Common Misconceptions about College Financial Aid – Forms

Post By: COYD Staff

apply for financial aidToday’s post is part 2 of the “common misconceptions about financial aid” post that we started this week. Today we are going to discuss misconceptions about the financial aid forms, which are an integral component of the financial aid process. Later this month, we will go over specific details about the forms, but today we are covering the most common mistakes and misconceptions surrounding the forms.

1. Each school requires the same forms.

Some schools require more than the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile. Some schools require school-specific forms to be filled out, so check with the financial aid office at your school to make sure you filled them all out.

2. I only have to file the forms once for all 4 years of college.

Some students and parents either think that they only have to fill out forms once for all 4 years or they completely forget to file the next year. Do not make this mistake. Put it on your online calendar as a recurring event so you do not forget.

3. Every school has the same deadline for their forms.

This is not true. Every school has specific instructions on their deadlines. State deadlines differ from state to state. The best way to know the exact deadlines is to first go on the university’s website, and if you are still not clear of the instructions, call the financial aid office for answers to specific questions.

4. Financial aid forms are too complicated and only college graduates can fill them out.

Believe it or not, I hear this over and over again from many students even though I believe the FAFSA should be filled out by the student. The FAFSA does require information about your parent’s earnings, tax return, and value of certain investments and assets; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t spearhead the process. It’s a preview to doing your taxes when you get a job in the future. Why not start now?

All you need is to get the necessary documents and information from your parents and you can navigate through the forms by simply reading the instructions or asking the financial aid office at the school to help you.

5. The only way to get substantial financial aid is to get a financial aid consultant.

WRONG, it might be the case if you are lazy and not capable of doing the research on your own; however, there are plenty of free resources and books out there that will guide you step by step through the forms. Below are a few posts that discuss financial aid consultants.

Are you sure you need a financial consultant?
Things you need to look for when choosing one


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