If You Struggle with the FAFSA…

Rachel Pope

I can relate to the panic some feel when they realize it’s time to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). But it’s worth the investment of your time because of the financial benefits you can receive for college.

First thing you need to understand before filing your FAFSA is why it’s important that you file in the first place.

You may be thinking:

  • “My parents make too much money, I won’t qualify for aid”
  • “I’m too old to qualify for financial aid.”
  • “Filing you FAFSA is too hard to fill out.”

Everyone who is attending college should file their FAFSA. Not only does it help make you eligible for free money, but it is also required to apply for many scholarships.

Students have opportunities for free money (yes, I said free) if you qualify. Grants like the Frank O’Bannon grant; a grant that provides Hoosier students funds to assist in the cost of attending eligible public, private, and proprietary postsecondary institutions.

 

Did I mention filing your FAFSA is free?  It’s worth the time and I’ll break it down for you.  

First Step- Create your FSA ID

Your first step in filing your FAFSA is creating an FSA ID. This ID allows you to start your FAFSA form, as well as sign your form electronically. This ID can also be used to sign loan contracts and access FAFSA information online.

Second Step- Find your important documents

While completing your FAFSA you will have to answer a lot of questions. Some of them will be ones you can easily answer, such as your address, date of birth, and name, however, other questions will require you to pull from additional sources of information. This information includes tax information, untaxed income records, and information on cash (including investments and assets).

Third Step- Listing colleges you could potentially attend

When completing your FAFSA, you are required to provide a list including at least one school to receive your FAFSA information. The schools you list will use your FAFSA information to determine the amount of aid you may receive. You can list up to ten schools on the online FAFSA form, and they will automatically receive your FAFSA results electronically. Be sure to use Ivy Tech has one of your ten – their school code is 009917.

Forth Step- Determine your Dependency Status

To determine your dependency status, the FAFSA form will ask you a series of questions that will determine if you are a dependent or independent student. These questions are straight forward. You should get through them fairly quickly.

Fifth Step- Report Parents Information (DEPENDENT STUDENTS ONLY)

If you are a dependent student, you will need to report your parent’s financial information. If for some reason you don’t have access to this information, visit the Department of Education’s website to learn more.

Sixth Step- Provide Financial Information

When completing the FAFSA, you will be asked for financial information. This included information from tax forms as well as balances of savings and checking accounts. For the 2017-2018 FAFSA form, you will need your 2015 tax information. If you are filing for the 2018-2019 school year, you will need your 2016 tax information.

Seventh Step- Sign and Submit your FAFSA

You did it! You have completed filing your FAFSA! The final step is signing and submitting your application. Use your FSA ID to insure a fast and successful process.

I hope this blog was able to ease your nerves while filing out your FAFSA. If you are interesting in learning more about filing you FAFSA, feel free to visit the Federal Student Aid website today!

For additional FAFSA help, you can visit your local campus or Express Enrollment Center. Don’t forget, filing the FAFSA does not count as your application to Ivy Tech Community College. Be sure to apply for the upcoming spring 2018 semester, it’s free! Classes fill up quickly, so register today to get a class schedule that works for you! If you have any questions about Ivy Tech, please contact us at 888-IVY-LINE.

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