Gail DonaldsonWe have a high school senior this year and with graduation festivities around the corner, our focus has been how will be pay for college for our daughter the next four years!  Whether your student has applied for scholarship opportunities or not, you need to be aware that there are school-based financial priority deadlines for Alabama’s four-year colleges.

Cash For College

The Alabama Possible Executive Director Kristina Schott states that students need to be aware of financial aid deadlines for the colleges they hope to attend.  There is a list of admissions and financial aid priority deadlines for Alabama colleges on Alabama Possible Cash for College website.  The Cash for College program helps student access financial aid for college by helping them complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA form.  FAFSA helps students determine what kind of financial aid the student is eligible to receive.

Types of financial aid available to students include Pell Grants, student loans, scholarships, state and school-based aid and work study.   Federal Pell Grants which is one of the most common forms of financial aid do not have to be repaid.  The maximum aware is $5,920 per school year for the 2017-2018 school year.

FAFSA

Most of these financial aid options will require the FAFSA form to be completed.  The earlier a student can complete the FAFSA and other required forms could lead to more aid could being awarded.  When completing the form, it is important to transfer income tax information correctly into the FAFSA form.  In March, 2017, changes in the federal financial aid process has temporarily eliminated the ability to transfer directly by the Internal Revenue Service’s Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) into the FAFSA forms due to security concerns.

If you are new to the process, one tip is to call the college you hope to attend and ask the college’s financial aid office when their deadlines are.  Many times, low income students will not be able to attend college without financial aid so finding out deadlines is imperative. The FAFSA form is the first step in learning what options a student has to receive aid to attend college.

If we can assist you with your finances, please give one of our Bond and Botes offices a call for a free consultation.

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