of Education. 

You’ll want to apply for your PIN as soon as possible because it may take two to five business days to process your request.

2. Gather all the information you’ll need
There are certain documents and information you’ll need to refer to when filling out your FAFSA so gather them beforehand:

  • Your social security number
  • The social security number of your parent(s) if you’re a dependent student
  • Your driver’s license if you have one
  • Your most recent bank statement
  • Your W-2 forms and other records of money earned
  • Your Federal Income Tax Return (and your spouse’s if you’re married.
  • Your parent’s tax return if you’re a dependent student
  • Records of any untaxed income such as  Social Security or veterans’ benefits
  • Your most recent business and investment information.

3. Get the FAFSA on the Web worksheet
This worksheet is optional, but it will help you collect the information you need to fill out the FAFSA online. You can print a form or your high school may have a copy. 

What else should you know? College Made Simple offers eight things every family should know before applying for financial aid.

If you have any other suggestions please let us know so we can share them with others.

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