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Bungle
07-21-2011, 05:13 PM
Has anyone filled this out before? I'm supposed to do it tonight but have no idea what documents I need. Tax returns? Bank statements? Any help would be appreciated.

sharonmickey
07-21-2011, 05:23 PM
Yes, you will need tax returns and bank statements for both the student and the parents. You will need to electronically sign your return so be sure and apply for a password. Both the student and parents will need to "sign" the form.

Generally the earlier in the year you apply for FAFSA the better.

erincon23
07-21-2011, 05:25 PM
What school year are you filling this out for -- the year starting like next month? You'll need last year's (2010) tax return, including all your W2s. It will also ask for info on your bank and investment accounts, including any in your child's name. It may also ask for info on equity in your home, but I'm not sure on that. Look through the form before you start filling it out and you'll know for sure!

powellrj
07-21-2011, 07:22 PM
The form isn't too bad, its the stupid password I always seem to have the problem with!!! I am not sure if its a mental block or what but I never seem to have a problem filling out the paperwork, once I get the password thing worked out.

Don't forget you have to fill it out every year too! I almost forgot to fill it out this year for DS!

DianeV
07-21-2011, 07:25 PM
For a student who will be a senior this year and college next year..when do you fill this out?

Tinkerbell58
07-21-2011, 07:31 PM
For a student who will be a senior this year and college next year..when do you fill this out?

My daughter was a senior last year and will be starting college this fall. We filled out the FAFSA as soon as our income taxes were done.

java
07-21-2011, 07:34 PM
My daughter was a senior last year and will be starting college this fall. We filled out the FAFSA as soon as our income taxes were done.

which year though? During Senior Year so April of this year? and those are the tax returns you use?

Tinkerbell58
07-21-2011, 07:45 PM
which year though? During Senior Year so April of this year? and those are the tax returns you use?

I filled out the FAFSA this year, so we used 2010 income tax. We filed our 2010 income taxes in February 2011 and filled out the FAFSA form at that time using 2010 income figures.

java
07-21-2011, 07:53 PM
I filled out the FAFSA this year, so we used 2010 income tax. We filed our 2010 income taxes in February 2011 and filled out the FAFSA form at that time using 2010 income figures.

Thank you very much I was unsure of when I should be filing for FAFSA. So I'll wait until we file 2011 taxes in 2012. Then file. FINGERS CROSSED!

Jennifer823
07-21-2011, 07:59 PM
You don't have to have your taxes done to fill out the FAFSA. My daughter will be entering college as a freshman next month. We filled out the FAFSA in early January. They allow you to "estimate" your income and then update later when you get your taxes done.

brios86
07-21-2011, 08:06 PM
For a student who will be a senior this year and college next year..when do you fill this out?

You need the prior year's tax return. If he is going to college in 2012, you can fill it out as soon as you file your 2011 taxes.

gacompguy
07-21-2011, 09:06 PM
For a student who will be a senior this year and college next year..when do you fill this out?

It also depends on where your child will be going to school. Many schools have priority deadlines for applying for financial aid... a deadline that anyone in the Financial Aid office should know. It may fluctuate slightly year-to-year, but you can count on it being around 30-60 days after the Admissions office posts decisions. Missing the Financial Aid office's deadline may mean that your child misses out on institutional scholarships (free money!) or even has to pay out of pocket at the beginning of the year even if you're eligible for Pell or state-funded (usually lottery) scholarships. Like other posters have said, fill it out as soon as your taxes are finished or estimate if you're going to have to file an extension.

Also be aware that the FAFSA doesn't take into consideration extenuating circumstances. If you've had a major change (even if it is mid school year) like a loss of job, foreclosure, death of an immediate family member, etc., let your Financial Aid office know. Most schools will adjust their figures to compensate for the changes.

herdtoDisney
07-21-2011, 09:52 PM
You don't have to have your taxes done to fill out the FAFSA. My daughter will be entering college as a freshman next month. We filled out the FAFSA in early January. They allow you to "estimate" your income and then update later when you get your taxes done.

Yes, this is correct. I fill them out on Jan 1st, then go back and edit it after we file.

Schools have deadlines and this way I didn't have to worry about missing any.

Bungle
07-22-2011, 03:44 AM
Thanks for all the information. It isn't for a child though, its for me :teacher: I am finally transitioning out of staying at home to the work force and decided to go to school first.

