How-To: Save Time Filling Out FAFSA and Financial Aid Applications

It's that time again to ll out the dreaded FASFA, otherwise known as the Free Application of Financial Student Aid for students.

It can be a timely chore but one that is necessary especially in helping students see what aid they can qualify for and lessen the nancial burden on their parents.

There are, however, several ways to make the application process smooth and efficient. Here are a few tips and tricks for college students who are beginning the process:

• First log onto https:// and make an account if you haven't already. (INCOMING STUDENTS: It's important to keep this log in throughout your college career because you will have to apply every year that you plan to be in college.)

• Make sure you have all your information together when you sit down and apply. You will need...

• Your Social Security Number.

• Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen).

• Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool).

• Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)

• Records of untaxed income (if applicable).

• An FSA ID to sign electronically.

• Don't leave anything blank! If you're unsure of something put 0 or not applicable.

• Always enter your permanent mailing address (not your school address).

For more information on how to fill out the form or mistakes to avoid, visit Bethune-Cookman University's Financial Aid office or visit fafsa_tips. 

By Benjamin Simmons