Editor's Note: Christine M. Hall of CMH College Consulting will offer information today, Wednesday and Thursday about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the federal form used to determine what type and how much financial aid a student is eligible for. This form is required by all colleges, public and private, in determining financial aid awards. Families may begin filling out this form online Jan. 1.
While the FAFSA has a federal filing date of June 30, 2012, each state and school has a different deadline. In the state of North Carolina, that date is different with every school. Students must check with the financial aid administrator for the date of the school they are interested in.
In most cases, the state filing date is much earlier than the federal filing date – often mid-February and early March. In general, the earlier you apply, the better your chances are, if you qualify, as money is doled out on a first come, first served basis and does run out.
In order to complete the FAFSA, parents and students should go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. Instructions for completing the form are available at this site. If you have filed your taxes, you have the option of connecting to the IRS to have your information filled out for you. You also have the option of estimating your taxes based on the previous year’s return, however, you will need to update that information as soon as possible. The FAFSA can be completed online during several sessions.
Dr. Christine M. Hall owns Cary-based CMH College Consulting. She'll offer more information about the form on Wednesday.