Important-Financial Aid Edition

Getting Ready for October 1st and the FAFSA!!!


Regardless of what kind of college you are attending, the next step in the financial aid process is coming up fast. Mark your calendars for October 1st which is the first day the 2017-18 FAFSA will be open for completion. In this case the early bird does get the dollars (if the bird is eligible) so plan on completing this document as soon as you can after October 1st.
FAFSA for 2017-18

What you need to know about filing your FAFSA for 2017-18

Common FAFSA Questions Answered

What is it?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an online document that uses financial information to help colleges determine what your ultimate financial aid package is.

Is it hard to fill out?

Not really and it is easy once you get going. The form can link directly to the IRS website and it is very clear about what numbers it is looking for.

What am I applying for?

You are applying to see if you qualify for any grants (money that you do not have to pay back) and also to help colleges put together your financial aid package. The FAFSA determine what your family can contribute to your education so colleges need this number in order to offer financial aid.

Where do I find the FAFSA?

Only use the FAFSA through the Department of Education website which can be found HERE and below.

How do the colleges access my FAFSA?

You will need to find your college codes and and submit them with your FAFSA in order for the colleges to have access. You can find college FAFSA codes HERE.

Do I have to apply?

If you are planning on applying for financial aid from a college then the answer is yes. College will not be able to determine the amount of aid they can give you without a FAFSA.

Why is it a big deal to file as soon as possible after October 1st?

When you submit your FAFSA you will essentially be putting yourself 'in line' to receive any grant money (money that does not have to be paid back) that you are eligible for. If you are behind in line when the money runs out, you are out of luck. Also, colleges can't finish your financial aid package without this document and you can't find out what you will expect to pay.

What will I need to apply?

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Your most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID to sign electronically.

I see I need an FSA ID to electronically sign my FAFSA, should my parent make it?

NO! See below for a link to FSA ID info. It needs to be student information used to create the FSA ID.

What taxes do we use?

You will be using your 2015 taxes in order to file the FAFSA.

I know I won't qualify, should I apply any way?

YES! College often still require the document for completing financial aid packages. The only way you can be sure you do not need it is if you are paying out of pocket for college in total.

Do I apply if I haven't heard back from colleges that I have been admitted?

YES! The document needs to be available when the college is ready to process your financial aid and waiting could jeopardize your access to money.

What if I can't file it for some reason or our financial situation is complicated?

Call the your college(s) financial aid office and explain your situation.

Which parent's info do I use if my parents are not together?

See link below that says Family Situations and FAFSA

What if I start my FAFSA and find I have questions?

SEHS will be hosting the Student Assistance Commission on January 6th at 6 PM for a FAFSA completion workshop located in the Library. If you are having difficulty please attend this workshop. Experts will be available to help with your specific situations and questions. You can also go in to ECC and get help at any time, even if you are not planning on attending.

Start a FAFSA

Link to the Department of Education website

Create an FSA ID

This can be done know so you are ready to get your FAFSA done.

Need Help?

Financial Aid Presentation:

When: October 6th at 6:00 -8:00 PM

Where: South Elgin High School

Financial Aid Information: (Presentation in English and Spanish)

When: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 6:00 PM
Where: Elgin High School

College and Career 101 for Parents of High School Students:

When: October 20th at 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

Where: ECC - Building E, Seigle Auditorium

College Smart Fair

When: November 5, 2016 at 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Where: ECC, Building E

FASFA Completion Workshop:

When: October 12th and 19th at 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Where: South Elgin High School

What to bring: 2015 federal taxes and W2s.

FASFA Workshop:

When: October 27th 2:00 - 4:30 PM.

Where: Elgin High School

What to bring: 2015 federal taxes and W2s.

FASFA Workshop:

When: November 3rd 6 PM

Where: Elgin High School

What to bring: 2015 federal taxes and W2s.

ECC’s Financial Aid Department ( is always willing to work with any families in the community that need assistance with general financial aid information or filling out the FASFA. Please use them as a resource whether you child is planning to going to ECC or not.