New Rules to Eliminate Frustrating Financial Aid Problem
After holiday celebrations are over, students who plan on attending college next fall should begin preparing for a looming financial chore: completing the document, Fafsa (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) that is crucial for financial aid.
The form for the 2016-17 school year becomes available online on Jan. 1, and filling it out as soon as possible helps families maximize the odds of qualifying for grants, scholarships and federal loans. Students seeking financial aid must file the form each year.
Applying early is important because some states have early grant deadlines, and some distribute aid on a first-come, first-served basis. So waiting may mean students will miss out.
Although filing the form in early January is ideal, not all families are ready to do so.
Here are some questions and answers about filing the Fafsa:
Do I have to file the Fafsa online?
- It is not required, but most filers do and there are benefits to doing so.
Do I need a PIN to fill out the Fafsa online?
- In May, the rules changed so that instead of a PIN, Fafsa filers must use a Federal Student Aid ID, which consists of a user-created username and password.
Is there a fee for filling out the Fafsa?
Original Story at NY Times.