Anyone that has filled out the Free application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) can agree with me that it can be a pain in the but. I helped fill one out for my niece and thankfully when I had to fill it out for my daughter I had figured it out…well mostly.
There are big changes coming for the 2017-2018 school year. Normally you fill these out Jan 1st of the year of the finacial aid, but now you’ll get the opportunity to fill it out early. October 1, 2016 will be the date when you can fill out the form. It is important to fill it out early because Grants and things are given out on a financial need basis of course, but after that it is first come first served.
They will be using financial information from the tax forms you filled out in April of 2016 – I think that is a good thing so you don’t have to estimate and then fill out the information again.
More details about the changes can be found here – https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/fafsa-changes
I’ll make sure to give you a reminder a week or so before you’ll need to fill it out.
My daughter started her second year of college a couple of weeks ago. Here are some tips for those of you that are returning (or maybe you’re the parents).
1. If you’re going to sell your text books back, then be gentle with them. The better the book looks, the more you’ll get back when you sell it at the end of the semester. One thing I would recommend you do is toward the end of the semester, find someone that is going to take the class. Sell it for 10 bucks or so less than the used book on Amazon. You’ll make more money than selling it to the bookstore and the person that buys it will get a good deal. What we did was find someone that was going into the same field, and talking almost the same classes and you can sell all of your books.
2. Coupons. Colleges love coupons, use them to save money on a number of things.
3. Use your meal tickets / meal plans. Even if you don’t eat a full meal, pick us some things to put in your fridge or on a shelf for later. Trust me you’ll thank me when you are cramming for a final and looking for something to eat.
4. The first couple of weeks are always tough until you get in the routine. If you find you have some extra time, you can get a part time job. I worked for UPS, they love college students, and where I worked we had four hour shifts that paid really well.
5. Enjoy your time in school.