Seven legal ways to get more training money from the state
When completing the 10 application pages for federal student assistance (FAFSA) in 2016-2017, note the hints hidden in the 103 questions. Correct answers can dramatically increase the amount of help you receive as a result.
Time Gathered seven legal ways to help get more money for the federal student assistance program and realize your dream of a prestigious education.
Choose the right program for you.
The federal student assistance program qualifies you and your parents based on many criteria, regardless of whether your family is rich or not. Students from families earning more than 200 thousands of dollars a year often claim the help that is provided to financially needy students. But students from families who earn more than they need to apply for federal student aid should go to federal student loans and assistance programs issued by the FAFSA, but excluding family income.
You can print a PDF and fill out an application for paper. But the online version makes the process easier and faster. In addition, the online version will automatically import your tax information, which will also significantly speed up the process.
Do not delay filling the application in the back box
Fill out the 2016-17 form in early February if you live in one of the 17 states with early financial assistance application deadlines. Some of these states are quickly running out of money for the program through First Fill Out, First Received, so submit your application right away even if you don't have your 2015 tax information. You can complete the 2016-17 form in January based on your 2014 tax return. Then, when you complete your 2015 return, the data on the FAFSA website can be updated or corrected.
According to the study, those who submitted applications before March 30 receive two times more money than those who did it later.
Refine your family relationships
Questions 16 and 59 are about the student's and parent's marital status as of the date of application. This information is necessary in order to understand whether the income of both parents should be considered as a student's financial resource. If the parents are divorced, then the income of only one of them is taken into account - the one with whom the child spends more time, if the other parent does not live in the same house. In other words, divorced parents are better off moving apart for the federal student aid application process.
Some states and colleges offer extra help for children whose parents did not graduate. Questions 24 and 25 are about the parents' higher education level, which they have completed. So, if one or both of the parents attended college or just one credit was not enough for a bachelor's degree, feel free to tick the box next to the level of "school education".
Pay debts and bills
41 and 90 questions relate to what kind of cash savings and current bank accounts the student and parents have at the time of filling out the application. But note that there are no questions about your debts or underpaid bills. If you have a reserve of cash, use it to pay off credit cards and car loans before you apply for federal student assistance.
Hide your investment
42, 43, 91, and 92 questions relate to student and parent investment. But many do not understand that this information should not be included in the application, which should determine the amount of monetary assistance from the state. So, if you have a lot of money in a non-retirement account, repay the mortgage with them ahead of time or withdraw from the account (if possible) before the end of the application process for student assistance.
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