Time to File the FAFSA

Published: January 4, 2016 

Category: Blog Written by CLC College Prep

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the main form used by colleges to determine eligibility for need-based aid. You’ll want to file your FAFSA as soon after January 1st as you can this year, and then refile yearly while attending college. Beginning in the fall of 2016, the FAFSA will open for submission on October 1st, and will use financial information from the prior prior year (2015 info for the 2017-18 academic year.)            

The FAFSA collects basic information about both the student and his/her parents’ incomes and assets, and uses this information to determine an expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that the student and family are expected to contribute towards the student’s college expenses during the next academic year. The difference between the EFC and the total cost of attendance at your college of choice is known as demonstrated need. Using the demonstrated need figure, colleges prepare a customized financial aid package for each admitted student who qualifies for need-based financial aid.

This package may include both grants and loans, as well as self-help such as work-study opportunities. Only some colleges guarantee to meet 100% of established need, so financial aid may not cover all of your expenses at a particular college.

Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.govas soon as possible after January 1st. You’ll need your 2015 tax return and other financial records as noted on the site. It is possible to complete the FAFSA even if you do not have your taxes done yet—you can use estimated figures and update later. It’s best to complete the FAFSA as early as possible.

Not a senior? Families of underclassmen can get an early estimation of eligibility for aid with the FAFSA4caster at www.FAFSA4caster.ed.gov.

A New Coalition of Elite Colleges Tries to Reshape Admissions

Published: October 29, 2015 

Category: Blog Written by Calli

The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, a new organization led by admissions deans at top campuses, has announced an ambitious goal: to make applications more reflective and in tune with how students organize and express themselves. In April, it will offer free online planning tools and in July a new application, for the class of 2021.  Read more about the new initiative here.

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