You don’t need to figure this all out on your own! We have numerous district programs to help understand the financial aid process (See the dates below). Parents can plan to begin attending these programs during their children’s freshman and sophomore years in order to prepare appropriately for college. See the schedule below for the various financial aid workshops and sessions.
www.fafsa.ed.gov - The Federal Government’s website for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
www.studentaid.ed.gov – The Department of Education’s informational website for planning for and funding post-high school education
www.collegeillinois.org - The State of Illinois’ website for students and parents. It has resources on many different topics related to college planning and paying for college.
www.fafsa4caster.gov – Great website to get an estimate of how much financial aid you may qualify for. This will include estimates of grants, loans, and work study.
www.pin.ed.gov – Get your pin number for the FAFSA on the Web.
http://mappingyourfuture.org/paying/debtwizard/index.cfm - How much debt is safe for college loansω Look at this website for information.
www.studentaid.ed.gov/guide - A comprehensive guide about the federal student aid programs. It is available in English and Spanish.
About Financial Aid:
Financial Aid is a federally funded program. To qualify, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The federal government prefers the online version, and you will get a faster response if you file online. You can fill out the FAFSA beginning January 1 of your senior year.
IT IS BEST TO COMPLETE THE FAFSA IN JANUARY OR FEBRUARY! Do not wait until April to complete your FAFSA. Many colleges have deadlines for financial aid, and the money will get allocated to those who apply early. Thus, you and your parents will need to use ESTIMATES of your income.
To complete the FAFSA, you will need to do several things:
- Get a Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Both the student and the parent need a PIN of their own. If the parents are divorced, the parent who the student lives with needs a PIN. You can get a pin in two ways:
a. Go to www.pin.ed.gov.
You will need the following to apply for your PIN:
Full Legal Name (no nicknames)
Date of Birth
Social Security Number
You can apply for a PIN anytime, but you should definitely apply for one before December 15th so you can receive your PIN before January 1 of your senior year.
b. If you would like a prediction or estimate of how much financial aid you might qualify for, you can go towww.fafsa4caster.gov. You can get a pin number through FAFSA4caster, as well.
- Complete a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet.
This worksheet will help you organize your information so that you can complete the FAFSA on the web.
- Complete the FAFSA as early as January 1 of your senior year.
Read the following two articles for questions to ask yourself and colleges regarding financing college:
Twenty Things You Need to Know About Financing College
Getting the Information you need about Financial Aid: Questions to Ask Colleges
District Financial Aid Programs for 2013-2014
Need help with financial aidω Attend the MaineTownship programs to get a clear understanding of what financial aid involves and how to apply.
Financial Aid Speaker at College Night (Maine West)
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
2 Sessions in English: 6:45 PM and 7:45 PM
1 Session in Spanish: 6:45 PM
Financial Aid Planning Night @ Maine South
January 8, 2014
4 sessions to choose from:
1. College Financial Aid: Plan Ahead! - For parents of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors
2. Habrá una sessión de ayuda financiera en español
3. Zebranie odbedzie sie w jezyku polskim
4. FAFSA - Line By Line - for parents of seniors
Need help completing your FAFSA on the Webω Get help from the experts. Participate in one of these free workshops. Be sure to bring all the items from the list below.
FAFSA Completion Workshop at Maine West
For seniors and their parents only
Date (in February): TBA, 7
Assistance will be available in English and Spanish. Financial Aid Officers will be available to help students and their parents complete the FAFSA on the Web. Students may come during their free periods. They may also get a pass from a teacher to attend. See the list below for items to bring.
FAFSA Completion Workshops at Oakton beginning in February (senior parents only)
Contact Oakton for information.
Material to bring for FAFSA Completion Workshop
- PIN (www.pin.ed.gov) - one for the student and one for the parent(s)
- Driver’s License (student)
- Social Security Number (student and parents)
- If not a U.S. citizen, Alien Registration Number (student)
- Copies of 2012 income tax returns (or 2011 if 2012 is not yet complete)
(i.e. 1040, 1040EZ-student and parents)
- Copies of 2012 W-2 forms (student and parents)
- Copies of any bank statements (student and parents)
- Records of business, farm, and/or assets (stocks, bonds, and other investments)
- Current mortgage statements for properties other than the family’s principal residence
Other FAFSA help... Beginning in January, come to Financial Aid Thursdays in the CRC! A representative from ISAC will be available to answer questions and assist with your FAFSA.