Jini Thorton wants all families to be prepared for the 2022-2023 FAFSA deadline. To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school. To be considered for the best financial aid options you need to start preparing NOW! Listen to the audio above for tips and common mistakes to avoid. The deadline is October 1, 2022 so be sure to get ahead of the game.
Headkrack: Now all those students just went back to college, the financial aid season for next year, Fall 2023, spring 2024 school year starts next month. And we got to get the kids ready, man, what should they be doing Jini?
Jini Thorton: You know, I am so happy we’re talking about this because people are always confused about the date. So yes, Fall 22 just started. But October 1st, financial aid forms for Fall 2023 Come out. In two weeks, those forms come out. So it’s super important not only that we know that the forms are coming out. But we have got to get the FAFSA, that Free Application for Federal Student Aid, we need to get that completed the first week of October.
Lore’l: So what are the mistakes that like families make regarding the financial aid process?
Jini Thorton: Well, number one, obviously just kind of waiting on completing the FAFSA forms, because some people are like, hey, it’s October, not that big of a deal, I could get it done November, December, January, should not do that that money is actually distributed first come first serve, so the people who get in line earlier, get their forms completed earlier, are going to have access to what you remember, that’s that Pell grant money. That’s that work, study money, you can’t even get student loans without completing the FAFSA. So you definitely want to get it done early. Another thing that people do wrong is a lot of times parents will own the entire process and not involve their student, your student has to know what’s going on. Or I also see the vice versa, where parents are like, look, this is your degree, I don’t have nothing to do with this.
Headkrack: Okay, now Jini, what advice do you have for parents whose children and seniors in high school aren’t sure where they’re going to attend school, they don’t think they need to complete the FAFSA so early?
Jini Thorton: You can select up to 10 schools. So if you’re not sure where your student is going to go, that’s fine. And then you can even amend the form later, if you need to add a few additional schools in a couple of months, you can certainly do that. But again, even if you’re not sure that your student is going to college, please get that FAFSA done.
Lore’l: And what did a best websites for families to use to educate themselves about the wholefinancial financial aid process?
Jini Thorton: You want to get clear on what is expected of you with information that you’re going to have to report. There’s a couple of sites that I suggest people go to one is student aid, that gov studentaid.gov This is the actual site that you go to to complete the FAFSA form And you can also go to my site at thankmelater.money again. We have some great content out there on the financial aid process.
Headkrack: If parents are divorced, right, have never been married, which parents should be responsible for completing the FAFSA, just to make sure you know, to give us the most bang for the buck?
Jini Thorton: What the law says is the custodial parent, so the parent that the child spends the majority of the time with, they should be completing the form. Now what also creates an issue? Let’s assume it’s the mother, but also let’s assume that the mother is remarried. Guess what? That new spouse has information that has to go on the FAFSA form too. So that’s where a lot of people create an issue and even stall the process, y’all let’s get all that family stuff worked out. So by October 1, we’re ready to go.
Lore’l: Alright, so one of our listeners get their financial aid award letter back. And they don’t agree with the amount of aid they’ve been given. What should they do in that case?
Jini Thorton: A lot of families don’t realize you can actually file an appeal and what that means is you have received your, it’s called your EFC, your expected family contribution and you’re just like, this is not enough. You file an appeal directly with the school, you do not file that with the FASFA, you do not file that with the federal government. And each school has a separate or a different appeal process. But please feel free to file the appeal but you’re gonna have to backup what you’re saying…and here’s the proof of what we’re saying.
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