This is the time of year for parents of high school seniors to start thinking about applying for financial aid.
Many families have heard of the FAFSA, but they don’t know what it was. Families need to complete the FAFSA to be eligible for state and federal grants. You also can’t obtain a federal student loan without filling out a FAFSA.
Here are a few things you can do now to get ready for applying for financial aid:
2. Circle Jan. 1 on your calendar. That’s the first day that families can fill out the FAFSA forms for the 2010-2011 school year.
3. Print out the FAFSA worksheet. The 2011-2012 FAFSA worksheet isn’t available yet, but you can see the current one. By checking out the worksheet, you’ll know what documents you’ll need when you tackle the real FAFSA application online.
4. Register for the CSS Financial Aid PROFILE. If you are attending one of these private colleges and universities, you will have to fill out the CSS Financial Aid PROFILE. Before you can complete the form, you’ll have to register with the College Board. Some private schools require families to fill out this document if they want to be considered for institutional money.
5. Ask about deadlines. You should check with schools to determine when their financial aid deadlines are. You don’t have to wait until Jan. 1 to begin tackling the financial aid application for the PROFILE private schools. But if you start this early, you will have to estimate your 2010 income.