For high school seniors it’s time to fill out the FAFSA. If you don’t think you need to fill out the FAFSA, you need to read I won’t qualify for financial aid, why should I fill out the FAFSA? If you find yourself needing some help with the FAFSA, try these resources first.
Start with the People Who are Responsible for the FAFSA
The FAFSA website has several resources that can help you with the FAFSA. You can estimate your eligibility for federal student aid by completing the FAFSA4caster. You can also printout the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet to help you get your information organized before you start the application.
Federal Student Aid-Filling Out the FAFSA
Download the Complete the FAFSA for a detailed guide to completing the application including help on specific questions.
The FAFSA Help Guide takes you through filling out the FAFSA by showing each screen of the online application. You have to fill out contact information to get the PDF version but you can use the website version without having to give your information. You can go through the online version to see if it’s worth the trouble to download the PDF.
This site requires registration but will walk you through the FAFSA and CSS. Users have access to a videos on paying for college and financial aid. The FAFSA Worksheet provides an explanation for each question on the FAFSA. I used this site for help in filling out the CSS and found it very useful.
College Goal Sunday
Get free help in person by attending a College Goal Sunday event. The website lists scheduled events across the nation and has a list of items you’ll need to bring to complete the FAFSA. If you don’t see any events for your state, visit your state resources (Help Me Find a College) to see if the information is listed locally.
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
Download the PDF on FAFSA Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid.
Toll Free Help
I have no idea if calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center is helpful but here’s the number: 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
Financial Aid Webinars
Several organizations offer financial aid webinars throughout the year including TuitionCoach. To find out what’s available, just search on “fafsa webinar.”
And to keep a little perspective, read The Top Ten Ways A FAFSA Is Like A Colonoscopy