Growing up as the oldest of four kids in my family, going to college was something that my parents always stressed was important, and was a must-do. One of the processes I went through when enrolling for college, was filling out my Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so that I could find a way to pay for my college plans. I had learned of the FAFSA from my mom and from friends. There are so many amazing benefits available to people who truly have a financial need and want to further their education. I found the entire process exciting and very easy to navigate.
I was able to go to college and graduate with a degree in Communication Studies, largely in part due to the financial aid I received as a result of completing the FAFSA. It's an amazing resource and is open and free for ALL to apply. There are several things to keep in mind when considering the FAFSA:
- It is important for you to complete the FAFSA as early as possible using your most recent tax returns.
- Filing your FAFSA as early as possible is a good idea so that you can get a jump on other financial aid applications (state or institutional aid) that may have early deadlines.
- The FAFSA is available online fafsa.gov.
- Before you apply, you’ll need to create a FSA ID and collect the documents you need to get started.
Today there are so many other great resources in addition to the FAFSA site that can help students realize their dreams of going to college. BigFuture and the CollegeGo app provide more information about paying for college and finding scholarships.
And, the College Board has also created Spanish language resources for parents and families to help their children plan for college:
Family Action Plan_11th Grade Spanish
Family Action Plan_12th Grade Spanish
Do you or someone you know have questions about the financial aid process? These helpful Financial Aid FAQs will help guide you in the right direction.
If you or someone you know is considering going to college and are unsure of where to start, I promise that starting with your FAFSA is an easy, painless, and stress-free place to start. I hope you'll take the first step and complete the FAFSA today!
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.