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Last Minute FAFSA Checklist

Here’s a last minute guide/checklist for parents completing the FAFSA. The team at Top Test Prep has compiled this list to help parents navigate financial aid/college admissions.

1. Know your school’s deadlines!

For the 2012-2013 school year, you can submit the FAFSA using FAFSA on the Web from January 1, 2012 until June 30, 2013. The federal deadline to submit the application is midnight (Central Time) on June 30, 2013.

In addition to federal and state deadlines, the colleges you are applying to may have a priority deadline for those seeking financial aid. You can find out your schools’ deadlines by visiting their respective financial aid office websites. If you miss the priority deadline, it could delay the receipt of your financial aid award, or even worse, you may miss out on a financial aid award from the school even if you would otherwise be eligible.

2. Gather your financial information for the year prior to when you will start school (and your parents’ financial information if you are a dependent student) before you sit down to complete the application.

A useful tool in gathering all the information is the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet. To complete your FAFSA, you will need:
• Your Social Security Number
• Your driver’s license (if applicable)
• Your 2011 Forms W-2 and any other records of money earned (both taxed and untaxed)
• Your 2011 Federal Income Tax Return (If you are married, you will also need your spouse’s Federal Income Tax Return.)
• Your Parents’ 2011 Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student – ask your parents if they still claim you as a dependent on their tax return)
• Your current bank statements
• Your current business and investment records (if applicable)
• Your alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

3. Avoid waiting until the last minute to complete your FAFSA!

All the information you submit must be complete and accurate. Though the Department of Education allows corrections to the FAFSA, an improperly completed FAFSA could mean a delay or denial of your financial aid.

4. Familiarize yourself with the FAFSA on the Web (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/).

If you are in doubt about the FAFSA, there is no better place to find information than from the source itself. If you have questions about the FAFSA, you should browse the help section of FAFSA on the Web at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/help.htm. If you still have additional questions, you should contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center via live help, telephone, or e-mail. Contact information can be found at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/contact.htm.

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We hope that information was helpful. To learn more about Top Test Prep’s college admissions counseling and test prep tutoring, contact (800) 501-7737.