College is one of those things that you have to have a lot of preparation for. You (or your child) needs to take the SAT’s, get good grades, visit all of these colleges, talk to different people at these colleges (especially if athletics will be part of the college experience for you or your child) and apply for scholarships. But, it’s January now. You’ve figured out the college you’re attending, told them that you’re coming, and you think you’re done with it, right? Wrong! The guidance counselor sends home a piece of paper explaining that as soon as the taxes are done, your family needs to fill out the FAFSA. Never seen this acronym before? Well, now we’re going to help you through this process a little bit!
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Basically, it’s an application that a future college student fills out in order to apply for different forms of aid. Some schools base their scholarships on this application, but for the most part, it’s for state and federal grants and loans. It’s how the government knows who needs money and who doesn’t. It’s based on your taxes from the previous year, so you’ll need to have them done before you can even think about starting the FAFSA.
Honestly, the FAFSA is incredibly self-explanatory. It asks for numbers directly off of your taxes and tells you where to find them. This means that you’re going to be able to get your hands on a lot of options and that you can just send it out as quickly as you possibly can. Then, you can spend more time looking for things like scholarships and grants that will help you get to college without spending way too much cash in order to try and make it happen.