FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a form that is filled out by college students or those who are about to enter college to see if they qualify for any financial aid.
After you fill out a FAFSA form and if you qualify for student financial aid, you may be rewarded with a Pell Grant, a Stafford Loan, a Federal Perkins Loan, or a work-study program.
These different “awards” can allow a college student to go to college more affordably, by being given a grant or a low-interest student loan.
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Now, you’re probably wondering what you can do so that you can get the most out of FAFSA so that you can go to college as affordably as you can.
From researching online as well as having to fill out FAFSA on my own in years past, I learned a lot about FAFSA tips and mistakes that soon-to-be and current college students often make.
Below are the FAFSA tips you need to know:
- To fill out your FAFSA, you should go to Fafsa.ed.gov to fill out your FAFSA.
- Many make the mistake of not filing their FAFSA at all. You don’t automatically receive FAFSA awards, so you NEED to fill out this form in order to qualify for anything. Plus, you need to fill it out every single year as well. It’s not a one and done type of form. Please, remember to do this each year- even if that means making a note on your phone calendar for the next several years so that you don’t forget.
- Many don’t file their FAFSA on time. Yes, there is a deadline. You should make note of the deadline and try to submit your FAFSA way before the deadline.
- Students are able to file a 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016. This is a recent change, but even though you have more time, it doesn’t mean that you should put it off. Please still file your FAFSA as soon as possible! This is because some financial aid is given on a first-come first served basis.
- You don’t have to apply for admission to a school before you list it on your FAFSA. So, this means that you can fill out your FAFSA now and decide on a specific college or university later.
- Collect the documents that you need to fill out your FAFSA form. To fill out your FAFSA, you will need your social security number, federal income tax returns, W2s, and asset information.
- Don’t make errors on FAFSA forms. Make sure everything is correct on your FAFSA form. Double, triple, or even quadruple check your name, address, social security number, tax information, and more. Errors can lead to delays in receiving financial aid!
- Make sure you contact your financial aid office at the college or university to see if there are any other forms you should fill out with your FAFSA.
There are also many other mistakes that students make. The following is sponsored by College Ave Student Loans. Check out the post 10 Common FAFSA Errors to Avoid for more information. Another great article on that site that I recommend is File the FAFSA to Get More Money in College.
If you are new to my blog, I am all about finding ways to make and save more money. Here are some of my favorite sites and products that may help you out:
- Start a blog. Blogging is how I make a living and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I earn over $70,000 a month online through my blog and you can read more about this in my monthly online income reports. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
- Sign up for a website like Ebates where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free $10 gift card bonus to Macys, Walmart, Target, or Kohls!
- Answer surveys. Survey companies I recommend include Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, American Consumer Opinion, Clear Voice Surveys, VIP Voice, ProOpinion, YouGov, Pinecone Research, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
- Save money on food. I recently joined $5 Meal Plan in order to help me eat at home more and cut my food spending. It’s only $5 a month (the first two weeks are free too) and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. This allows you to save time because you won’t have to meal plan anymore, and it will save you money as well!
- Look for coupon codes. I search for coupon codes for everything. Today, I have two for you. I have a $20 Airbnb coupon code and a free taxi ride with Uber. Both are great services that I have personally used.
- I highly recommend Credible for student loan refinancing. You can lower the interest rate on your student loans significantly by using Credible which may help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
- Invest. There are no guarantees when it comes to investing, but you should always start sooner rather than later. If you are looking for a good investing platform, I recommend Motif. Motif Investing allows individuals to invest affordably. This approachable investing platform makes it easy to buy a portfolio of up to 30 stocks, bonds or ETFs for just $9.95 total commission. Plus, you will receive up to $150 for FREE when you use Motif Investing when you sign up under my link.
- Cut your TV bill. Cut your cable, satellite, etc. Even go as far to go without Netflix or Hulu as well. Buy a digital antenna (this is the one we have) and enjoy free TV for life.
- Try Digital Voice. Another one you may be interested in related to Swagbucks is Nielsen Digital Voice. Digital Voice is a part of Nielsen, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. All you have to do is surf the web and you may be able to start earning money.
- Try InboxDollars. InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5.00 for free just for signing up!
- Find a part-time job. There are many part-time jobs that you may be able to find. You can find a job on sites such as Snagajob, Craigslist (yes, I’ve found a legitimate job through there before), Monster, and so on.
- If you are still in college, I recommend you check out Campus Book Rentals. This website allows you to get your textbooks for cheap. I almost ALWAYS rented my textbooks and it saved me a ton of money!
- Lower your cell phone bill. Instead of paying the $150 or more that you spend on your cell phone bill, there are companies out there like Republic Wireless that offer cell phone service starting at $10. YES, I SAID $10! If you use my Republic Wireless affiliate link, you can change your life and start saving thousands of dollars a year on your cell phone service. I created a full review on Republic Wireless as well if you are interested in hearing more. I’ve been using them for over a year and they are great.
Do you have student loans? What do you wish you knew before you took on college costs? What other FAFSA tips do you have to share?