Keys to Maximizing Financial Aid

Financial Keys to Maximizing Financial Aid
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The 7 Keys to Receiving MaximumFinancial Aid Regardless of Income

There can be many deadlines, forms and documents when it comes to applying for financial aid at each college. Preparing to apply for financial aid at each college is critical to maximizing your aid and lessening the stress along the way. Here are 7 keys to ensuring this process goes smoothly.

1) Create a Financial Aid file

  • Organize paperwork from colleges and the Department of Education. Record your user names and passwords for the FAFSA, CSS PROFILE and other accounts.
 

2) Create a Federal FSA ID 

  • For each parent and college bound student. This FSA ID and password is needed to apply for financial aid. If you do not have a Federal FSA ID create one at www.StudentLoans.gov.
 

3) Confirm 

  • If any of your colleges also require the CSS PROFILE to receive financial aid or merit aid at www.CSS.CollegeBoard.org
 

4) Practice completing the FAFSA

  • At FAFSA4Caster.gov during December to help you understand the questions that will be asked. This information will automatically transfer to the real FAFSA in January.
 

5) Prepare to submit an estimated FAFSA

  • During the month of January. Use your previous year Federal taxes or your last paystubs to estimate your income and retirement contributions. This will hold your place in line until you file your taxes.
 

6) Transfer your tax data 

  • Via the IRS data retrieval tool inside the FAFSA. 
 

7) Check email 

  • For additional documentation requested by colleges to complete your Financial Aid Award application. Award Packages come from the colleges after March 1st each year.

Regardless of income or need, filing financial aid properly is critical to paying less for college. Staying informed about financial aid is an important part of the college process. Register for the Financial Aid 101 Webinar to learn from the experts.
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