GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – FAFSA Day is Saturday, October 26 and the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) wants college seniors and their parents to be prepared.
Parents and students will receive free assistance to help with the completion of the FAFSA form.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines a student’s eligibility for both state and federal financial aid including loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study funds.
Every family is encouraged to fill out the FAFSA form when applying to college because it gives them access to $120 billion in funds.
FAFSA Day will be from 9 am to 12 pm at various colleges and universities across the state.
MISTAKES TO AVOID:
The CFNC says some families make mistakes when it comes to the application.
The first and biggest mistake is not completing the form.
“Some parents are reluctant to completing the FAFSA because they’re thinking ‘well I’m not gonna get any financial aid.’ You won’t know if you don’t apply,” said Sarita Broadway, the CFNC regional representative.
Another mistake is not utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
The tool pulls information from your 2018 taxes and inserts them into the FAFSA form to decrease the chance of errors being made.
Waiting too long to fill out the form could cost you because the state of North Carolina and some of its colleges and universities distribute funds on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“Many times parents will wait until the last minute to complete the FAFSA form, maybe the latter part of the spring or the summer,” said Broadway. “Now you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline set by the college or university and you’ve missed out on some institutional monies.”
According to Broadway, the state of NC no longer has a FAFSA deadline, but some colleges and universities do.
Check directly with the school to find out the deadline.
PREPARE FOR FAFSA DAY:
Ahead of FAFSA Day, you should have a few things ready to go.
First, have your Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID) on file before attending a FAFSA day event.
The link to create an FSA ID is here.
Additionally, bring your 2018 tax information with you in the form of a W-2 or 1040 tax form.
Find a FAFSA Day event near you.
CFNC has a map of all colleges and universities participating in FAFSA day by county.
You can find the map here.
AFTER FAFSA DAY:
After completing and submitting your FAFSA form, parents are encouraged to fill out the Residence Determination Service (RDS) application to determine eligibility for in-state tuition and state grants.
Broadway encourages parents and students to check out CFNC’s website, CFNCF.org.
It has handfuls of free resources to help apply, prepare, plan and pay for college.