Many students wonder if they have to file a new FASFA form every year to get financial aid for college. The answer is yes, you must. In an attempt to make things easier for students and parents a Renewal FASFA form is available online. This form will have all of your information from the previous application and school year, but you will be required to fill in certain areas. Here are a few things you must consider when using the FASFA renewal form to apply for financial aid.
Verify Personal Application Information
The application will have information regarding your address, marital status and more. This information will automatically be saved from the previous year if you choose to file online, but it’s important to make sure there are no changes in your information. If errors or mistakes are found, it can delay processing and delay the arrival of the funds that you need for school.
Update Tax Refund Information
If you are on the one filing on your federal aid form you will only need to adjust your tax return information from the previous year. If you have a parent or parents whose information is required because they claim you or because of your age, you must update their information as well. If you don’t update this information truthfully or property your application could be denied or you could be accused of fraud.
The file will also require information about your academic status. If you have progressed from a freshman to a sophomore or if you accumulated a specific number of credit hours, this information may be needed to determine how much aid you need or how productively you are using your aid. A new form is also required for students that are switching from an undergraduate program to a graduate program.
The Sooner the Better
The state and federal governments only have a specific amount of money that is dedicated to financial aid for students. The sooner you file, the better your chances of getting the money that you need when you qualify. This means the sooner you can register and pay for the classes, so your class selection will be wider. You will also know how much you’re going to get earlier than if you waited, so you’ll know how much you need to have saved for out of pocket costs before the semester or school year begins.
You may want to contact an advisor or professional to help you with your application, especially if you have divorced parents or questions about who to include on the form. If the parent that claims you makes far less than your other parent, than just putting the parent that makes less and is financially accountable for you could increase the chances of how much money you get.
It’s very important to remember that if you are interested in any type of federal student loan, you’ll have to file the FASFA. You can get loans even if you don’t qualify for financial aid. If you know you need a loan or as much financial assistance as possible, be sure to fill out your FASFA as soon as possible for the upcoming academic school year.