Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Charting a course to pay for college can be a stressful and confusing process. At Navigation Academy, we want to make sure you know how to fill out your FAFSA® and the deadline to submit.
We are here to help!
Paying for College
As you carefully develop a list of schools that may be right for you, it’s important to remember that each college comes with a price tag. For parents, paying for college is an investment in your child’s future, but it can also be a financial shock to navigate. It all starts with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA®.
Just remember — you’re not in this alone! Here at Navigation Academy, we want you to focus on applying and getting into college, and we’ll work together to locate and apply for the financial aid you need.
Below, we’ve answered some questions you probably have as you figure out how to pay for college, but we are sure you have even more questions! Give us a call and let’s discuss the FAFSA® process.
What is FAFSA® and why is it so important?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is a form that most college-bound students need to complete for federal student aid. This helps determine eligibility for federal grants, work-study and student loans. Some schools and private financial aid organizations may also use your FAFSA® to determine your eligibility for campus scholarships and merit aid. So, even if you are one of the few who can pay for college without assistance, it is beneficial to complete and submit this form. It is part of the application process and can delay other parts of the process.
If you plan to consider a private college, you must submit both the FAFSA® and your College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile. Many private institutions and state aid sources also use the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile in addition to the FAFSA®. Normally there is a fee associated with the CSS application.
Give us a call and let us guide you through the FAFSA® process. (757) 392-7050
What is the deadline to file my FAFSA®?
Deadlines vary from year to year. Navigation Academy works with you to appraise you of deadlines. Make sure to confirm deadlines with the schools you’re applying to. Different colleges and states may have their own FAFSA® deadlines. Click here to see a list of state deadlines on the FAFSA® website. All of the schools you are applying to will receive a copy of your completed FAFSA® form.
Completing the FAFSA sends a strong message to the Admission Department that you want to attend that school.
Talk to us a Navigation Academy and we will help you with the process.
What do I need handy to complete the FAFSA® form?
To fill out the form, you’ll need all of the following information.¹ If you’re a dependent student, you’ll need to get this information from your parent(s) or guardian. If your parents are not together, you may still need information from both parents.
- Social Security numbers.
- Alien Registration number for non-U.S. citizens.
- Federal income tax returns, W-2s and any other income records are acceptable.
- They may ask you to supply your parents’ and/or your tax return. Bank statements and investment records.
- Untaxed income records.
- A Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to sign electronically.
** You must sign your application to complete and submit.
Give us a call today. (757) 392-7050
Who can I talk to with questions?
Navigation Academy is your partner through the financial aid application process. We’re here to help monitor your application(s), if needed. This is to make sure you meet important deadlines and answer any of your questions about financial aid. We can also direct you to some additional resources. Financial aid offices can also be helpful, as well as, the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) and the FAFSA® FAQ page. Your success is our success, so start early because funds go quickly.
What happens when I complete the form?
After you submit your FAFSA®, it calculates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This number will sometimes surprise and upset you because you may not have the money expected as your contribution. Do not worry. They calculate your EFC based on your:
- Family income
- Family assets
External factors such as whether anyone else in your family will be attending college during the school year and if there is money saved in the student’s name can also be factors. Colleges then use the EFC to calculate exactly how much financial aid you qualify for from the government and the type of aid. They base this on your family’s income and other assets. Keep in mind, that public and private universities are very different when it comes to their financial aid, beyond what you qualify for from the government.
** It will be important both for the student and parent to create an FSA ID. Talk with us and we will help you through this phase of the process.
FAFSA® – What types of financial aid are available?
The Federal Student Aid office recommends that students accept aid in that order. Remember, scholarships and grants are free money while you will borrow loans.² Check out the Student Loan page of our website, to learn more about Student Loans.
Do I have to fill out the FAFSA every year?
Yes! You need to submit the FAFSA® every year that you’re enrolled in school. You can either start with a completely new form or update your existing form with current information. Your financial information may change from year to year, and as a result, your eligibility for financial aid may also change. You may have used all the money saved in your child’s name in the first year of college, so that is no longer an asset. You may or may not qualify for more aid. Submitting a new FAFSA® every year makes it possible for financial aid offices to keep track of how much aid you qualify for, and they can adjust that figure as necessary.