For parents of college-bound homeschoolers: New FAFSA Rules – Start Filing October 1!
College-Bound Homeschoolers: New FAFSA Rules- Start Filing October 1
Just a fun, friendly heads up from your 7Sisters. If you have a homeschool senior OR kids in college, you can file that FAFSA starting OCTOBER 1 (instead of waiting until January).
As you know, FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is an online application that opens the doors for federal grants, student loans and work study opportunities.
When you file your FAFSA this year, prior prior year tax information. You will use IRS’s data retrieval tool to share your 2015 Federal Tax info with them so that they can decide what your student is eligible for.
This is a big change. In the past, you shared prior year tax information and you didn’t file your FAFSA until January.
The date was moved up in order to:
- Help families get the FAFSA filed on time (many families must estimate their federal taxes on the FAFSA and then re-do things when the taxes are finally completed in the spring – this can be messy)
- Help families make final college decisions (hopefully financial aid packages will be available sooner from the colleges)
- Align the college financial aid process and the FAFSA process better (they really were on different time frames which makes a difference to the students who are applying to college)
- Help ease the process for the colleges (requiring fewer of the irritating “verifications”- because they have your tax information sooner)
For parents who want to know more, here’s a FAFSA handout and a cute video from National College Admissions Advisors.
Here’s one heads up for you: College admissions advisors over the years have told me that some financial aid is first-come-first-served, so waiting until the last possible moment might not be best practices.
This is one change that I like. I can go ahead and get this stressor out of the way!
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Make sure your student’s transcript is going to capture the attention of the admissions counselor. Click here for some hints.