FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

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animalcrkrs
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FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby animalcrkrs » Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:44 pm

The FAFSA asks you to list out the schools you want the information forwarded to.
Since I want to make sure I fill this out ASAP, does that mean I should send it along to EVERY school that I've applied to (my app is complete and waiting now for a response or I have gotten in to every school), regardless of whether I've heard?

Is this a common thing to do? Does it seem like I'm presuming admittance in sending my FAFSA to my reaches/places that haven't accepted me yet? :)
Or do I only send to the ones I've been admitted and add on additional schools later, while still keeping my place in the FAFSA 'submission line'?

Thanks for the help!

workaholic
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby workaholic » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:48 pm

That's a really good question. I am at the same place where you are. As i am reading some of these posts, some have already recvd offers from schools with $$$ and my thing is - that money was prob given to them either because of need or academic performance- either way it seems like a FAFSA may have been the sole force that determined their need. Honestly- im not sure if the schools are waiting on the FAFSA. I sent my apps out early early (early oct) and didn't complete the FAFSA yet, but I can't see the harm in doing it. I just hope the schools are waiting on that info. GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!! let me know if you hear anything.

snotrocket
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby snotrocket » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:50 pm

Complete and send it as soon as you have your taxes done, and forward to all schools where you applied. Schools know that their financial priority deadlines come before they make the last of their acceptances, and they expect you to have all your financial forms in on time whether you hear from them early, late, or never. The financial aid documents have no effect on your admission, and sending them in does not presume anything. Delaying though could cut you out of some $$ if you're eventually accepted.

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animalcrkrs
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby animalcrkrs » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:03 pm

Thanks snotrocket, appreciate the insight!

Another question you might have knowledge of (or anyone else), my "EFC" (which is what the FAFSA calls it even though I didn't enter my parent's info, I believe for these purposes I am considered my own 'family') is REALLY high...and though I make good money at my current job, does the FAFSA not take into account that my income will go from its current level to zero? I know I can get the maximum Stafford unsubsidized regardless, but it seems silly that I will be eligible for little to no subsidized Stafford or Pell Grants. Am I missing something?

Workaholic, I think the majority of the $$ offered so far has been merit-based, unless I am missing something, or if they are offering based on the limited financial info some schools ask for (voluntarily) on their applications, but I seriously doubt the latter is true.
Today was the first day the FAFSA for the 09-10 year is available so there is no way the schools have that info yet from anyone. However, the earlier you send this stuff (along with the CSS/NeedAccess forms) the better, as snotrocket pointed out.

cnola
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby cnola » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:24 pm

animalcrkrs, we always have the same thoughts. thanks for posting this question-and thanks to all for the answers!

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doomswitched
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby doomswitched » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:49 am

Read the timeline thread for some of the info.

You can fill out FAFSA at any time, you can estimate based on last year's returns if you want. If you expect big changes for this year, you can estimate adjustments or wait till you have W-2s and such and go from there. Send it to every school you are still considering (including schools you have yet to hear a decision from). No one thinks this is presumptuous. In fact, many schools will tell you to do so later this cycle.

@animalcrkrs and cnola (and other poster in a different thread): yes, working could affect your EFC, and that could result in a higher EFC and therefore lower loan amounts. On the one hand, this may suck as Pell grants* and subsized Staffords are foreclosed. On the other hand, you should also have some extra money saved up, which means lower loans, which means less to pay back both in principal and in interest. So, really you do benefit by working and having some money. Fewer loans is a good thing. Next year, you'll probably be as poor as everyone else, and the subsidized Staffords will be available. Pell loans* vary by school. I got it at some schools and not at others. No one makes any money during 1L (okay maybe a few do), so the only difference is what you go into 1L with. If you work and make a lot of money for 2008, you go into 1L with more than others. Since need based aid is based on need, you get less than those who need more. If you don't have the money that FAFSA says you should have, you can always go the private loan route to make up the difference*; however, I strongly recommend living more frugally in 2009 and taking out fewer loans at your chosen school.

[Edit--see snotrocket's post below]: * Pell grants are only for undergrads, substitute Perkins loans
* you can take Grad Plus or private loans
Last edited by doomswitched on Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

snotrocket
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby snotrocket » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:05 am

animalcrkrs wrote:Another question you might have knowledge of (or anyone else), my "EFC" (which is what the FAFSA calls it even though I didn't enter my parent's info, I believe for these purposes I am considered my own 'family') is REALLY high...and though I make good money at my current job, does the FAFSA not take into account that my income will go from its current level to zero? I know I can get the maximum Stafford unsubsidized regardless, but it seems silly that I will be eligible for little to no subsidized Stafford or Pell Grants. Am I missing something?

