December 2011: All About the FAFSA Application & More

Greetings!

Are you ready to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? Because the government gives aid on a first come, first serve basis, it’s important to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Keep reading for more details about why and our December 20th FAFSA workshop that will focus specifically on the FAFSA submission process.

We also have a new website with helpful articles, financial aid tips & tricks, workshop registration and more. Check it out at Westface College Planning. Drop me an email to let me know how you like it.

Enjoy the holidays!

All the best,
Beatrice Schultz
Westface College Planning
College Funding Specialist

Featured Find: Ask Kantro: How Do I File the FAFSA in January When Tax Returns Can’t Be Filed That Early?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be submitted as soon as possible after January 1.

Do not wait until you have filed your federal income tax returns to submit the FAFSA. Instead, use estimated numbers to complete the FAFSA. You will have an opportunity to correct any errors later and will be required to update the application after your taxes are filed. Be sure to check the “will file” box. The US Department of Education will send an email reminder in April to update the FAFSA information after your federal income tax returns have been filed.

Read more on FastWeb.com.

Upcoming College Funding Workshops: Seating may be limited – Register to ensure your spot!

Did you know most families qualify for more financial aid than they ever thought possible? Our 1-hour College Funding Workshops provide steps you can take right now to assure you don’t overpay for college, that you clearly understand the process and how to maximize your aid qualification!

Our December 20th workshop will provide specific tips for seniors who will be submitting their FAFSA in January 2012!

We hope to see you at one of your workshops soon:

  • FAFSA Workshop: Wednesday, December 20 from 6:30-7:30pm in the Community Room at the Redwood Shores Library, 399 Marine Parkway, Redwood City
  • College Funding Workshop: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 from 6:30-7:30 pm in the Community Room at Redwood Shores Library, 399 Marine Parkway, Redwood City
  • College Funding Workshop: Thursday, January 12, 2012 from 7:00-8:00 pm at the Foster City Community Center, 1000 E. Hillsdale Blvd., Foster City

Parents and students are welcome! Visit our workshops page to register.

Senior Scoop: Steps for Students & Parents to Prepare for College

With your financial assets arranged to potentially maximize the benefit in November, December is the month best spent preparing to fill out the financial aid forms.

Contact your colleges to determine if they require additional financial aid forms such as the CSS Profile financial aid form or their own private institutional financial aid form in addition to the FAFSA. Again, the more highly-competitive schools will require a CSS Profile form and/or a private aid form. In some cases, these forms have to be submitted BEFORE the FAFSA, so check your deadlines.

The FAFSA, as you are aware by now, is the lynchpin form for financial aid. The earliest date for FAFSA Submission is January 1st.

December should be the month in which you begin filling out the FAFSA Worksheet in anticipation of submission. You should be able to secure a FAFSA worksheet from your school’s guidance counselor or online.

It is not a bad idea to use the FAFSA 4caster which is available on the FAFSA Website. If you insert some sort of “identifier” (for example, a social security number), the 4caster will save your information. So when it comes time to actually submit the FAFSA form, you have much of the information already provided.

The value of filling out the FAFSA Worksheets or 4caster is that it will enable you to see what the estimate is for your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) for the upcoming college year. This final month of the calendar year is crucial and is not a time to drop the ball. Procrastination could literally cost you thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses.

About Westface College Planning
At Westface College Planning, we are committed to helping parents through the process of making the right financial choices for their college bound students.

If you are a typical parent with college bound students, you’re probably overwhelmed by all the research necessary to help your sons and daughters make the right choices and prevent overpaying for their education.

You are not alone!

Our information packed one-hour workshops will help you:

  • Understand the true cost of college and how to afford it.
  • Learn the specific steps to take immediately to maximize financial aid.
  • Receive valuable information on scholarships and gift aid qualification.
  • Gain awareness on how to accurately compare the true cost of schools, public vs. private.
  • Develop best practices for school selection, and more!

More information at westfacecollegeplanning.com.

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