October 1st is an important date for any high school senior or returning college student as it is the first day they can submit their FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid). Filling out FAFSA is a necessary step to be eligible for most financial aid opportunities and we want ALL students who will be in college next year to fill it out. It is critical to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to obtain full available funding, ESPECIALLY the free money (Federal & State grants), as it is awarded on a first come, first served basis. And you can only get that type of free money if you complete a FAFSA. Once those buckets of money are depleted, they’re gone, even if you qualify for them. So again, we cannot stress enough how important it is to file FAFSA as close to October 1st as possible.
However, completing the FAFSA can be a very confusing process! And if a submitted FAFSA has any mistakes on it or triggers a review, you have to resubmit it, which puts you back at the end of the line for that free money.
To help parents and students go through this process easily, on October 4th, Heartland Institute of Financial Education College Planning Program expert Coaches will be hosting TWO free webinar sessions for parents and students that will educate all about FAFSA.
Click this link (or the link in the flyer) at your specified time to access the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/7905994786
Dial in to connect audio:
US Toll Number: 669-900-6833 or 646-876-9923
Meeting ID: 7905994786
Here is what they plan to discuss:
· Why everyone going to college needs to fill out FAFSA
· What you need to fill out FAFSA
· The different sections of the form
· Items to pay attention to
· What happens after you apply
· Getting help on FAFSA
· Answer questions at the end.
To prepare for FAFSA, and the webinar, they need students and parents to do a couple of things:
* Set up a FAFSA account before October 1st or as soon as possible to get an FSA ID. If the student does not have one already set on up, they need to do it now. If they have applied previously, they can use that account. A parent will also need a FSA ID. This gives the student access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as their legal signature.
* This account will be used for the full college career and makes it easy to update the FAFSA each year.
* Website: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm
* Begin gathering information needed for FAFSA. Here is what the student will need.
o Their Social Security Number
o Their Alien Registration Number (if they are not a U.S. citizen)
o Their most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: They may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into their FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
o Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
o Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
o An FSA ID to sign electronically.
To learn more about their College Planning Program, go to http://hife-usa.org/programs/college/