Tips that will help you successfully file your FAFSA
"Tips that will help you successfully file your FAFSA" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 9th January 2012
Here are some tips that will help you successfully file your FAFSA:
- Schedule an hour. The FAFSA should take about one hour if you have your completed FAFSA on the Web worksheet in front of you.
- Complete the 2010-11 FAFSA to apply for aid for the 2010-11 school year. (For schools with year-round admissions and rolling starts, contact the financial aid office to find out which FAFSA to submit.)
- Don’t have a computer? Look into using one at your school or library. You can save your FAFSA for up to 45 days at a time, so you don’t have to complete it in one sitting.
- Don’t mail (or date) your paper FAFSA before January 1. It will be returned to you unprocessed and you’ll need to submit it again.
- Photocopies or faxes of the FAFSA are not accepted.
- Don’t send any tax forms, letters of explanation or other materials with your FAFSA—they’ll be shredded. If you or your family have unusual circumstances you feel should be considered, complete the FAFSA as best you can. Then send any additional information directly to the financial aid office of each college you’re considering for a “professional judgment” review.
- Read all the instructions, work through each step and review your answers carefully. Careless errors can delay processing, which could mean missed deadlines and dollars.
- Be sure your name matches your name as it appears on your Social Security card. Using a nickname will delay processing. If you’ve changed your name, update your records with the Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov. (Also notify Social Security if you’ve become a U.S. citizen.)
- Keep a copy of your FAFSA for your records. Also keep copies of the financial records you used to complete the FAFSA. Your college may ask to see them.
- E-sign your FAFSA using your Federal Student Aid PIN and provide an e-mail address to receive an estimate of your EFC instantly. Your application will also be processed quickly, usually within three to five days.
- If you don’t already have a PIN, you can receive one instantly when you’re completing the FAFSA. If your Social Security number and name are later found not to match, you’ll have to manually sign your Student Aid Report.
- If you provide an e-mail address, you’ll get an instant confirmation that your FAFSA was received, which you should print and save.
- Use your PIN to check on the status of your FAFSA, correct or print your Student Aid Report, or view your federal financial aid records at www.nslds.ed.gov. Be sure to keep your PIN confidential. Don’t give your PIN to anyone—not even to someone who works in a financial aid office, or who is helping you fill out the FAFSA.
- If you’d like additional colleges to receive your FAFSA information, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov (or call 800.433.3243). If you have to delete a college before adding a new one, be sure the first college has already received your information.