FAFSA 12 Best kept secrets

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FAFSA 12 Best kept secretsFAFSA – 12 Best Kept Secrets Application Tips with Jean Burk

Episode 62

Here are the FAFSA 12 Best Kept Secrets. Did you know that 80-90% of families make mistakes on the FAFSA that cost them tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship money? This information is timely before October 1 – so please listen and share this show with your friends with college-bound students.

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Show Notes: FAFSA 12 Best Kept Secrets

Did you know that many times students do not complete the FAFSA application completely? You must complete the FAFSA all the way through. It is an application for low-interest student loans and grants. If you don’t complete it you can lose out on thousands of dollars.

You can do this ahead of time to be prepared on filling out the FAFSA application. Pre-work – download the PDF from the website. http://www.FAFSA.ed.gov

FAFSA 12 Best Kept Secrets:

  1. Scams: Be aware of scam copies – A company purchased this website àcom they will charge you for the FAFSA – it is a FREE application. http://www.FAFSA.ed.gov
  2. ID: Get you FAFSA ID ahead of time. You get a username and a password. If you are considered a dependent student, you need your separate ID. It can take a few weeks to get your ID. There can be a backlog at the last minute. Do not share your ID with others. This information you are putting on your FAFSA is sensitive information. Store it in Lastpass.com (you can get a free account) or a paid account is $20 per year and it keeps you ID safe.
  3. Date October 1 on your senior year. Many states will run out of money early. You can put in ten colleges when you are filling out your FAFSA. You use your prior-prior taxes or two years before you apply for the loan. You need pull that out and bring out the information. If you have had a decrease in income from 2015 to now – that can be adjusted as well – addendum needs to be filled out with each college.
  4. Deadlines: To maximize your scholarship opportunities fill it out by October 1 – Each school and state will set their deadlines. October 1 is the FIRST day you can apply – deadlines are months later, but why wait?
  5. Which ID? Do not use your ID (parents) when you start our your FAFSA – they will give you an option to enter the student information. USE the student ID – it will automatically add your personal information.
  6. Knowing the lingo on the FAFSA helps – certain questions that you automatically know, but you may make mistakes –
    1. Legal guardianship – Students will answer yes here. You are not considered a legal guardian of yourself! So the answer is NO
  7. NUMBER: The number of family household members – specific definition. Many students put the wrong number down. It has no bearing on who claims the parents in a divorce situation. How many are in your household – that is in your entire family. Siblings. Read instructions carefully.
    1. The number of family members who are in college and private school. If you are thinking about just your siblings. Don’t forget to include yourself. You are also going to college.
  8. Common Mistakes:
    • If it says You or YOUR – it means the student.
    • Put in your full name as it appears on your social security card – no nicknames. It will bring you delays if you are not accurate.
    • Double check your social security number.’
  9. Income Information:
    • How much income tax – not your AGI (adjusted gross income) – IRS data retrieval tool that will tell you how to fill it out.
    • Be sure to see if they are asking for your income vs. your parent’s income. Do not get them confused.
  10. Parent section is color coded – you can fill out the parent information. (Even if you live on your own. It still can help you.)
  11. Add More Colleges: Students may only be considering only one or two colleges. You have up to ten schools you can list. Take advantage of this tool and the other colleges cannot see the schools you are sending this to. You can always remove and add more schools.
  12. Sign It! Don’t forget to sign your FAFSA this will cause an incomplete FAFSA. You sign it with your ID number. You can mail a signature page if you want. It is not necessary. You can check the status of your application at any time.


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