Filing the 2009 FAFSA Form: Part III

Filing the 2009 FAFSA Form: Part III

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Demonstration: How to File the FAFSA Form

Filing the FAFSA form is required for all students who anticipate to receive federal student aid. It is used by colleges to determine your financial aid eligibility for all federal student loans, grants and many non-federal college scholarships.

You can submit the FAFSA form anytime after January 01 for the year you plan to attend school. For 2009, your FAFSA form submission will cover aid requirements for the 2009-10 academic year (July 2009-June 2010). You should submit your FAFSA form as soon as possible. Colleges have submission deadlines including many state aid agencies.

We will review the paper worksheet for the FAFSA form. Use the paper form in this exercise as your worksheet. You can then use the worksheet once you are ready to file your FAFSA form electronically: download the paper FAFSA worksheet.

The application segregates the form using a color for parents: the section colored in purple is for the parent.

Let’s review the financial section of the application.

PARENT ASSET INFORMATION

questions 91-93:

These questions try to determine the total amount of assets your parents have.  As you can imagine, the less amount of assets, the more financial aid the student can be qualified.

The parent will take the information from their tax return and enter into each of boxes provided. If the answer is zero, enter zero. Don’t leave the questions blank.

The goal is to minimize the worth by the time you file the FAFSA form. Your best answer should be $0 or close to $0. But we know that any savvy parent will have savings. Our recommendation is to place the money elsewhere instead of bank accounts prior to submitting the FAFSA form.

Investments include real estate (not the home you live in), stocks, bond and other securities. This line item will also include 529 college savings plans and 529 pre-paid tuition plans. Parent’s financial investments are given less weight when considering financial aid than the student’s financial investments. We will review this later.

  • Important Note: If the student must report parental information on the FAFSA form, the value of all 529 plans owned by the parent must be reported as assets under the parent information. If the 529 account is owned by a student who must report parental information, the value of the account is not reported. If the account is owned by a student (or the student’s spouse) who is not reporting parental information, the value is to be reported as an investment for the student.

question 89: net worth does not include the farm or home that you reside. See notes on Page 3 of the paper application.

for questions 94-95:

You will need to turn to the worksheet on Page 8 to answer the next 2 questions. The right side (purple) is for the parents’ information. Most of these questions can be answered from your tax return. If the answer is zero, enter $0.

STUDENT FINANCIAL INFORMATION

(questions 34-45) These questions are about the student only. If the student is married, it includes the student and spousal information. It is highly recommended that you have your tax returns completed or nearly completed and ready to file prior to answering the next questions. It will avoid potential mistakes and filing delays.

question 34: students should always file a tax return even if you don’t have any income. A filed 1040 form with zero income will add additional documentation that demonstrates financial aid.

question 35: answer this question correctly. Basically, if the student makes less than $100,000, does not itemize deductions, does not receive income from his or her own business or farm and does not receive alimony, he or she is eligible to file 1040A or 1040EZ.

questions 36-38: this information is from your W-2, or from your IRS Form 1040 – lines 7 + 12 + 18 + Box 14 of IRS Schedule K-1; or from 1040-A, line 7; or from 1040EZ, line 1. (questions 40-42) These are critical questions when estimating your eligible financial aid. So answer the questions correctly. Don’t leave it blank. If zero, enter $0.

You will need to turn to the worksheet on Page 8 of the worksheet. The left side of the worksheet is for the student and the student’s spouse if married. The right side is for the parent if the parent is required to file this form.

questions 41-43:

The goal is to minimize the worth by the time you file the FAFSA form. Your best answer should be $0 or close to $0. Our recommendation is to place the money elsewhere instead of bank accounts prior to submitting the FAFSA form.

Investments include real estate (not the home you live in), stocks, bond and other securities. This line item will also include 529 college savings plans and 529 pre-paid tuition plans.

PARENT HOUSEHOLD

These are questions about your parents’ household and residency status

question 96: this includes yourself and your parents, even if you don’t live with them. It also includes:

  • all siblings if the parents provide more than 50% support (even if the siblings don’t live with the parents)
  • any other persons if your parents provide more than 50% support (i.e., grandparents or relatives)
  • any new persons living with your parents where the parent will provide more that 50% support from July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009 (i.e., babies on the way). The more you can list within the household, the better.

question 97: this number should never be zero. The number should include the student and any other students from question 66 who will be attending college from July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.

LIST OF COLLEGES

SECTION 5

You will now list the colleges or universities that will receive your FAFSA information. Colleges use this information to develop a financial aid package upon your acceptance. How Many Colleges: if you submit your FAFSA form online, you can add up to 10 colleges. The maximum number of college submissions is 10. If you add more than 10, it will replace the original 10 that you had entered.

It is best to enter the school code to avoid entering in the full name of the college and address. You can find the school code at: FAFSA school code listing.

That’s it. It’s a big form. But if you and your parents have all of the documentation ready, it should be fairly easy to fill out. Next time, we will review tips on how best to maximize your financial aid eligibility.

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Categories: College Planning