Financial aid plays a big role for students

Tia Logo Welcome once again to our monthly college de-mystification. Financial aid plays a big role for students to enroll in college. There are several things that you must be aware of when filling out this document. The first and most important is to make sure you are in the right website, This is a free website and there should not be a single fee associated with this process. However, you must be careful because there are a lot of websites that charge to help you. If you need help filling out this form, you are always welcome to attend any university’s financial aid office.

They have counselors that specialize in helping students fill out this form. You may also be required to attend a financial aid class; depending on which college you decide to attend. I encourage you to enroll in this class as soon as possible because they fill up quickly. To fill out this form, you will need the student’s social security number, their W2 for ’14, if they held a job, and the parent’s W2 for ’14. The form will guide you step by step for filling it out. When it comes to filling out the portion for the tax information, there is a column on the right side of the screen that can assist you. If you do your taxes electronically, you may link the FAFSA form with the IRS and it will fill out the tax portion automatically. Make sure that you save your progress as you fill out the form. That way, if there are any alterations or if you need to complete it in the future, you can always come back and accomplish this.

You must also apply for a personal identification number (PIN) so that if you need to get personal assistance either via phone, email or chat, you can verify it is you and no one has hacked into your account. Remember, you always want to keep your information private and this step ensures no one but the person who has the PIN can obtain your information. For all male students, you must register for selective services prior to filling out the FAFSA form. Please do not be alarmed, this does not mean that you are enrolling into the armed forces. You may do so online or at your local post office. Your financial aid form will raise a red flag if you do not do register. Raising any red flags is very common in this application. Do not worry if you get selected for an audit or revision.

Lastly, all the colleges you select on this form will receive your financial aid information. They,in turn, will create a package geared towards your financial needs. Because all universities come at a different cost, you will receive different packages from each one. Be careful as to which school or package you choose. Keep in mind that some colleges are more expensive than others. Keep also in mind the deadlines colleges and FAFSA have set for you to apply. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Good luck.

Miguel Montemayor
Tucson International Academy