USA IRS Form 1040 and FAFSA form

If you have a child in college or entering college during the next school year, you need to read this. You can now fill out your required Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) for the next school year.

FAFSA Application Timeframe

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process opened on Oct. 1.

The Time to File is Now

The earlier you file your application, the earlier you will receive aid packages from most participating schools. The application is used to receive grants, federal loans and work study awards. Here are some hints to ensure the application process works in your favor:

Create your FSA ID

If you have not already done so, both the student and a parent will need to set up a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID (username and password) within the FAFSA system. You cannot submit the FAFSA form without first doing this.

File the FAFSA Early!

As soon as possible, fill out and submit your FAFSA. Filing early maximizes your chances of receiving aid. It also minimizes your chances of missing an unknown application deadline.

Use Your Tax Records

Because the year is not yet over, you can use last year's (2018) tax information when filling out the application. There are IRS tax return data retrieval tools within the online application to automate this process.

Talk to Your Advisors

If you have a child ready to attend college, stay in touch with both your financial advisor and your school advisor. A financial advisor is used to help manage your assets to present a good financial picture starts before your student's junior year in high school. The school advisor is a great resource to help you find potential sources of money.

Collect the Right Info

To fill out a FAFSA you will need the following:

  • Social Security number

  • Alien registration number (if not a U.S. citizen)

  • Federal tax information

  • Record of any nontaxable income (excluding retirement account balances)

  • Balances of the following: Cash, savings, checking accounts, investment assets, or other assets

  • FSA ID


Filling out the form can be a daunting task for the uninitiated, but with proper preparation you can get your form done in quick order.


Disclaimer

The information in this article is written as accurately as possible and to best of the writer's knowledge. However, there may be omissions, errors, or mistakes. Because of this and changes in circumstances, the information in this article is subject to change. This article is for informational purposes only and should not serve as professional, financial, medical, emotional, and/or legal advice. Readers may rely on the information on this article at their own risk, but they should consult a CPA, financial expert, or other professional for advice. Givilancz & Martinez, PLLC reserves the right to change and handle this article series, and therefore, may remove or alter any part of this article or the comments section. Any comments inserted by readers are not the responsibility of G&M PLLC and do not represent the thoughts or ideas of G&M PLLC.