Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Difficulty of the FAFSA

Today's New York Times published an article entitled "The Big Test Before College? The Financial Aid Form."

The FAFSA is the one and only federal form that must be completed in order for students to even qualify for federal grants, loans, work-study, and many state and university forms of aid. The article describes the "unfriendliness" of the form, but it is absolutely necessary to getting your hat in the ring for any kind of aid.

"The form becomes available each year on Jan. 1, and counselors urge families to file early because some aid is first come first served."

The article talks about President Obama's campaign promise to simplify the process and/or the form, but obviously it's not going to happen this year. So, parents have to slog though the old form, with more than one hundred questions, once more. Your most recent federal tax filing form is needed for this.

The Fafsa, and instructions for filling it out, are online at
fafsa.ed.gov.
The Education Department’s Federal Student Aid Information Center is at 1-800-4-FED-AID ( 800-433-3243) or 319-337-5665 .
.
Finaid.org also offers information, at no charge, about the Fafsa and financial aid.

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