Maximizing Federal Financial Aid for College Students | FAFSA Tips

Hello wealth builders and welcome back to
the bemused where we’re making sense of all things money if you’re a young adult
just like me who wants to learn how to build wealth and make smart financial
decisions then start by hitting that subscribe button and turning on post
notifications so that you never miss a beat
it’s October 2nd which means that the FAFSA opened up yesterday for the 2019
2020 school year college is expensive y’all so today I’m teaching you guys
three ish simple tips for the FAFSA to help you maximize your financial aid and
get as much money as you can let’s get started tip number one just do it fill out the
FAFSA this might seem obvious to lot of you guys but as someone who worked in my
colleges financial aid office for the majority of my undergraduate career I
cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard students make misguided excuses
for not filling out the FAFSA oh my parents make too much money I’m not
gonna qualify for anything I don’t know what school I’m going to yet so they got
the FAFSA too long too complicated I didn’t qualify for aid last year so it
doesn’t make any sense filling it out this year my parents aren’t US citizens
so I’m not gonna get any aid first of all stop it now all the statements I
just made are faulty and let me know in the comments if you’d like me to do a
separate video debunking these common financial aid myths the point is just fill
out the FAFSA guys it certainly can’t hurt and the more likely outcome is that
it will actually help you tip number to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible
now technically the deadline to fill out the FAFSA for the 2019 2020 school year
is June 30th of 2020 and I say technically because the school must have
it by the last day of enrollment for that school year so if your school ends
on May 1st of 2020 then that is technically your official FAFSA deadline
for that school year however many states have their own deadlines and so if
you’re going to a school in the state that you actually live in it’s even more
important for you to pay attention to those that
I know a lot of our viewers live in New York and so the state of New York’s
FAFSA deadline is actually the federal deadline of June 30th 2024 my DC
residents your FAFSA is due by May 1st of 2019 if you want priority
consideration for state aid and if you’re eligible for the DC tuition
assistance grant or the DCTAG for short you need to make sure that you
fill out your DC one app by May 31st of 2019 so that you don’t miss out on back
either and for all my Marylanders your FAFSA is due by March 1st of 2019 and
that might sound so far away but March 1st is literally in five months guys
it’s not a lot of time where are you watching this video from comment below
let us know where you’re at and I’ll drop a link in the description below so
that you can find out what your state’s deadline is but akiva what if I’m not
going to school or the same thing I live in you ask well you don’t get off that
easy in addition to state deadlines many schools have their institutional FAFSA
deadlines so the point is to make sure you get your FAFSA completed as soon as
possible and the prior prior year rules that were enacted a couple years ago
means that you get to use 2017 tax information for the 2019 2020 FAFSA
making it even easier for you to complete your FAFSA early remember when
it comes to the FAFSA the early bird gets the worm tip number three is to
avoid common pitfalls and I’m gonna share four common pitfalls with you guys
so I said this is three ish it’s the first pitfall is not using the
IRS data retrieval tool a lot of people are very concerned about the accuracy of
their FAFSA and they say it’s too long and too hard to fill out yet
many people don’t use this valuable tool so the data retrieval tool or DRT for
short allows you to seamlessly import your tax return information into your
FAFSA keep in mind that not everybody is eligible to use this tool depending on
your filing status and I’ll drop a link in the description below to show you
whether or not you are eligible to use this data retrieval tool on your FAFSA
now also remembering that you’re using 2017 tax information for something
that’s occurring in 2019 2020 also remember that if you or your family
experienced a significant change to your financial situation like you know a
parent lost a job or unusual circumstance like maybe 2017 was just an
abnormally high income year for taxes but that’s usually not how it is from
year to year or maybe other unusual circumstances like tuition expenses at
elementary and secondary schools or high medical expenses contact the financial
aid office of the school you plan to attend they have the ability to make
what’s called a professional judgment on a case by case basis and they can
actually go in and adjust your need I must stress this is on a case by case
basis only they’re not obligated to do this and whatever decision they make is
final and you can’t appeal it with the Department of Education but it’s an
option and this is why my earlier tip about just filling out the FAFSA to
begin with is important if you never filled it out because you don’t get
parents made too much if things go south and you know your parent loses their job
or you know something catastrophic happens you’re out of luck you’ll miss
out on obtaining a lot of aid that you could have gotten how do you just fill
out the FAFSA in the first place this and common pitfall is over valuing
assets so on the FAFSA it will ask you about your assets about your parents
assets that’s essentially anything that you own so I ask you the balance we’re
checking accounts etc etc the FAFSA will tell you this when you go to complete it
but it’s important to also point out that those assets do not include the
home that you and your family live in does not include the value of life
insurance and it does not include retirement plans so they don’t care if
your parents or 401k millionaires it doesn’t count so don’t make the mistake
of over valuing you or your parents assets the third common pitfall that I
see a lot is mixing up the student and the parent information on the FAFSA and
that is a huge deal student income and assets way much more
heavily on the FAFSA than parental assets so if you are putting that you
are making you know a lot more money assuming your parents make a lot more
money than you do then that will drastically change your EFC in your
financial award package so make sure you’re putting the right people’s
information in the right boxes and the last pitfall I want to talk about is
under reporting your family size so on the FAFSA to ask you for your family
size so don’t forget anybody don’t leave anybody out that includes everybody in
your household you your parents your siblings even if your siblings don’t
live at home if your parents still take care of them at least 50% of their needs
you count them to remember to include everybody and it’ll also ask you how
many of those people are in college and that can make a significant impact on
your FAFSA and that is for anybody in your household that is enrolled at least
six credits or you anticipate that they will be enrolled in school for at least
six credits during the time that in school so in this case during the
2019 2020 school year and make sure to go back and update that if anything
changes no if mom and dad surprise you with another sibling make sure you
remember to add that on to your FAFSA go in and update things or even a cousin
Charlie who was supposed to be here for two weeks is now been here for 7 months
and is not intending on going anywhere and your parents or taking care of their
food housing in the shelter make sure you report them too so those are my tips
for filling out the FAFSA to ensure you get as much aid as possible
I’ll leave several links in the description below so that you can go and
learn more about everything we talked about in this video
and before you go we want to hear from you leave any of your financial aid
related questions in the comments below don’t forget to join the wealth builder
squad by hitting that subscribe button and hitting that Bell icon just turn on
notifications we’ll see you guys in the next video bye