Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with The College Board and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Sending a child off to college can bring forth a variety of emotions. From sadness to joy to stress, the event is a big milestone in the life of both parents and children. Additionally, there is plenty to do before your child is ready to go to their first class. Determining how college will be paid for is often the first step after being accepted. Fortunately, The College Board offers resources for parents and families to help their children plan for college.
Keep College Dreams Alive with FASFA
When Cheyenne began the process of planning to attend college, we knew we had to find a way to make it work financially. After a meeting with a financial aid counselor, we immediately looked into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA became our saving grace. In fact, Cheyenne is in her 4th year of college and it’s the first year she had to look beyond the FASFA for financial assistance. Although the FASFA still provides part of her tuition needs.
One HUGE fact we learned early on with the FASFA is you need to complete the application as early as possible using your most recent tax returns. To begin, create a FSA ID and gather all the documents you will need to apply. This year, I made sure to remind Chey that October 1st was the first day to file the FAFSA. As she heads into the final semesters of her Bachelor’s Degree program, we needed to know how much she qualified for and how much she would need through other financial aid applications. With her rigorous degree plan and desire to hold on to her excellent GPA, the last thing I wanted her to stress over was her financial needs.
With almost $184 billion in financial aid available, most full-time college students receive some type of financial aid. For students such as my daughter, the assistance they receive can make the difference between getting a degree or not attending college at all. Colby and I simply never had the opportunity to create college funds for our children as we struggled from paycheck-to-paycheck. But, that should never stop a child from attending college and making a better path for themselves! Chey has never seen it as a reason to stop pursuing her own goals in life. In fact, it’s made her even more determined to be the first college graduate in our family! With an Associate’s Degree already under her belt, she is pressing on for more.
Utilizing resources such as the CollegeGo mobile app, high school students can find the essential steps they need to follow in the college application process. Also, students can visit BigFuture to search for and compare colleges, find scholarships, understand financial aid, navigate the college application process from start to finish, and receive personalized deadline reminders, tips, and guidance along the way. There are plenty of ways for students and their families to navigate the college journey so they don’t have to go at it alone.
Go ahead and take the first step by completing the FASFA today!