Not that long ago, I was a student in college. And every year, my parents and I faced the dread of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA. The purpose of FAFSA is to determine how much your family will be responsible for contributing to college education each year. Here are some tips on how to make the most of filing: 

The FASFA form opens and can be completed for the next academic year as early as Oct. 1 each year. Some aid is given on a first-come, first-served basis or may have limited funding. Applying as close as possible to Oct. 1 can help register your family’s eligibility for additional aid before it runs out. 

Some family assets are not required to be listed on the FAFSA. This includes retirement plans, the equity in your primary home and a small business owned and controlled by your family. Many families believe they own too much to receive aid without realizing most of your assets could be excluded from these calculations. 

•Don’t miss the deadline. If you didn’t complete the form early, still be sure to file by your state’s deadline. You can visit fafsa.gov/deadline to see when you have to file the form. 

Remember, fafsa.gov does not require you to pay any fees to file their aid form. Do not file on a website that asks you to submit payment to complete the form. 

Simple errors can often get in the way of timely filing. Be sure to check your work. Make sure you don’t leave any blank fields. Confirm all information listed is accurate and also confirm that you have signed the application. You don’t want to miss out on crucial dollars from an easily fixable error. 

Good luck to all the parents and students completing the FAFSA forms this year, and reach out to us at oXYGen Financial if you have any questions about filing.

Allison Baines, Wealth plan design specialist at oXYGen Financial. Co-host of “They Don’t Teach You This” podcast. Connect with her at anye@oxygenfinancial.net.

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