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Important Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Information!!!

10/30/2013 Published by: Suzanne

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Categories: Student 2 Student Programs Worldwide, Transition to College

For those of you with high school students who plan on attending college, you may or may not be familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Every January the new form becomes available online for the millions of students and their families who need financial assistance in order to pay for their higher education.  When filling out the application, students are asked to list up to ten college/university names that they are considering attending after high school graduation.  What most didn’t know until now is that HOW they complete this list can impact whether a student will get into the college of their choice and how much financial aid they may be offered.

Have you heard of the term “FAFSA position”?  It’s not a term that is defined for students and families when completing the FAFSA.  However, in his article, “Using FAFSA Against Students”, Ry Rivard of Inside Higher Ed explains that college admissions offices and private enrollment management consultants have discovered that students usually list potential college choices in their order of preference when completing the FAFSA, and the institutions named on a student’s list see the whole list.   If a school sees their name lower on a student’s list, that “FAFSA position” number may play a part in the school’s decision to admit or wait list that student.  In addition, a school’s “FAFSA position” could affect the financial aid package they are willing to extend to an applicant.  When a school is at the top of a student’s FAFSA list, they may offer a SMALLER financial aid package figuring that students are willing to cover more of the cost of attending when it is one of their top choices.

What is a student to do?  A potential solution to this dilemma is to encourage students to list their college choices in alphabetical order rather than in order of preference when completing the FAFSA.

*For more detailed information, read the full article.

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