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5 Tips for a Successful FAFSA for Financial Aid
5 Tips for a Successful FAFSA for Financial Aid9/25/2020

young asian girl at desk with laptop looking at open bookCompleting the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the most important thing that college-bound students can do to get federal financial aid for school. We want to help you prepare by sharing the following tips:

1. Mark your calendars.

FAFSA applications can be submitted starting October 1. This date is important for students so they don’t miss out on first-come, first-served money for college.

2. Preparation is key.

To make the application process easier and faster, students should gather the necessary information before they start the FAFSA. Here’s a list of what they’ll need:

  • Their Social Security Number
  • Their federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. If your student is listed as your dependent, they will need your most recent tax returns.
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID to sign electronically.
3. The sooner, the better.

When the FAFSA is submitted as close to October 1 as possible, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) sooner and may also receive financial aid award letters from schools earlier. This means you may have more time to review your award letters and plan how you will pay for college. The timing of awards will vary by school, so make sure you check with financial aid offices and school websites for more information.

4. Take a chance and apply.

Some families don’t apply because they think their income is too high to qualify for federal financial aid. Nearly every student is eligible for some form of financial assistance, regardless of income. You can also find out if there are any scholarships available– it’s important to note that not all scholarships are based on perfect grades or sports skills.

5. Watch out for scams.

Remember, the first “F” in FAFSA stands for free. Don’t fall for websites or scams that charge for the FAFSA. The only site they should use to get a FSA ID and submit the FAFSA is

Need extra money for college? MCCU can help.

Find out about our Sallie Mae® Student Loans for Undergraduate and Graduate students!

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