Friday, January 23, 2015

Completing the FAFSA

Many of you have been asking about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (otherwise known as the FAFSA) How you complete it, when the deadlines are and so on.  I hope this serves as a way for you and your family to get the information that you need.  If you are the first student to attend college from your family then this can feel like a complicated process.  Thankfully, there's several resources available to assist you.  The first thing that you should know is that 
you do NOT pay anything to complete the FAFSA. If you find that the website that you are on is asking for money know that you are not on a credible website.

One of the things that you can do now, is get a Federal Student Aid PIN.  To do this go to: and provide some information such as:
  • your Social Security number
  • your full and correct last name
  • your full and correct first name
  • your middle initial
  • your date of birth
  • your street address
  • your email address (optional) 
From there you can create your own PIN or have the site create one for you. You can also choose to have the PIN displayed immediately, mailed or emailed to you. 

It's important that once you receive your PIN that you put it in a safe place.  You will need this every year that you reapply for financial aid.  It's also information that you do not want falling into the wrong hands.  Your PIN enables you to sign your FAFSA, sign federal student loan contracts online, find out whether your FAFSA has been processed or correct information that you reported on your FAFSA. 
Once you have obtained your PIN you will go to to complete the FAFSA.

Something of the things that you will want to make sure you have available before you begin your application are: 
  • Social Security card
  • Drivers license
  • Permanent Resident Receipt Card (if applicable)
  • W-2 forms and other 2014 records of money earned
  • 2014 income tax return (see the instructions on the FAFSA if the tax return has not been completed)
  • Records of child support paid
  • Records of taxable earnings from Federal Work-Study or other need-based work programs
  • Records of student grant, scholarship and fellowship aid, including AmeriCorps awards, that was included in your (or your parents’) AGI
  • Current stock, bond, and other investment records
  • Current business and farm records
  • Current bank statements
For further instructions and resources these links may be helpful: 
  • FAFSA on the web worksheet go HERE
  • Completing the FAFSA Booklet go HERE 
  • Expected Family Contribution go HERE
If feel like you need further help you may want to attend FAFSA Frenzy at Missouri Western State University on February 22nd from 2:00-4:00.  The FAFSA Frenzy is a place where you can go and get free assistance with completing the FAFSA.  Please be sure to click the link above if you go so that you will have all of the proper documentation that you will need. Remember too, that the financial aid office at the college you've selected can be a great resource as well. 

You may also go HERE to access the financial aid presentation that was held at NPHS this fall.    

Good luck!