Smart Money Moves

Scholarships and Financial Aid Newsletter

  • What is the Finish the FAFSA Agreement?
  • Three ways the FAFSA can help you pay for College
  • Filling out the FAFSA in 3 Easy Steps
  • How NC Residency Determination (RDS) can Impact your Tuition Costs
  • Have Financial Aid Questions? Get connected with Ashly Wilson, Crosby Scholars Financial Aid Coordinator

What is the Finish the FAFSA Agreement?

Parents, if you have logged into your Crosby Scholars Student Portal recently, you may have noticed a new pop-up box asking you to provide your consent for the Crosby Scholars Finish the FAFSA Agreement.

What is Crosby Scholars Finish the FAFSA and why should you care?

Crosby Scholars Finish the FAFSA Agreement allows Crosby Scholars Financial Aid Coordinator to provide support to students and families who need help submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, during their senior year in high school. The Finish the FAFSA Agreement DOES NOT disclose any personal financial information. The Finish the FAFSA Agreement does not disclose any information on family or student income, citizenship information, social security numbers or any other personally identifiable information. The Finish the FAFSA Agreement data is not used for any purpose other than to offer students assistance with FAFSA completion. The Finish the FAFSA data will not be used to identify your student in any way.

Crosby Scholars Financial Aid Coordinator will only be able to confirm if your student has submitted and signed their FAFSA form, or if they have been selected for an additional FAFSA screening process called Verification. Crosby Scholars Financial Aid Coordinator will then contact your or your student to offer assistance with completion.

Submitting a FAFSA is a critical step toward creating a financial plan for college. The Finish the FAFSA Agreement allows Crosby Scholars Financial Aid Coordinator to provide one-on-one professional Financial Aid support to your family. Let us help you create your plan to pay for college by answering 'Yes' to the Finish the FAFSA Agreement inside your Crosby Scholars Parent Portal today.

Please contact Ashly Wilson at 336-725-5371 or with any questions.

Three Ways the FAFSA Can Help You Pay for College

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is critical in determining how to pay for college by allowing you to find out which types and how much Federal Student Aid you may qualify for.

The FAFSA is quick, FREE, and is also mobile-friendly, which means you can now complete and submit your application all on your smartphone. The 22-23 FAFSA is available online on the Federal Student Aid Website beginning October 1st 2021.

If you are not sure how FAFSA can help you pay for college, check out these three ways the FAFSA can help.

1. The FAFSA grants access to federal, state, and school-based financial aid

Filling out the FAFSA is the only way to be considered for Federal Student Aid, and will also allow you the chance to be eligible for state grants and school-based, or Institutional Aid.

The FAFSA asks for personal information, along with data on your parents’ income, tax status, and assets.

You’ll also need to meet a few basic FAFSA requirements, such as:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be on track for your high school diploma
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (if your GPA falls too low in college, you’ll lose your eligibility for federal student aid)

The Office of Federal Student Aid looks at the FAFSA to determine how much your family can pay for college. Then, each college that accepts you uses the FAFSA to put together your financial aid award.

Every college has a different budget, so your financial aid package will look different from one school to another. At one school, you might be offered several scholarships or grants (i.e., free money), while another might only offer student loans you’ll have to pay back.

The majority of this aid will come from the federal government, but some might come from your state or even the college itself. Note that some colleges require an additional form, known as the CSS Profile, before doling out their own grants or loans.

Look at a list of participating colleges to make sure your school requires the CSS Profile before you submit it. The cost to submit a CSS Profile is $25 with each additional school listed costing $16.

2. The FAFSA provides your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Although your financial aid offers might vary from school to school, one point will stay the same: your Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. Your EFC is an index used by your Schools Financial Aid Office to determine how much and what types of Aid you are eligible for.

The Office of Federal Student Aid looks at the information you provide on the FAFSA to calculate your EFC. Colleges look at your EFC to determine your eligibility for financial aid. For example, let’s say a college costs $32,000 per year, and your annual EFC is $20,000. In this case, you would have a $12,000 gap in funding.

Some colleges may generously fill in this gap with grants and scholarships. Others will offer you a mix of grants and loans. Schools with a smaller budget might not be able to fill in the entire gap with federal financial aid.

