One simple but significant change in family circumstances that impacts aid is an increase in the number of children in your family attending college in a given year. If a college raises tuition, room, board, fees, etc., it must then adjust its COA (Cost of Attendance) which in turn affects the formula it uses to determine need-based aid.Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution, generated by the information you enter on the FAFSA) is also adjusted each year by the federal government using current statistical data.For the schools that require the CSS/PROFILE, your student’s eligibility for merit aid is directly tied to this form.
Your student can access the form and its information by using the FSA ID that they used the previous year to file.
Gather all documents, personal and financial, and prepare in advance by using the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet.
It gives them more time to compare financial aid awards and to appeal awards before accepting a spot at a college.
The CSS/PROFILE is used by hundreds of private colleges and some public flagship universities to determine a student’s eligibility for the institution’s own grants and scholarships (which may be need-based, merit aid or a combination).
The CSS/PROFILE must be completed every year as well.
Once your student has logged in to their account with their username and password, they can download a printable application worksheet that will help them gather all the pertinent information for renewal.
Information will also be available on the college or university’s Financial Aid Office webpage.
A problem with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool this past year has changed the way that tool is used to help students and families import tax return information directly into the FAFSA.
The earlier availability of the FAFSA means that colleges can offer a financial aid award at the same time that they offer admission to an applicant.
This is an advantage for students applying to college.
Remember: If selected for Verification, the documentation that will need to be provided has changed.