The Norman Transcript

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February 1, 2013

Now is the time to apply for Free Application for Student Aid

NORMAN — Q: I am the parent of a junior and senior in high school. I keep hearing it’s time to apply for FAFSA, but I don’t even know where to begin. Can you give me a short course in FAFSA for dummies?

— Kristi, Norman

Dear Kristi,

What a great question. Yes, it is time to apply now.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Student Aid. It is required for any financial aid (pellgrants, scholarships, student loans, etc.) for a student to attend college, unless you are able to pay all college expenses and are asking for no financial help.

The website is fafsa.ed.gov. Please don’t confuse this correct website with the many fakes out there that want you to pay for their services. They look very similar. Make sure the website is not redirecting you to another site.

· Step 1: Get on fafsa.ed.gov today and request pin numbers for both you and your student. Put these pin numbers somewhere easily found because you will use the same pin numbers for years.

· Step 2: To complete the entire application, you will need to gather all your current tax information for 2012. You can still create the account even if you don’t currently have all this information. The sooner you can input this tax information, the better because financial aid is based on a first come, first serve basis.

· Step 3: Read every question carefully and thoroughly and answer completely. You will be asked questions about number of people in your household, marital status, bank account balances, investment accounts, number of children in college and all personal information such as address, social security numbers, etc. You will need to list every school that your student is interested in attending, (the first four are free) because each school has their own financial aid packages they can award. Each college/university has a school code, which can be found on the school code finder located in FAFSA.

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