I filled it out tonight. It was really easy, it actually linked to my information on the IRS site. I probably won't be eligible for much but any little bit helps.

Thanks for all the help.

FourBees
07-22-2011, 07:18 AM
If you are starting next Fall (2012) then starting January 1, 2012 you can go to FAFSA site and start filling in the information with your taxes from 2010 then as soon as you get taxes for 2011 done you can go in and make corrections. They say to do it this way. Don't forget to apply for your PIN number before hand. This can be done anytime now. Just make sure you write it down and keep it in a safe place where you won't forget. You will need it. Good luck.

devilmafia11
07-22-2011, 07:55 AM
i am sorry i dont have any idea

marius97
07-22-2011, 09:12 AM
Thanks for all the information. It isn't for a child though, its for me :teacher: I am finally transitioning out of staying at home to the work force and decided to go to school first.

I filled it out tonight. It was really easy, it actually linked to my information on the IRS site. I probably won't be eligible for much but any little bit helps.

Thanks for all the help.

You never know...I am 34 and have been a stay at home dad for five years now. I went back to my local community college for the first time in January. I just got my financial aid award in the mail yesterday and between a scholarship I won based on my grades last semester that covers about 25% of the tuition and pell grants (money that you don't have to pay back) I won't be paying anything to go to school the next two semesters. There is even enough to pay for about 1/2 my books. We are a solidly middle class family with three kids so yo never know what you will get.

BellePrincessBelle
07-22-2011, 11:38 AM
EFC is a joke IMO. I got burned.

MrsPete
07-22-2011, 11:54 AM
For a student who will be a senior this year and college next year..when do you fill this out?I have a child who's going to graduate June 2012 /enter college August 2012. We'll fill out her FAFSA in January 2012 (and then again January 2013, 2014, 2015).

You must do your 2011 taxes first (you don't have to have to send them in yet, but you must have all the figures). You probably won't have your W2 'til January 31st . . . though you can find the same numbers on your final paystub, bank accounts, etc. from December 2011.

As others have said, it's important to do your FAFSA quickly, though anytime in January is acceptable. This was always a huge problem for me in college; I was qualified for so much financial aid . . . but my parents REFUSED to do their taxes 'til April 14th, and some of the "pots of money" ran out before I could get my forms in. They REFUSED to understand that this was a major problem for me.

Incidentally, our high school and our credit union both host FAFSA workshops for people doing these forms for the first time. Additionally, you can find books about how to maximize your financial aid. The forms themselves aren't any more difficult than tax forms, but we've learned some things that'll help us specifically. We won't qualify for Pell Grants, but the FAFSA does open us to some school-based financial aid.

We'll be doing this for the next 7 years, so my husband and I have agreed upon a labor split: He's always done our taxes, so he's in charge of doing that ASAP in January, then he's responsible for our girls' FAFSAs. I'm responsible for helping them with scholarship applications.

disneyluvnmom
07-22-2011, 12:58 PM
So glad this topic was brought up :thumbsup2 My DH is going back to school to get another Master's and we filled out a FAFSA. I have been trying to figure out if FAFSA is just for a school loan that you have to pay back or if it is more like PEL Grants that you don't have to pay back. I'm just confused. Don't really think we want a loan that we have to pay back, as we are on Dave Ramsey track and not interested in taking out loans. Most of his classes will be distance learning and he will just take classes based on the amount we can afford that semester. We filled out the application and got something back in the mail to verify the information and return, I just get the feeling it is just for pay back loans. Hopefully someone can clairfy for me. TIA!

Woth2982
07-22-2011, 01:33 PM
I filled out FAFSA for 8 years, and only got aid once, AND I got taxed on the grant I received so It wasn't even worth it in the long run. FAFSA can be a big pain, best of luck to you! I know one of the schools i applied to didn't accept FAFSA applications after March. I would send it off in February after I finished doing my taxes.

Mrs. Bradbury
07-22-2011, 01:41 PM
Also, maybe we're just "lucky" but we've been chosen for verification every year. :confused3 I print out an extra copy of our tax return & sign it and set it aside for this purpose; I know it's inevitable. There are a couple of forms to complete on the college's website too. I just roll with it at this point.

