Fafsa Money and Federal Income Tax Returns by mdv94274


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									                                                                        by Alex Gordon
Why You Should  the FAFSA                                              for WYEP FreeZone

Preparing for college is a strenuous and exhausting process. And what’s worse
than preparing for college in a rocky economy? Don’t let it overwhelm you.
WYEP is your source for navigating the economy, and we’re also here to help
you as you prepare for college.
                                                       so be sure to know which one your school
It’s normal to be stressed about how you’re            uses. It’s best to avoid rushing all these
going to pay for college, and one of the best          processes, so stay on top of your deadlines.
ways to prepare is to fill out the FAFSA
Form. Get to know this form. Learn to love             When it comes to actually filling out the
it. FAFSA stands for Free Application for              FAFSA, you have some options. To make
Federal Student Aid (note the *FREE*                   the whole process simpler, FAFSA allows
part). The FAFSA is designed to help every             the entire form to be filled out electronically
student get a picture of how much financial            on the Internet. In order to do this, you need
aid the government will provide them to help           to apply for a PIN. This PIN number acts as
pay for school. It’s an infamously confusing           your electronic signature for the online
process, but it doesn’t have to be.                    application. You can apply for the PIN
                                                                         number online from the
The best way to combat                                                   FAFSA website.
FAFSA stress is to be                 To make the whole
prepared.      First, gather the        process simpler,                 If you prefer to fill out the
documents you’ll need: Social          FAFSA allows the                  FAFSA by hand, you can
security #, Driver’s License (if                                         print it and mail it on your
any), W-2 forms or other             entire form to be filled own. But applying online is
records of money earned,                     out online.                 highly recommended and
2008 Federal Income Tax                                                  considerably faster. If you
Return,      Parents’    Federal                                         can’t apply for a PIN for
Income Tax Returns, 2008 untaxed income             some reason, you can fill out everything but
records, Current Bank Statements, and               the signatures online and send the signature
Permanent Resident card (if you are not a           page separately.             But your FAFSA
US citizen).                                        application will NOT be processed until they
                                                    have your signatures!
This may seem like a lot of information, but
most of it is used to project how much              Once you have everything prepared, you
money you and your family make. If you’re           can begin filling out the FAFSA. It’s best to
dependent (i.e. if you’re not paying for            get started early so you don’t need to rush.
college on your own), then most of this             If you’re filling it out online, you can actually
information will come from your parents or          save your application and come back to it
legal guardian. Talk to your parents about          later (as long as it’s within 45 days). When
these documents and how you can get a               you’re filling it out, it might seem
hold of them. If you are unsure about your          excruciating and sometimes very confusing.
dependency, go to the FAFSA website and             But it’s important to know that the resources
fill out the “Dependency Status Worksheet”          you need are here to help you so don’t
which will tell you whether they will need          hesitate to use them. Good luck!
your parents’ information or yours.
                                                    Preparing for college can be daunting
One of the best ways to be prepared is to           and overwhelming but WYEP is here to
know your deadlines. FAFSA deadlines                help!
are available on their website, but your state
or school might have a different deadline so
check with your school or guidance
counselor to make sure. Some schools
have deadlines for when the FAFSA is
processed rather than when you complete it,

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