If you will be applying for financial aid soon, take a look at this CBS MoneyWatch article for some tips about avoiding common financial aid mistakes. For those of you needing financial aid at Longwood, here’s some advice for you:
- The only application you need to fill out for need-based financial aid and/or federal student loans is the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Check out the application at www.fafsa.gov. This application is free and you should never have to pay to file a FAFSA. Avoid websites like www.fafsa.COM which charge you to file.
- File your FAFSA by March 1st in order to ensure receipt of all available funds. Most grant funds are awarded on a first-come first-serve basis until funds are exhausted. Even if you have not filed your taxes, you should estimate financial figures to complete the FAFSA and then update them once you do file taxes. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool makes updating your FAFSA as easy as a click of a button.
- Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) to check for mistakes. The Department of Education makes your Student Aid Report (SAR) available for you to view shortly after you file the FAFSA. This SAR is a summary of everything you put on the FAFSA as well as any comments regarding missing or incorrect information. Reviewing the SAR as soon as it is available and making appropriate corrections can greatly reduce delays in processing and awarding of financial aid.
- If you need help, ask. The Financial Aid staff at Longwood University are happy to help you navigate this process. If you feel your EFC is unreasonable or that your FAFSA results do not accurately portray your family’s financial circumstances, we may be able to help with that, too. Call us, email the office, or stop by for a visit.
- The Virginia Association of Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA) will hold a state-wide SUPER SATURDAY event February 9th where financial aid professionals will personally help you file your FAFSA. See VASFAA’s website for times and locations.