Being military can make the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) just a little bit more confusing that it is for everyone else. What do I include? What if I live in housing? We live overseas! There are so many questions!
From a Facebook post, I discovered a webinar called FAFSA 101 for Military Members and Dependents. The webinar is tomorrow, Thursday, 26 February 2015, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, Eastern time.
What Is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA) is the federal form that various student financial aid programs use to determine a student’s eligibility for their program. Students and their parents complete the FAFSA annually.
Despite its name, the application is not for a single federal program, being rather the start of the process for consideration for all federal student-aid programs, including Pell Grants, federal student loans, and federal work-study programs, 605 state aid programs, and most of the institutional aid available. The application can be completed as early as 1 January for the following academic year, with many programs awarding aid only to applicants who apply by a certain deadline, or on a first-come, first-served basis. It is highly recommended that you complete the FAFSA early, even if you have to use estimated numbers, to be eligible for the largest number of aid programs.
About The Webinar
I haven’t yet viewed this webinar, hosted by the Federal Student Aid office of the U.S. Department of Education, so I can’t tell you whether it is a good use of your time. I am hopeful that it contains lots of good tips and ways to make the process easier.
I registered today, and it appears that it isn’t exactly aimed at parents or students. The registration form wouldn’t accept my APO address, and it asked for information about my school and whether I represented a school that disburses federal financial aid. However, it accepted my registration despite indicating that I was a parent. We’ll see whether I can actually get into the webinar. Heck, we’ll see if I’m even up – that is super-late here! Unfortunately, I don’t see any provisions for watching a recorded version at a later time.
If you are anywhere in the college or college-planning process, learning about the FAFSA is a key step in maximizing your opportunities to receive financial assistance with college costs.
Let me know if you are able to watch, and if you learn any good tidbits!