FAFSA renewal: 3 steps to a pain-free application

Attending college can be expensive for any student, whether you’re from a working-class or wealthy family. Getting a scholarship, federal student loan, or student grant can ease the financial burden on your family to see you through college.

Therefore, renewing your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form annually is wise since you can get more funds each year you’re in school. Many students assume that one fills out the FAFSA form once when joining freshman year and that’s it.

However, each year you plan to attend college, you need to submit a renewal of your FAFSA form. Here are a few tips that can make your renewal process as smooth as possible.

1. Ensure your pre-filled information is accurate

The Federal Student Aid Website system recognizes you once you log in with your student ID. This saves you time since all your contact information and name is pre-filled. However, before filling out your new FAFSA form for the year, it’s vital to make sure all the imported data is accurate.

For instance, since it records information from last year, it doesn’t record changes in your home address or school. Hence, rectifying any errors now eliminates any chances of your financial aid delaying.

2. Import income information automatically

FAFSA uses your family’s financial income to determine how much aid to give you. It’s, thus, a must to enter up-to-date financial information so your college can determine the amount of loan you need. You can do this by importing your income data using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

3. File early

Filing your FAFSA form as close to October 1st as possible is essential since some types of federal student loans are first-come, first-served basis. They also carry over even when you received them last year, making it important to file as early as possible to avoid missing any loans.

You should also find out the deadlines for financial aids for your school and state since some have different timelines. This way, you don’t miss a chance to get “free” money to aid you through college.

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