Mrs. Bradbury
07-22-2011, 01:43 PM
So glad this topic was brought up :thumbsup2 My DH is going back to school to get another Master's and we filled out a FAFSA. I have been trying to figure out if FAFSA is just for a school loan that you have to pay back or if it is more like PEL Grants that you don't have to pay back. I'm just confused. Don't really think we want a loan that we have to pay back, as we are on Dave Ramsey track and not interested in taking out loans. Most of his classes will be distance learning and he will just take classes based on the amount we can afford that semester. We filled out the application and got something back in the mail to verify the information and return, I just get the feeling it is just for pay back loans. Hopefully someone can clairfy for me. TIA!

It's for the Pell grant too, and perhaps other (non-loan) financial aid.

disneyluvnmom
07-22-2011, 02:05 PM
It's for the Pell grant too, and perhaps other (non-loan) financial aid.

Thanks!

nsmith
07-22-2011, 02:33 PM
Thanks for all the information. It isn't for a child though, its for me :teacher: I am finally transitioning out of staying at home to the work force and decided to go to school first.

I filled it out tonight. It was really easy, it actually linked to my information on the IRS site. I probably won't be eligible for much but any little bit helps.

Thanks for all the help.


good luck, when I was finishing up my degree 9 years ago I filled out the fasfa and of course was not eligible for any $$ as I was a very part time student. things where getting a bit tight at home so I sent an email to the finacial aid office and explained my situation "using IRA money, part time nurse, full time mom blah, blah blah" Never received a response but in October of that year I received a credit for my course on my Visa!! I sent a thank you email but never received a response. for two years I received credit for the course I was taking a month or two after I had paid and the semester started.

when I finished work on my degree I called the aid office to thank them, I spoke to a very nice woman who told me that after the aid was handed out to all the full time and needy student they sometimes had some small scholarships or aid money left over, that was all I needed so they gave it to me. It was only $600-$700 a semester but that was all I needed.

marie1203
07-22-2011, 02:47 PM
So glad this topic was brought up :thumbsup2 My DH is going back to school to get another Master's and we filled out a FAFSA. I have been trying to figure out if FAFSA is just for a school loan that you have to pay back or if it is more like PEL Grants that you don't have to pay back. I'm just confused. Don't really think we want a loan that we have to pay back, as we are on Dave Ramsey track and not interested in taking out loans. Most of his classes will be distance learning and he will just take classes based on the amount we can afford that semester. We filled out the application and got something back in the mail to verify the information and return, I just get the feeling it is just for pay back loans. Hopefully someone can clairfy for me. TIA!

Fafsa will pull out both student loans that you might be able to get and grants that you are qualify for. Since you DH is going to graduate school he is probably not going to get any money from the pell grant. The pell grant was design mostly for undergraduate students with a few exceptions. Although, there might be other grants you DH could qualify for. Since you already apply there should given an estimate of the money you could received and the sources of the money.

gacompguy
07-22-2011, 09:46 PM
EFC is a joke IMO. I got burned.

A lot of people get burned by the EFC. The EFC only takes into account income and assets, it doesn't take into account debts or family circumstances. For example, if your family owns rental properties that have mortgages, only the rental income is taken into account, not the mortgage payments. Same is true if your family has a large annual income and a large amount of debt. The FAFSA only sees the income and doesn't really care about the debt.

Also, maybe we're just "lucky" but we've been chosen for verification every year. :confused3 I print out an extra copy of our tax return & sign it and set it aside for this purpose; I know it's inevitable. There are a couple of forms to complete on the college's website too. I just roll with it at this point.

The Department of Education visits schools and randomly audits student FAFSA data. They tend to "randomly" sample the same kinds of students. If you're being picked every year, you are either in one of their "random" categories or... Some schools are under more scrutiny than others and make ALL students (or all incoming Freshmen) send in their tax returns and other information for verification.

ctinct
07-23-2011, 06:12 AM
Also, maybe we're just "lucky" but we've been chosen for verification every year. :confused3 I print out an extra copy of our tax return & sign it and set it aside for this purpose; I know it's inevitable. There are a couple of forms to complete on the college's website too. I just roll with it at this point.

My daughter will be a college freshman next month, and her school is very upfront that they basically verify nearly everyone every year. I don't have a problem with that---her school is known for giving out very good aid, and I don't mind having to send in a few copies of things. It turned out to be a good thing this year. I made a mistake with pension contribution dollars, and they actually decreased my efc.