FAFSA: College Funding 101

If you have kids in high school but haven't heard about FAFSA or OSAC yet, it's time to learn.  Independent College Consultant, Marie Morris, stopped by to tell us what they are and how they could help us pay for college.

What is FAFSA?

  • FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it's the form you have to fill out to receive financial aid for college. The FAFSA will ask about the student's demographics, financial aid and grant eligibility, student dependency and student and parent financial info.

Why should I fill out the FAFSA?

  • Filing the FAFSA is the only way to qualify for federal and state financial aid, plus grants from most colleges. (Grant money does not have to be repaid!)

Who needs to fill out the FAFSA?

  • The application asks for information from both students and parents, especially when it comes to finances. (EVERYONE!)

What do I need to fill out the FAFSA?

How do I fill out the FAFSA?

  • It's easiest to fill out the application online because using an online form will yield a more accurate and quicker result. However, paper copies can be requested by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.

WHEN is the FAFSA due?

  • It is available after Jan 1 and should be filed in January.  Schools have different priority deadlines so best advice is to get it done in January.  Estimate taxes and then file an addendum when taxes are filed.

The FAFSA needs to be filled out every year.

Helpful Event:

  • PCC in conjunction with College Goal Oregon is hosting a free FAFSA day
  • January 5,
  • 9-noon,
  • Volunteers will help families complete their FAFSA. 
  • For more information click here.
     

Finding Scholarships through OSAC:

  • Oregon Student Access Commission (OSAC) is a clearing house for many college scholarships for Oregon residents. 
  • Students can apply online at www.getcollegefunds.org. 
  • There is an early bird drawing of $500 for applying before Feb 1.  This is for high school seniors as well as college students. 
  • Some of the scholarships are need based and some are merit, but all will require the FAFSA.
     

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