If that’s the case, you’ll have to take extra steps as you figure out how to pay for college. You could apply for more Scholarships, apply for a private student loan for extra funding, or you might choose a different school with lower tuition costs.

Note that you should fill out the FAFSA even if your family has a high income, since not all aid is based on financial need.

Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for financial aid, it’s a good idea to submit the FAFSA every year you’ll be attending college.

3. Some scholarship organizations also consider your FAFSA

Colleges aren’t the only institutions that look at your FAFSA before granting you financial aid. Some Need Based Scholarships will also ask for your FAFSA data to ensure that you meet the criteria for demonstrating financial need. Make sure that you fill out the FAFSA as early as you can, so you won't miss out on Scholarship opportunities that may help you pay for college.

Filling out the FAFSA in 3 Easy Steps

Now that you know why you should fill out a FAFSA, you may be wondering how to fill it out. Don't worry, filling out the FAFSA is quick and easy!

1. Signing up for an FSA ID

Both you AND your parent will need to sign up for an FSA ID. (Only one parent will need to sign up, not both.) The FSA ID is the legal equivalent of your written signature, and allows you to electronically sign your FAFSA. Signing electronically is the easiest and quickest way for you and your parents to submit your FAFSA.

Get started on creating your FSA ID's here. The 2022-23 FAFSA application will open for applicants on October 1, 2021.

**Be aware that each of your target schools will have a Priority Filing Deadline for Financial Aid, which can vary by each school and be as early as December 1st. The best way to make sure that you meet those deadlines is to file your FAFSA as early as possible after October 1st.**

2. Gathering Tax Return Documents & Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)

The 2022-23 FAFSA requires the use of the student and parent(s) 2020 Tax Return information. Please note, you will not be able to use any other Tax Return year.

Once you begin filling out the FAFSA, you will be asked for personal information and questions about the student and parents tax filing status. While you can manually type in the information as reported on your IRS Tax Form 1040, be very careful that you do not mistype any numbers or make a mistake when entering the data. Simple typing mistakes could create issues with your FAFSA later on. The easiest way to be sure that your Tax Information is reported accurately is to the use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) allows you to import the student and parents 2020 Tax Information directly into the FAFSA by asking you to validate information printed on your IRS Tax Form 1040. Using the IRS DRT is quick and accurate, and greatly reduces the chance that your FAFSA may be selected for additional Verification. Verification is a process where your School is required to ask you for additional documentation that supports the information you reported on your FAFSA. This process can sometimes take several weeks to complete and can delay processing of your Financial Aid.

3. Filling out & submitting the FAFSA

Set aside time to sit down with your parent(s) and log into the FAFSA by going to Make sure to log in using the students FSA ID. Read and answer each question carefully. When progressing to the Financial Information section of the FAFSA, try to use the IRS DRT as discussed above. If you cannot use the IRS DRT, then carefully enter all requested Tax Information. After answering all of the questions, both the student AND a parent will sign and submit the FAFSA.

After the FAFSA application has been submitted, you will not be able to make any edits for several days while it processes. Within 5-7 business days, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of information reported on the FAFSA.

Read and review your Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy, and always remember to keep a copy for your records.

How NC Residency Determination (RDS) can Impact your Tuition Costs

You may already know that you need to complete the North Carolina Residency Determination Service or RDS interview once you begin filling out your college admission applications. While this is true, you also need to complete the RDS interview to know if qualify for In-State Tuition costs.

Under North Carolina law, in order to qualify for In-State Tuition, you will need to show that you have established your legal residence in North Carolina and have maintained that residence for a certain period of time before enrolling in College. If you forget to complete the RDS interview, you may be subject to paying Out-Of-State Tuition costs, which can be significantly more expensive.

Completing your Residency Determination is quick and easy, and can be completed entirely online. Click HERE for details and to get started!

Have questions about Financial Aid?

Do you have questions about Financial Aid, the FAFSA, or Scholarships? Contact our Financial Aid Coordinator, Ashly Wilson, at or 336-725-5371 to schedule a Zoom meeting to discuss.