Every year, thousands of people get online to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form in an effort to fund higher education for their children. The form itself isn't terrible, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get some help. Errors cost money, that's the fact. Cut Bank High School will have a workshop this evening (Monday, January 7) to help you avoid errors in the FAFSA. Come in to the high school computer lab at 6:30 for a presentation from the Blackfeet Higher Education and stay for the FAFSA workshop.

According to cheapscholar.org:

Time and possibility of mistakes are the top two reasons students choose getting help from a fee-based FAFSA service rather than to tackle it themselves. Novices spend about 78 minutes to complete a FAFSA, according to the DOE’s latest statistics.  Repeat FAFSA applicants shave only 11 minutes off that time. However, a professional student aid advisor can walk a student (or parent) through FAFSA preparation in about 30 minutes.

Mistakes Reduce Aid.

The FAFSA’s more than 130 asset, income and dependency questions can appear simple. Yet correct answers aren’t always obvious. FAFSA mistakes, such as miscalculating adjusted gross income or counting a primary residence as an asset, will reduce an aid award.  When caught by the DOE, mistakes temporarily bump a student out of the virtual, first-come, first-served line for aid. But unfortunately some mistakes that can lower aid don’t get flagged by the DOE for correction. A lot is at stake. During the 2012-13 academic year, $227 billion in federal, state and institutional aid was available to more than 17 million U.S. college students. Last year, undergraduates on average received about $11,000 in aid.