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March 1, 2013

FAFSA application process has changed

NORMAN — We love our readers. We get so many great comments on a weekly basis, and we appreciate it more than you know. We especially want to thank Pamela McConahay, retired associate director of OU financial aid. Pamela sent us the most complimentary email and was nice enough to share with us a few updates to FAFSA applications.

First, the web application allows students to list 10 colleges/universities, whereas the paper version only allows four. Secondly, the review process has changed. A parent now has the ability to retrieve data from the IRS and plug it in to the FAFSA, which reduces the number of students chosen for review.

Thirdly, any inquiries will go directly to the school requesting the information. Lastly, schools do not request pages of a tax return. Families now need to order “tax transcripts” from the IRS to provide to the school. This is a simple 20-second phone call, and the information will be provided to you by the school making the request.

Once again, it is time to fill out the FAFSA. Do not be afraid or delay. Thanks again, Pam, for your expertise.

Q: My son is 13, in seventh grade, has excellent grades and is very social, but all of a sudden I am seeing a bit of arrogance. He thinks he knows more than all of his friends. He is usually surrounded by eighth-grade girls. I don’t tolerate arrogance and am confused as to why, in an otherwise awesome kid, this has begun.

— RC, Norman

Dear RC,

Welcome to the teenage years. We know exactly what you’re talking about, and we appreciate that you, as a parent, don’t tolerate arrogance. This is very gratifying to hear. It could be that your son is actually more mature than most his age. If this is the case, he will probably always hang around older peers. We would suggest teaching kindness, tolerance and patience.

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