This morning, I chatted with a young woman who needed to have her FAFSA completed ASAP. She was told by financial aid that she could qualify for Stafford loan but needs this once piece of the puzzle completed in order for her to obtain any sort of financial aid. She called me because she needed advice on how to get the FAFSA completed ASAP. I explained to her that I felt the most efficient way is to complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsaonline.com. I know it’s scary stuff filling out such a lengthy document completely online. But I promise everyone, the Internet is our friend! Do the FAFSA online! Reason why is because the Government needs the FAFSA filled out just right. When you file online, the system will catch a lot of mistakes and send you back to fix them. Your on your own if you fill it out online. If you do certain things incorrectly, you’ll receive a bunch of paperwork that basically means denied!
Also, keep in mind that you have to update this paperwork every year you are in school. When you do it online, all of your forms will be saved from year to year so it can be completed pretty easily.
Trust me folks do it online! Soon enough the paper form will be extinct.
There are a number of other factors to keep in mind when you are filling the forms in which slow your application down if not completed properly. Completing your forms on line will usually catch these issues. However it s a good process to follow, when you double check everything and review each entry before submitting. Make sure that all required fields are filled in as needed to avoid any errors that could cause the application to be denied or returned for further information.
If you do not know the answer to some of the questions or are unsure about what information to enter, find out the right answer. Filling something in just to have a field filled in when it is incorrect is just going to cause you all kinds of problems later on. Returned forms, bad addresses, denials etc are just some of the issues. Don’t leave a field blank either if you do not know the answer. Figure out what the right answer is even if you have to ask your parents or someone who should know the answer to a question. While you can complete your FAFSA fast, if it is correct it will be returned to you fast as well with an approval if everything is done right.
There are sections for the student to fill in and there are sections for the parents to fill in as well. They are color coded and easy to identify. Your parents can provide all of the information to you to fill in or you can provide this information together. In fact having a second set of eyes reviewing the application is also not a bad idea. Sometimes we can review a document many times and not see an error that might be obvious to someone else.
The FAFSA site has a great deal of information on it which will be helpful to most people. Before you begin filling out the FAFSA form online, take a few moments to review their FAQ section. They have listed the most commonly ask questions which most people are interested in. most times you can find the answer to your questions in this area. They also have people standing by to help as well by phone.
Students who are applying for a student loan and are filling in the FAFSA application should also review the conditions and eligibility criteria. You can determine pretty quickly if you meet the basic criteria and then proceed to fill out the online form. You really do not want to spend a lot of time filling out this long questionnaire that is approximately 100 questions, only to find out that you were not eligible in the first place.
There are also help organizations that can assist you in filling this form out if you need it, but most people will use the FAQ section and the online help section with success. That is about it and let us remind you once again, it is far easier to do this entire process online when filing an FAFSA application for student aid and support.