December 2019
5 Mistakes That Could Impact Your Financial Aid
When it comes to financial aid, too many people make mistakes that hurt their financial aid eligibility. To maximize your financial aid, avoid the following:
1. Saving in the student's name instead of the parent's name.
Saving for college is a good thing! Parent savings often has very little impact on financial aid eligibility. But, student savings can have some impact. You can reduce the impact on financial aid by saving in a 529 or a Coverdell account as these are typically counted as a parent asset. Learn more about saving options at FAME's website .
2. Having a one-time increase in household income.
Income impacts financial aid eligibility more than most other items when applying for aid. Receiving one time income in a year that has to be reported on the FAFSA can reduce a financial aid offer. If you can, delay receiving one time money to a tax year that is not needed on the FASFA. If you can't avoid this one-time income, be sure to contact the financial aid office at your student's school and explain this special circumstance.
3. Not completing verification paperwork.
Some students are required to provide information to their schools to verify information that was on the FAFSA. Financial aid will not be offered until the student has provided the required paperwork. Be sure you follow up on any requests from your school(s) as quickly as possible so you won’t miss out on any aid.
4. Waiting to file the FAFSA .
Missing state and school priority filing deadlines can mean missing out on some types of financial aid. Filing your FAFSA every year as early as possible is the best way to maximize your financial aid.
5 . Failing to file the FAFSA .
Not filing the FAFSA at all could mean losing out on thousands of dollars to help you pay for school. There is no income cutoff, and even if you are only eligible to receive a student loan, federal loans are better than other types of loans. The bottom line is that you won’t know what you are eligible for unless you file your FAFSA.
Want more information on the impact scholarships play on paying for college?
Join us for this month's FREE Wednesday Webinar:

The Impact and Importance of Scholarships

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
10:00–11:00 a.m.

From reducing the financial burden of the rising costs of a college education, to allowing students more time and energy to focus on studies rather than work, scholarships are one significant piece in the puzzle making degree attainment possible for students. In this webinar we’ll discuss why scholarships have become increasingly important to student success, what unseen challenges might arise from being awarded scholarships, and what students can do to minimize those impacts.
For additional helpful information and resources, find  previous issues of 5 on the 5th on our website.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mary Dyer , Financial Education Officer
Maria MacDougal , College Access Counselor
Floreka Malual , College Planning Advisor
Nikki Vachon , College Access Counselor
Jessica Whittier , College Access Counselor 
Mila Tappan , College Access and Outreach Manager
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