Beginning in 2016, the new start date for the FAFSA was October 1st. The new deadline allows you to use your current year of tax returns rather than waiting on them to be complete since most people would have completed their taxes by the April 15th deadline 5 months prior.
Students begin the process by going to www.fafsa.gov and creating an account. Then, parents will follow by completing their portion (have your taxes handy) and submitting the documentation to the federal government. What results will be a determination of your EFC or your family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC number sometimes produces sticker shock, as families’ reason with what the government thinks moms, dads, and guardians should contribute to their students’ educational expenses. Keep in mind, typical education expenses include and are not limited to:
- Room (rent plus sheets, comforters, furniture to decorate, etc.)
- Board (food/meal plans)
- Travel back and forth home
- Medical fees for student health insurance
- Random expenses that everyone encounters but no one knows exactly where they come from
Once families see what the government and the school will offer (typically called a financial aid package), they can get a better idea of how many thousand’s of dollars they will need to pay out of pocket. Wait, you still have to pay out of pocket once you have money from the government or the school? Uhhhh YES. This is that EFC I spoke about earlier. So, do you have a plan for this?
Some people have been saving for their little precious bundle of joy to attend college since birth. Some have saved since high school began. Others rely on scholarships or are looking forward to taking out student loans. Whatever your plan is, just make sure you have a plan for now and later.
Is that a candy or are you saying I should have a plan for how much money I will borrow now and how I will pay it back later? Yes, the latter.
Don’t take out student loans unless you know you have a plan to pay it back later just in case you don’t land your dream job and barely have enough income to pay for your life expenses. Be thoughtful as you take out thousands upon thousands of dollars in student loan debt. 49% of all people who take out student loans are currently in default on their loan payments. This is devastating and simply not cool.
With the rising costs of tuition, families should not rely solely on the FAFSA and what the school will give you only. You should have a better plan than that. Reach Consulting can help. We offer 4 customizable packages that can help students by offering:
- One-on-one and small group scholarship coaching sessions (virtual and in person);
- Customized scholarship application selection to maximize students’ opportunities to earn scholarships;
- Assistance with college applications (complete with essay and application editing, on time delivery, and necessary completion components for the application);
- Review of all Explore, Plan and ACT results and PSAT and SAT tests students have taken and provide an intervention packet of information to maximize increases in scores on the future SAT/ACT tests;
- SAT/ACT prep during testing season which increases the chances of getting scholarship money opportunities;
- And so much more.
Let Reach Consulting help you reach higher. Click here for more information about our packages and follow these simple steps:
- Browse our package offerings (http://www.reachconsulting.co)
- Schedule a one-on-one discovery session with Coach Aimy or one of the 11 Reach Consulting coaches to see what package best meets your needs (Use the online link on the website)
- Pay for your package (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum)
- Get started. (Yeah, almost there!)
Hurry and sign up today. Coach Aimy only works with a select few students each year on an individual basis in order to maximize their outcomes. All Reach Coaches are available to meet your needs. Reach Consulting clients received a combined $700,000+ in scholarship offers last year. Sign up today.