You applied for college and got accepted into the school you wanted! (Hooray!) Your next thought: how am I supposed to pay for this? That is where the FAFSA can help. FAFSA stands for: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Filing the FAFSA can lessen the financial burden of paying for your college education. You can complete the FAFSA after you and your parents complete your taxes. At UW Oshkosh specifically, you’ll want to make sure you get your FAFSA submitted by March 15 — that’s our priority deadline. Some loans or grants have a limited supply of funding — so the earlier you get your FAFSA in the better.
The FAFSA can be a little complicated to try to explain, so rather than confuse you too much by trying to summarize everything, I thought it might be helpful to just share some resources to give you an understanding of how Financial Aid works, how to fill out the FAFSA, etc.,
This is my first year filling out the FAFSA as well — so I’m learning along with you!
1. UW Oshkosh Financial Aid Office
If you’re looking for a one-stop-spot for financial aid questions, look no further than the UW Oshkosh Financial Aid website, which is packed with information and can assist you with filling out the FAFSA.
This website offers tons of information like types of aid, the financial aid process (from eligibility to receiving and paying back aid), costs, important dates and more. If you can’t find the information you are looking for, you can always reach the office by phone, schedule an appointment or simply stop by during walk-in hours.
A few direct links I’d like to point out from this website include:
FAQ: This provides a list of frequently asked questions including how to apply for aid, when to apply, direct lending, canceling aid or changing aid and much more.
Financial Aid Guide: This online guide is simple to use. You can click on any chapter heading in the table of contents section and it will take you to the page with the desired information!
Important Dates: It’s always recommended to keep a list of important dates readily available as to not miss any.
2. College Goal Wisconsin
College Goal Wisconsin is a free event held at various locations across Wisconsin and is meant to assist families by providing information and assistance in regards to the FAFSA.
It’s a little late to pencil the event into your schedule since the event was held this past weekend (February 18-19). But for any high school juniors, make a mental note to look into this next year when you’ll be getting ready to head off to school!
3. FAFSA 4 Caster
FAFSA 4 Caster is what the name implies – a forecast of the amount and types of federal aid you may be eligible for. Note that this is an estimate and actual amounts will often vary upon filing the FAFSA.
How does FAFSA 4 Caster work? This website requires you to enter some personal information to base its calculations – such as year in school, parents’ income, personal income and a few more. Obviously, the more accurate the numbers the closer the estimates will be, but you don’t need to enter exact numbers – no one is going to verify information entered, it’s just to help you get a feel for what you’ll receive.
4. Education Quest
This site provides a FAFSA Demo video that will walk you through the FAFSA application from beginning to end. The video is rather thorough and offers some helpful tips along the way. If you want to know exactly what information you will need or what the FAFSA application looks like, check out this video!
Lastly, I did not mention this above, but the FAFSA website has all the information you could possibly need to fill out the application. They also have links to several sites such as Student Aid on the Web, which offers information on preparing for college, getting money, repaying loans and more.
Don’t worry. As daunting a task at it may seem, the FAFSA is not difficult and should not be intimidating. Well, I’m off to fill out my application – best of luck with yours!