The new Free Application for Federal Student Aid has launched in a soft launch that went live on Dec. 31. There will be some additional updates coming out, but parents can empower themselves with the free resources and information that’s out there so they can feel more comfortable with what’s going on now.
Here are some tips to get you started with the process:
- First off, NEVER PAY any money to fill out the FAFSA. It is free for everyone and if you are being asked to pay, you are not on a legitimate site and are being scammed.
- Parents and students can first work on getting their FSA ID, which is the login information you’ll need to access the FAFSA. Keep that information in a safe place because you’ll be using it again.
- Before starting the FAFSA this year, watch the FAFSA video with them. They will log in and fill out demographic information.
- This is one of those things that your child will be taking the lead on. This year, they start it and invite you as the parent as a contributor to their form.
- Parents need to fill out their information first and then sign it. The student then logs in and verifies the information and signs it.
- They can add up to 20 colleges in which to submit the FAFSA information. These must be colleges they have applied to so their application materials can then be matched up to their FAFSA.
Remember that without a FERPA (Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act) waiver on file at your student’s college, you will not have permission to call and talk to the college staff on behalf of your student. Now that your student is an adult, they are empowered to work with their institution.