Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Time to fill out the FAFSA and CSS Profile!

Phew! Your senior has just finished his/her college applications and you're all breathing a sigh of relief. . . well, almost.  During the next month parents play their most important role in the college application process by filling out financial aid applications for their student to receive scholarships and loans.

This is our second time through the process (our older daughter is now a sophomore in college and our younger daughter, a high school senior, just finished, her college applications) and I'm still wishing I could just put the whole thing off.

However, now is the time to gather your financial information including last year's and this year's income tax returns, W-2 forms and other income records, bank statements, mortgage statements, and investment forms.  Some schools' deadlines are as early as February 1st.  The University of California and California State University deadlines are March 2.

Once you've gathered the information, filling out the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is relatively straightforward and quick.  The CSS Profile, which you'll need to fill out for private schools is a little more complex.  Luckily, both the Federal Student Aid Website and the College Board Website have detailed tutorials and worksheets to help you fill out their forms.

Good luck!

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