Learn how you and your family can maximize FAFSA opportunities. Let's begin!
FAFSA defines which students qualify for student loans, federal grants and work-study jobs. Moreover, it determines the student’s eligibility for many private awards. Here you will get to know how to maximize FAFSA Opportunities.
5 Painless Ways to Maximize FAFSA AID
Understanding the essentials
The only objective of the FAFSA is to determine your EFC, or you can say expected family contribution; that is, the amount the government supposes your family can provide you for your college that year.
The EFC qualifies the students for loans, federal grants and work-study programs depending mainly on how much your family can afford. This is also one of the major factors for colleges to decide how much fee your family can afford with respect to the cost of that school and how much the college you are willing to join will donate to your total aid package.
As Beth V. Walker, founder of College Funding Coaches says
“Everyone should fill the FAFSA as there are many parents who believe that they earn too much money and so they will not able to make it, but I think it is a surprise to many people to know that the merit-based aid is offered many times through the need-based door.”
Families can take action. However, many families postpone the form-fill and they wait for their child's senior year to complete so they can get time to arrange the fees for college.
But they do not realize that by doing so, they are missing many scholarship deadlines and then it will be too late for them to utilize the best approaches to increase the eligibility for need-based aid; but there are still several choices for parents and students who have postponed the form-fill.
- Straightaway, you should fill the form for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), at fafsa.ed.gov.
- Start hunting for scholarships ASAP, via free scholarship matching services. You can ask the college admissions office for information on their merit-based scholarships.
- There are many educational tax benefits, which can provide from around a hundred to a thousand dollars on the federal income tax returns, including, Student Loan Interest Deduction and American Opportunity Tax Credit.
- If the financial aid package given by the college is insufficient, you can also appeal for more financial aid. You can also provide information to your aid office about the factors that are not included on the FAFSA, like divorce, death in the family, medical expenses or parental job loss, and thus by providing the proper documentation, you can keep the aid officers well-informed about your current financial condition and thereby increasing the chances for landing college aid.
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Additionally, ask your college financial aid office for the student employment opportunities near campus.
- Before opting for a college, you should always do the calculations to determine the college costs. Because if there is a more expensive college, no doubt it can award you with more financial aid, but still it will be more costly as compared to other less expensive colleges.
You must get a head start to make the best use of next year’s financial aid package, because, financial aid is endowed only one year at a time.
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Matthew Zehr is a Content Marketing Manager at LendEDU.com! LendEDU is a marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance. LendEDU helps borrowers find the best terms and rates available with one application.