The 2018–19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is now available! If you plan to attend college between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, you should fill out your FAFSA form as soon as possible. Before you rush to fill it, read this blog to make sure you don’t make one of these common mistakes:
1. Not Completing the FAFSA Form
Here are the top reasons why people don't complete it:
It does matter. For one, contrary to popular belief, there is no income “cut-off” when it comes to federal student aid. You can always get an unsecured loan. Also, the FAFSA form is not just the application for federal grants such as the Federal Pell Grant, it’s also the application for Federal Work-Study funds, federal student loans, and even scholarships and grants offered by your state, school, or private organization. If you don’t complete the FAFSA form, you could lose out on thousands of dollars to help you pay for college. It takes little time to complete, and there are “Help and Hints” provided throughout the application.
If you want to get the most financial aid possible, fill out the FAFSA form ASAP after Oct. 1. Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and some states and colleges run out of money early. Even if it seems like your school’s deadline is far off in the future, get your FAFSA form done ASAP.
3. Not Getting an FSA ID
It’s important to get an FSA ID before filling out the FAFSA form. Why? Well, because when you register for an FSA ID, you may need to wait up to three days before you can use it to sign your FAFSA form electronically. An FSA ID is a username and password that you use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites, including fafsa.gov. Do not wait! Create an FSA ID now: StudentAid.gov/fsaid.
4. Not Using Your FSA ID to Start the FAFSA Form
When you go to fafsa.gov, you will be given two options to log in:
1) Enter your (the student’s) FSA ID
2) Enter the student’s information
If you’re the student, you should choose the first option. Why? When you do, some of your personal information (name, Social Security number, date of birth, etc.) will be automatically loaded into your application. This will prevent you from running into a common error that occurs when your verified FSA ID information doesn’t match the information on your FAFSA form. Also, you won’t have to enter your FSA ID again to transfer your information from the IRS or to sign your FAFSA form electronically.
5. Not Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)
Note: The IRS DRT will return with the 2018–19 FAFSA form on Oct. 1, 2017, with additional security and privacy protections added.
For many applicants, the most difficult part about filling out the FAFSA form is entering the financial information. But thanks to a partnership with the IRS, students and parents who are eligible can automatically transfer their necessary 2016 tax information into the 2018–19 FAFSA form using the IRS DRT. It’s the fastest, most accurate way to enter your tax return information into the FAFSA form, so if you’re given the option to “LINK TO IRS” button, take advantage of it!
How America Pays For College
Students and parents equally share responsibility for paying college costs
While scholarships and grants remained the number one source of funding, the contribution from students was the highest since 2011-12, and nearly equaled the contribution from parents.
Nearly half of families use scholarships for college
Students expect to step up when it's time to pay back
Amounts spent and attitudes vary across the country
Most families expect their child to go to college, but many don’t have a plan for paying
Tuition aid is available annually for eligible full-time employees to help cover education costs that have been approved by the company. In addition, AT&T has partnered with Udacity for tech training. You can get a Nanodegree in Front End and in Full Stack Web Development.
2. BANK OF AMERICA
Bank of America reimburses eligible employees up to $5,250 for job-related courses or to fulfill a job-related degree program. - See more at: http://careers.bankofamerica.com/us/working-here/benefits-advantages.aspx#tab-life-management-benefits
Baxter’s Educational Assistance Program invests in employee growth and professional development by reimbursing up to $5,250 per year for undergraduate courses at accredited institutions. A separate program, that requires management approval, provides tuition assistance for graduate coursework.
4. BEST BUY
You can receive up to a calendar-year maximum of $3,500 for undergraduate and $5,250 for graduate-level course work. See Best Buy’s tuition assistance program for more details.
The BP educational assistance program will reimburse eligible full-time employees for up to 90% of educational expenses as long as certain conditions are met.
6. COMCAST Employees of Comcast can be reimbursed up to $5,750 per year for undergraduate and graduate educational expenses. The company also has its Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program, which awards students more than $1,000 per year.
7. Home Depot
The company offers Tuition Reimbursement to associates after 90 days of service. For salaried: up to $5,000 • Full-time Hourly: up to $3,000. 50% of the cost of tuition, books and reasonable class registration fees for approved course(s).
The JetBlue scholars program covers the cost of JetBlue-approved online courses. Employees who have worked for JetBlue for at least two years and have at least 15 college credits are eligible for the program.
The tuition reimbursement program at Publix covers individual courses, occupational/technical programs and some undergraduate programs. Any associate who has worked for at least six months and works an average of 10 hours per week is eligible to receive up to $3,200 per year with a maximum of $12,800 of tuition reimbursement, with approval from a manager. To receive tuition reimbursement for a graduate degree, you must get higher approval.
Up to 100% reimbursement of tuition costs for Company-approved college courses. Scholarship program for children of employees, which awards a $3,000 renewable scholarship to up to ten recipients each year.
According to The Institute for College Access & Success, seven in 10 seniors (68%) who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2015 had student loan debt, with an average of $30,100 per borrower. This represents a 4% increase from the average debt of 2014 graduates. Graduate students, for example, have a median debt of $57,600, and 1 in 4 have debts of $99,614 or higher, according to New America, a public policy think tank.
How do you pay off your loan faster?
Given the escalating cost of college schooling, an increasing number of grandparents are pitching in to pay for college fees for his or her grandchildren. Given their flexibility, 529 plans are the top choice for grandparents. However, they can complicate a child’s chances of qualifying for financial aid.
The problem arises when students receive money from the 529 plan. That will appear as income in the student’s name, which must be reported on the FAFSA, which reduces the amount of financial aid. Note that FAFSA, the financial aid form that most colleges require when a student applies, is also required to be updated every year he or she is in school.
1. The University of Alabama is the fastest-growing flagship in the country.
Enrollment hit 37,665 this fall, nearly a 58 percent increase over 2006. The average G.P.A. of entering freshmen is 3.66, up from 3.4 a decade ago, and the top quarter scored at least a 31 on the ACT, up from 27.
2. Enrollments from California are up 46 percent in six years.
“Stress in California,” said Kent Hopkins, vice president of enrollment management at A.S.U., “is definitely an advantage as we talk to California students and their parents.” One student turned down University of California, Berkeley, and canceled her Columbia University interview!
3. Alabama has invested $100M to lure students who do not qualify for federal financial aid.
The university is spending $100.6 million in merit aid, up from $8.3 million a decade ago and more than twice what it allocates to students with financial need. It also has hired an army of recruiters to put Bama on college lists of full-paying students who, a few years ago, might not have looked its way. The University of Alabama has 45 recruiters — 36 outside of Alabama.