Applying for Federal Student Financial Aid used to be quite an in depth process. You had to fill out a form, and mail it in, and you had a fee to send the results to different colleges. The more colleges or universities that received your Student Aid Report, the more that you had to pay on a per fee basis.
That has all changed. It is now been simplified and made a lot easier. You can now visit a single site on the Internet, fill out your financial aid application, and request that it be sent to the schools of your choice. You can even, using the email method, apply for and get an electronic pin number, and then return to the site and sign your application, electronically.
Applying for aid is easy, but if you have not yet applied for school year 2008-2009 then you should get busy. Much of the Federal and Student aid that is awarded by colleges and institutions is awarded first come first serve, so there is an advantage to filing for student aid earlier.
Applying for Aid. First, you should compile and file your tax return for tax year 2007. If you have already filed, that is great. Otherwise, you should obtain W-2 forms from your employers, and file your federal and state taxes. You will need information off of your taxes to file your financial aid report. You should also compile basic room and board and living expense information; this is also information that you will have to give when filing for financial aid.
Don’t delay. Even if you have to estimate your taxes, and do not file them, at least complete your taxes enough to file for financial aid. Most students that are serious about attending school and who want to be eligible for aid should file their Federal Financial Aid form by March 1st.
Once you submit your Federal Student Aid Application electronically, within a short time (3-7 business days) you will receive a copy of your student aid report. Look this over carefully for any errors or omissions. If you discover any, return to the main FAF web site and click on the links for corrections. You will be able to make any needed corrections then.
After that, give it a week or two, and then contact the financial aid office at the school you wish to attend. That’s it. Following this process will help you find all the aid that you qualify for, and get you started on the road to your college degree.