By Sarah Hoffbeck
Well, it’s that time again! While it’s hard to believe, we’re once again entering tax season,
trying to keep our New Year’s resolutions and downright freezing in the bitter tundra that is the Midwest. But that’s January for you. And if you have a college-aged student, it’s also time to start filling out the sometimes frightening FAFSA.
What’s this FAFSA business all about you ask? FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is basically a form you fill out to see if your family member qualifies for federal college loans and/or grants.
Really, in layman’s terms, FAFSA = free $$$$ for those that qualify.
The office of Federal Student Aid provides grants, loans and work-study funds for college and offers more than $150 billion each year to help over 13 million students pay for higher education. Processing over 22 million FAFSA submissions a year, the office of Federal Student Aid, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the United States.
Wowza. In other words, the FAFSA is truly legit and most definitely NOT a scam.
Commonly Asked Questions
- Why should I fill out the FAFSA? Why not? Everyone should fill out the FAFSA. If you don’t, you could be throwing away a lot of financial aid!
- When do I fill out the FAFSA? January 1 is traditionally the first day you can file a FAFSA, so the sooner you can get to it, the better.
- What is the code for NDSCS on the FAFSA? The code you should enter for NDSCS is 002996.
- Can I get an early estimate of my aid? If you’re not quite ready to file, use the FAFSA4caster to estimate your federal student aid.
- How do I fill out the FAFSA? The FAFSA can be found online where you can securely complete the filing process.
- What happens after I fill out the FAFSA? Once you submit your application, the FAFSA is then processed. After processing, you will receive an Expected Family Contribution, which NDSCS uses to figure out how much aid you can get.
Complete Your FAFSA Today!
While it’s true that filling out the FAFSA may be a bit time-consuming, it could be time well spent. Check out this video to learn how to complete your FAFSA today: