Last Minute FAFSA Q & As

Hope you’re ready to do your 2017-18 FAFSA when it becomes available October 1 . . . 2016-calendar-october-free-vector-2

Q-1. May my 2017-18 FAFSA serve as my aid application for academic year 2016-17?

A-1. No. The only way the government and schools know the academic year for which you’re applying is the FAFSA you submit. The 2016-17 FAFSA is still available. If you’ve not yet done it and if your student will be enrolled before July 1, 2017, send it in. If you’re seeking aid to enroll in/after July of 2017, you’ll need to complete the 2017-18 FAFSA.

Q-2. Our finances are very complicated and our 2015 tax return isn’t yet final. May we still submit a 2017-18 FAFSA?

A-2. Yes. Complete it with estimated data. Once your 2015 tax return is final, go to FAFSA-on-the-Web and replace those estimates with actual data.

Q-3. There’s another form called the College Board Profile. Should I complete and submit it in addition to a FAFSA?

A-3. Only if a college or university to which you’re applying specifically requests it. The Profile collects additional financial information that some schools use to award their institutional aid. Unlike the FAFSA, it’s not free, so no need to use it unless a school asks for it.

no_feesQ-4. I found a FAFSA website that wants me to pay a fee to complete and submit my FAFSA. Is this OK?

A-4. No! Go to https://fafsa.ed.gov/ and submit your FAFSA directly to Washington at no charge. If you have questions, the Federal Student Aid Information Center (1-800-433-3243) will answer them at no cost to you. Some companies have developed fee-for-service websites to collect FAFSA data and then submit them on behalf of applicants but, remember, the first “F” in FAFSA means “Free.”

Q-5. OK. I get it. It’s in my best interests to submit my 2017-18 FAFSA as soon as possible. But when can I expect to receive 2017-18 financial aid offer(s)?

A-5. Newly admitted students won’t get offers until admitted, but those selected for early admission will likely receive them shortly before Christmas. For other new admits, aid offers will come in February or March — after institutions receive funding and guidance for the government aid programs that help their students.

Many colleges won’t make 2017-18 financial aid offers to currently enrolled students until April or May.

College Affordability Solutions can advise you on completing your FAFSA. Call (512) 366-5354 or email collegeafford@gmail.com.

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