If you have children in or going to post-secondary school for the 2019-2020 school year, now is the time to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly referred to as the FAFSA. The filing period begins October 1 each year of the year prior to attending college.
Why complete the form, let alone early? In order to gain access to federal financial aid the student and parents need to complete and submit the FAFSA. And, some schools set priority deadlines for financial aid, first-come, first-served. Some parents ask if it is necessary "to go through the hassle" if they don't expect financial aid because of their high income or assets. The short answer is absolutely, YES, regardless of income or financial assets. Remember, federal financial aid includes federal student loans, which are generally available to anyone. And, while you may not need it now, you never know what the future may hold.
I am no fan to more paperwork, but honestly, this form is not all that complicated and takes far less time than you think. I find the most complicated part to be remembering the password that I only use once per year. The form has been streamlined, and if you file online you can connect to the IRS to pull in your tax return information. And now there is even a phone app called myStudentAid. There are plenty of help buttons in the online FAFSA to explain the questions, or contact your SWA Advisor for assistance.