January is the recommended time for families to apply for the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA). FAFSA is the online application that college students must complete in order to be considered for most need based aid from governments and colleges.
(There are also many other merit and private scholarships that have their own requirements and procedures.) It is tempting to wait until families file their taxes to apply for FAFSA, but by then much of the available college aid may already be gone.
For most college bound students this is a MUST, but many wealthy families don’t bother since they are unlikely to get aid. However, here are several reasons why it may be helpful to apply to the FAFSA anyway.
- In some circumstances, it may be a factor in awarded scarce merit aid.
- It is necessary to get federal low interest loans and families may want the flexibility to receive loans or have their student have a financial stake in their education with a loan.
- It’s possible that families may qualify for some assistance especially from generous or very expensive schools, for students eagerly sought by a school, or when there is more than one student going to college.
- Families may want to show that they can afford to pay full price in order to make their student more attractive to a school.
Here is the link: Online FAFSA