The most important advice I can give parents is: don’t believe the FAFSA lies! Many parents are misinformed when it comes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They believe that they make too much money to qualify for any kind of financial aid—and they decide not to file. That is the worst mistake you can make. I encourage every family of a college-bound senior complete the FAFSA (and complete it on October 1 when it’s available).
Why should you complete the FAFSA?
College is expensive and it’s a chance for you to grab yourself a piece of the financial aid pie.
Why should you complete it early?
The early bird gets the worm when it comes to financial aid. If you want your piece of the pie, you have to be the first in line. Once financial aid packages are disbursed, the money is gone and that means your student’s financial aid package will be composed of student loans only. If your form is filed and completed once the decision for admission is made it puts your student in a good position to receive some of those funds.
Related: FAFSA – What are you waiting for?
What can the FAFSA do for you and your college-bound teen?
There could be federal, state and college funds available. If you don’t complete the FAFSA, you won’t be able to get any of them. Even if your family income is high and you might not qualify for federal aid in the form of grants, your student might be eligible for state scholarships and merit-aid awards from the college. Additionally, any federally subsidized loans, including parent loans, require you to complete the FAFSA.
Why do some people tell you that you won’t qualify for financial aid?
The easy answer is they are misinformed. Remember there are all kinds of financial aid. While not everyone will qualify for federal grants, most students receive some form of financial aid. If you don’t apply your student will not be one of them. The FAFSA is your golden ticket to merit aid; without it, colleges won’t reward your student with these funds.