Get the Filing the FAFSA Book for Free from Edvisors
Provides Step-by-Step Instructions and Makes It Easier to Complete the Form; Third Edition of Ebook Revised for 2016-17
LAS VEGAS, January 5, 2016 — Millions of students may miss out on billions of dollars of free money for college by not completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) correctly or by missing the deadlines. For example, each state and college may have a different deadline, with some as early as February 15, 2016. Further complicating matters, this year there will be two different FAFSAs to fill out, according to David Levy, editor of Edvisors.com, a free website that helps students and families plan and pay for college.
To help students and their families complete the 2016-2017 FASFA, available January 1, Edvisors has published the third edition of its best-selling book, Filing the FAFSA: The Edvisors Guide to Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, 2016-17. Written by student financial aid experts, David Levy and Mark Kantrowitz, this book provides step-by-step instructions to completing the FAFSA, with extensive tips and advice about increasing the amount of aid eligibility, avoiding common errors, and dealing with special circumstances.
"For students, the FAFSA is one of the most important tools to be eligible to secure financial aid, and it's not only about grants and scholarships but loans and work-study programs," Levy said. "Families need to fill out a form each year, there are substantial changes from the prior year."
Available for free download at https://www.edvisors.com/free-fafsa-book, Filing the FAFSA has been updated to reflect the following 2016-17 changes:
- There will be two FAFSAs available in 2016. This year, high school seniors and college freshmen and sophomores applying for financial aid will need to file one FAFSA for the 2016-17 academic year and separate one, available October 1, for the 2017-18 academic year. "This change enables students to apply for financial aid before or at the same time they apply for admission, allowing cost considerations to influence the student's choice of colleges," Levy added.
- Students no longer have to worry about the order in which they list colleges on the FAFSA. Students can select up to 10 colleges to provide their financial details and colleges could see the full list, in preferential order, on a student's FAFSA. Some colleges may have used this to influence college admissions and financial aid decisions. Going forward, Colleges will no longer be able to see the full list of student college choices. The list of colleges will still be submitted to the state in which the student resides so that they can evaluate a student's eligibility for state grants.
- Changes in the asset protection allowance (APA). The APA shelters a portion of the assets (certain savings and investment funds) of parents of dependent students on the FAFSA, based on the age of the older parent, and are not counted toward the amount families are expected to pay toward their child's education (in the case of dependent students) or their own education (in the case of independent students). An update to the 2016-2017 financial aid formula that is used to calculate a student's expected family contribution (EFC) toward the cost of college has been changed and as has been the trend in recent years, the APA which is a component of the EFC has declined. Families will see their asset protection allowance nearly halved in the 2016-2017 academic year. The result being a potential decrease in financial aid for the student.
APAs shelter a portion of the assets (certain savings and investment funds) of parents of dependent students on the FAFSA, based on the age of the older parent, and are not counted toward the amount families are expected to pay toward their child's education (in the case of dependent students) or their own education (in the case of independent students). Families will see their asset protection allowance nearly halved in the 2016-2017 academic year
- The tax data used to complete the 2017-18 FAFSA requires families to switch from providing prior-year (PY) to prior-prior-year (PPY) income and tax data. Filing the FAFSA in January or February can be challenging since tax data for the immediate prior year isn't always complete by then. Since most families will have already filed their 2015 federal income tax returns by October 1, 2016, more families will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to simplify filing the FAFSA for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Edvisors Network, Inc. publishes free websites to help students and families plan and pay for college. Every year, millions of students and their families turn to the company's flagship site, Edvisors.com, for timely, accurate information, advice, and tools that help them confidently make the best decisions about paying for college. Additionally, Edvisors owns ScholarshipPoints.com, where students earn points and enter scholarship drawings (the site has awarded more than $750,000 to date); StudentScholarshipSearch.com, a large free online database of scholarships with an easy-to-use scholarship matching tool; and PrivateStudentLoans.com, which helps students find private loans that are right for them. Founded in 1998, Edvisors is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. More information can be found at www.edvisors.com.
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