The FAFSA is the Free Application For Federal Student Aid. It is the application you must complete during your senior year. It is the basis on which all federal aid and much of the other student aid is based. You don’t have to wait until your senior year to find out how much student aid you may revceive.
The FAFSA4CASTER is an online financial aid forcaster. It is easy to use, secure and a great way to plan ahead in you junior year or even before. You can find out how much you and your family will be expected to contribute and then set up strategies make your goal. Perhaps one of the most important pieces of information you will get is whether or not you are PELL Grant eligible. The PELL Grant is a need grant up to $5500.
You don’t need your tax forms yet and you can put in different scenarios of future income to predict financial aid.
At the top o f the page you can enter the school’s cost of attendance. There are fields where you can enter the amount of scholarship or grants you can expect to get (if any). You can also enter the amount of money (if any) you have saved for college. You can go back and change the amount you put in the fields to see how that changes the amount provided.
Finally, at the bottom of the page the FAFSA4CASTER summarizes the cost, the total aid entered and the expect family or student contribution (EFC). It is important to remember that this is only an estimate of the amounts you may receive and the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC).
Use this great tool. You can go back and change the numbers and play with different costs of schools. It is a great way to find out how much college can cost and how much you may be expected to pay. And when you are finished the work you have done will transfer right over to the FAFSA you can complete during your senior year.
© 2013 Roger D. Chamberlain