FAFSA in the Fall for Lower Stress

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) used to be a family "stressfest" right after the winter holidays. Parents and students scrambled to estimate their prior-year tax information after the FAFSA became available on January 1, and then had to update the information when they finalized their returns.

The situation improved in 2016, when the U.S. Department of Education changed the rules to use information from tax returns for the year two years prior to the beginning of the school year. In line with this change, the FAFSA for each school year is available on October 1 of the previous year. The FAFSA for the 2018–19 academic year was available on October 1, 2017, and is based on information from 2016 tax returns.

This policy not only removes some of the stress, but is also more in line with college application and admission schedules. Although financial aid deadlines vary by school, it's wise to apply for aid as early as possible at any college a student is considering. Because some financial aid may be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, knowing more about potential aid could help a student make a final decision among offers of admission.

Calculating Aid

The FAFSA is required for all federal aid as well as for most state and school-sponsored grants and loans. (You may also need to submit other applications.) The FAFSA uses a formula based on family income and other factors to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is then subtracted from the cost of attendance for a specific school to determine the amount of aid for which your student may be eligible. Aid is typically awarded as a combination of grants, loans, and (in some cases) work-study programs.

You can file your FAFSA electronically — the recommended method — and find deadlines for your state on the U.S. Department of Education FAFSA website at fafsa.ed.gov. Deadlines for specific colleges and universities and related financial aid information can typically be found on the school's website.

For more information on federal student aid, see studentaid.ed.gov.

 
Tony Fazio, CFP® is a Minneapolis, Minnesota Based Financial Planner
4770 Regents Walk Excelsior, MN 55331
Phone: (952) 470-1660 (800) 419-7377 Fax: (888) 241-0848

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

 

4770 Regents Walk
Excelsior, MN 55331
Phone
(952) 470-1660
(800) 419-7377
Fax (888) 241-0848

  

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and CFP logo , which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.

This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives of Cetera Advisors LLC may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site may be available in every state and through every representative listed. For additional information please contact the representative(s) listed on the site, visit the Cetera Advisors LLC site at www.ceteraadvisors.com

 

The registered representative(s) and/or investment adviser representative(s) listed on this website are licensed and registered in the following states:

We are licensed to sell Insurance Products in IA,MN,WI.

[ Online Privacy Policy | Important Disclosures | Business Continuity | Privacy Promise | Order Routing Disclosure | Cetera Advisors ]