A longer application season — now beginning on Oct. 1 — means FAFSA filing time has arrived for families who want to learn earlier about college financial aid for the 2017-18 academic year.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, determines which students qualify for federal grants, student loans and work-study jobs, as well as eligibility for many private awards.
Financial aid from federal and college sources is most often awarded in the order in which the forms are submitted, so file as soon as you can. Here’s how to get the most from your FAFSA.
Understand the basics
The purpose of the FAFSA is to calculate your expected family contribution, or EFC — the amount the government believes your family can contribute for college that year.
Based primarily on your family’s income and assets, the EFC qualifies students for federal grants, loans and work-study programs. It’s also one of the primary factors used by colleges to determine how much your family can pay when set against the cost of that school and how much the college will contribute to your total aid package.
Unlike student loans, grants need not be repaid, though some conditions may apply. Before filing, families can get an estimate of your EFC by contact us:
Hoang Le Tax, Insurance & Financial Services
404 International Blvd, Oakland CA 94606
Office: (510) 433-5047 | Cell: (510) 697-9559
Fax: (510) 779-5588 | Email: [email protected]
While most families can’t change their income, they can maximize their federal aid eligibility by filing the FAFSA as early as possible and by transferring or spending assets held in the student’s name.
Dependent undergrads, regardless of their family’s income, can receive up to $23,000 in subsidized Stafford loans over 4 years, reports the U.S. Department of Education, while families with adjusted gross incomes of $40,000 or less can usually expect some federal grant aid, says Walker.