FAFSA is Your Ticket to student loans?
FAFSA is your only entry into the world of federal student loans. You can also find yourself the recipient of a federal grant and work study programs to boot. Without a Student Aid Report (SAR), your chances of getting the best student loans are almost nil.
FAFSA, stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The feds are your best place to get a college loan because they have the money to lend at a decent interest rate and the government will actually make your interest payment on some of the loans.
The application usually is completed online (spanish version as well) but we recommend downloading a copy and printing it out. It will take you time to research and find the answers to their questions.
First you need to create an account with FAFSA. This pin number will allow you to proceed with filling out the application. You will then continue to use that pin number as long as you are applying for federal student loans. Basically it is a virtual account system.
CRITICAL NEWSFLASHMany institutions use the report to help them determine what type of student loan you are eligible for. It is not strictly used for federal purposes.
Money or loans are awarded on a first come first served basis.
January is the start date that you can apply through FAFSA to get student loans for the following fall quarters.
Last year we completed our FAFSA in February and still received our student loans for 2 family members.
Seek help from your high school counselor or a college admissions advisor like we did.
When you receive your SAR, you will find a lot of information but the two most important aspects you need to be concerned with are:EFC
EFC stands for Expected Family Contributions. In your report they will tell you how much they expect you and your family to contribute to your college education. The remainder of the monies needed for college will come from your student loans.
Eligible loans are basically that. You’ll receive a list of federal unsubsidized and subsidized student loans that you qualify for. These loans will usually be a Stafford, Perkins Loans or Pell Grants.
Keep a couple of things in mind:
1. The colleges you chose on your report will also receive your SAR report and if you receive federal monies, they will take money out of the loan for tuition and then send you the rest of the money to use on school related expense.
2. You can choose to accept the total loan, partial loan or no loan at all. And you can choose which loan institutions you want to go through.
The first time you fill out the FAFSA you will probably say to yourself: “this is the last time I’m doing this”, but trust me, it is easier the second time around. Just don’t forget to fill it out early in the calendar year so there will be money for you.