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Students can file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before their parents file their 2006 taxes by estimating the amount they believe they’ll be claiming. According to NextStudent, the Phoenix-based premier education funding company, many people wait until after tax day to file their FAFSA because they do not realize they can complete the application earlier by using their estimated income. If you do not file the FAFSA as close as possible to Jan. 2, you may limit or risk losing the amount of federal financial aid you can receive because it is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
File Your FAFSA Online
It is very simple to complete the FAFSA online. The whole process can be summarized in three simple steps: organize, file, follow-up.
- Organize: Begin the process by gathering all of the relevant paperwork. Other than your estimated tax information, you will need your driver’s license number and Social Security number, among other things. Check out thepre-application work sheet, available at www.fafsa.ed.gov/fafsaws78bw.pdf (Spanish version: www.fafsa.ed.gov/sfafsaws78bw.pdf). After you get all of the relevant information, you will need to apply for a personalized pin number to access your application, www.pin.ed.gov.
- File: Fill out the FAFSA onlineandget the application here, www.fafsa.ed.gov/FOTWWebApp/complete013.jsp (Spanish version: www.fafsa.ed.gov/FOTWWebApp/scomplete013.jsp).
- Follow-up: Three to five days after you file the application, you will receive a confirmation receipt. If not, check here www.fafsa.ed.gov/FOTWWebApp/follow003.jsp for confirmation. Within another four weeks, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you don’t, call: (800) 433-3243. If you find out that your income is significantly more or less than the amount you estimated, correct it by going here, www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
Federal Financial Aid
After federal financial aid is awarded, NextStudent makes it easy to actually obtain that financial aid in the form of Stafford student loans and PLUS loans.All NextStudent borrowers are assigned a personal Education Finance Advisor to walk them through the student loan process. Remember to file your FAFSA as close to Jan. 2 as possible, even if your state’s deadline is in July. Federal financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and if you file early, you’ll increase your chances of getting an award.
NextStudent believes that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and it is dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding simple. Learn more about student loans and student loan consolidation at NextStudent.com."