[Video] FAFSA FAQ #3: Get Started
MICHELLE SMALENBERGER & ROBERT STOLL, CFP & CFA ®
Michelle: So Rob, in this FAFSA FAQ, walk us through what does a family need to do, to actually get started with the FAFSA.
Robert: So the first step you need to do– and you can do this before October 1st, when FAFSA actually opens– is you need to get what’s called an FSA ID. That’s Federal Student Aid ID. And basically –because the government likes to make things nice and complicated for everyone– you need to get this ID, before you can even fill out the FAFSA.
So the good thing is, you can do that before October 1st. But that’s definitely the first thing you need to do.
Michelle: OK. So once I have this ID, then what do I need to do with it?
Robert: So once we have that ID, on October 1st, the government opens the FAFSA application for everyone. Now technically the deadline for filling out FAFSA is in May or June of the following year. But I always recommend that parents and students, fill this out as quickly as they possibly can. So ideally in October. My recommendation is definitely no later than Thanksgiving.
And the reason for that is because a lot of colleges and universities, will offer some scholarships or merit based aid. But they’ll only do that, if you have your FAFSA filled out by their deadline.
So just to be on the safe side, just do it as soon as FAFSA opens up.
Michelle: Ok so that’s really helpful, because I’m not waiting until the last minute possible. But if I do it early, I might actually be able to get more than what I otherwise would be. So that is helpful.
Ok so can you just walk us through Rob, what are we doing here at Financial Design Studio, just to help parents, grandparents, students, to actually fill out these FAFSAs.
Robert: Yeah, so what we’ve done, is we’ve created a step by step guide. Not only to get your FSA ID, but also to fill out the FAFSA. Included in these guides, is a list of everything you’ll need before you actually start filling them out. As well as this kind of a screenshot. Screen by screen look, at what you’ll be looking at, as you go to fill out the FAFSA.
Step-By-Step FAFSA Guides
Michelle: Yeah and if you missed one of our prior videos, we have three videos explaining– from the beginning to the end– what the FAFSA is. And now how you can actually walk through to fill it out. So if you have any questions please feel free to reach out. We’re happy to help you.