Financial aid is an important piece of the college admissions process. In just a few days, the 2011 FAFSA will be available online. Before you sit down to complete this federal form, you need to gather some information.

  • Your social security number
  • Your driver’s license information
  • Your 2010 W-2 forms and records of any other income
  • Your 2010 Federal Income Tax return (does not need to be filed—you just need the information)
  • Your 2010 Untaxed income records: child support received, worker’s compensation, veteran’s non-education benefits
  • Your current bank statements
  • Your current business and investment information
  • Your alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • The school codes of the colleges you are applying to for admission

You will also need a PIN for electronically signing the FAFSA online. You can apply for this now, by going to www.pin.ed.gov and completing the information.

It is recommended that you complete the FAFSA on the web worksheet before completing the application. The worksheet will familiarize you with the information and allow you to complete the FAFSA easily once the worksheet is completed. There are also other worksheets available: dependency status worksheet, student’s income estimator, parents’ income estimator, and student aid eligibility.

If you haven’t filed your return yet, or don’t have all your information, you can use last year’s return as an estimate and file an amendment to the FAFSA once your return is completed. It is crucial to file the FAFSA as soon as you have the information, preferably by February 1st. Colleges disperse financial aid based on the information they receive from the FAFSA and delaying its submission could cost you valuable award dollars. Don’t wait until April 15th; all the award money will be gone!

Do you have any FAFSA questions? Give us a shout out and we will be happy to answer them!

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