Filling out financial aid applications is akin to filling out income tax forms. Though it can be worse. Federal officials estimate that completing their form takes one to two hours for first-time applicants.
Some forms require even more documentation, including information on home values, retirement accounts, expected pay raises and the value of various assets.
To apply for federal and other forms of financial aid, students need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The form is available by calling 1-800-433-3243.
Students need the following to fill out the form: Social Security number; driver’s license number; 2008 W-2 income tax forms; income tax return; a spouse’s income tax return if applicable; their parents’ income tax return; untaxed income records, such as child support; current bank statements; investment information; and alien registration or permanent-resident cards for non-U.S. citizens.
Some colleges require the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE from the College Board, the group that administers the SAT. Students are typically informed about their financial aid packages through their colleges or universities.
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