Indeed, FAFSA does not collect any data on future assets or income. It doesn't matter too much though, because the FAFSA is only used to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid, which comes down to subsidized Stafford loans (no Pell Grants for graduate study). Even with what may seem like a gigantic EFC, you will almost certainly get the full amount of subsidized borrowing anyway. Some schools have their own forms, and some require Need Access in order to ask for detailed information on the income and assets you expect to have after you start law school. Either way, they know that you're not going to be working, so they can figure it out. When it comes to a school's own grant funds, it's typically much, much harder to qualify for need based aid, regardless of what information you give them. If you had income above minimum wage before starting law school, and if you have any money saved at all, then you will probably get nothing in "need-based" aid from most schools. Still, there is no clear line anymore between need-based and merit aid, so you may get some money that is called one or the other just because a school wants you to attend.

kiwislug
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby kiwislug » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:07 am

Maybe I'm really daft but how can you even complete FAFSA without your w2s?

legends159
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby legends159 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:14 am

kiwislug wrote:Maybe I'm really daft but how can you even complete FAFSA without your w2s?


does anyone know when w2's are usually posted?

LSATfromNC
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby LSATfromNC » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:16 am


On the other hand, you should also have some extra money saved up, which means lower loans, which means less to pay back both in principal and in interest. So, really you do benefit by working and having some money.


Some of us have this thing called a family (wife+kids), with the application fees, LDAS fees, LSAT fees ect (that we didn't get waived due to not being a non working college senior) there is not much to spend outright on tuition.

snotrocket
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby snotrocket » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:17 am

doomswitched wrote:@animalcrkrs and cnola (and other poster in a different thread): yes, working could affect your EFC, and that could result in a higher EFC and therefore lower loan amounts. On the one hand, this may suck as Pell grants and subsized Staffords are foreclosed. On the other hand, you should also have some extra money saved up, which means lower loans, which means less to pay back both in principal and in interest. So, really you do benefit by working and having some money. Fewer loans is a good thing. Next year, you'll probably be as poor as everyone else, and the subsidized Staffords will be available. Pell loans vary by school. I got it at some schools and not at others. No one makes any money during 1L (okay maybe a few do), so the only difference is what you go into 1L with. If you work and make a lot of money for 2008, you go into 1L with more than others. Since need based aid is based on need, you get less than those who need more. If you don't have the money that FAFSA says you should have, you can always go the private loan route to make up the difference; however, I strongly recommend living more frugally in 2009 and taking out fewer loans at your chosen school.

There is some misinformation in this. The Pell program gives grants only, not loans, and they're only available for undergrad. The EFC will not affect the amount that you are allowed to borrow -- only the amount that you can take in subsidized loans. At the most the subsidized loans only cover $8,500 per year in borrowing anyway, so this is sort of a nominal benefit. You can always take loans through the Stafford and PLUS programs up to the full student budget amount, no matter what your financial situation. Nobody needs to take private loans anymore to cover their full student budget amounts, because the PLUS program has no limits on annual or total borrowing. And if you want to qualify for federal income based repayment or forgiveness after graduation, then you should take only Stafford and PLUS loans. Private loans these days only make sense for that tiny number of people who are completely certain that they can and will repay their entire loan balance within three to five years of graduating. Everyone else (which is pretty much everyone) should take Stafford and PLUS program loans only.
Last edited by snotrocket on Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

snotrocket
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby snotrocket » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:18 am

kiwislug wrote:Maybe I'm really daft but how can you even complete FAFSA without your w2s?

You can use last year's numbers if this year didn't change, and then submit a corrected form later. Or you can just wait. Employers have to send W2s by 1/31, and most financial aid "priority deadlines" are in March / April, so you should have plenty of time to get them in.

kiwislug
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby kiwislug » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:19 am

snotrocket wrote:
kiwislug wrote:Maybe I'm really daft but how can you even complete FAFSA without your w2s?

You can use last year's numbers if this year didn't change, and then submit a corrected form later. Or you can just wait. Employers have to send W2s by 1/31, and most financial aid "priority deadlines" are in March / April, so you should have plenty of time to get them in.


thanks snot :wink:

dlindqui
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby dlindqui » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:35 pm

Are the financial aid priority deadlines like the application deadlines where it is best to get your application in early in the cycle, or are you fine as long as you get it in before the priority deadline?

snotrocket
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby snotrocket » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:38 pm

dlindqui wrote:Are the financial aid priority deadlines like the application deadlines where it is best to get your application in early in the cycle, or are you fine as long as you get it in before the priority deadline?

Anytime before the "priority deadline" is fine. You won't get any points for getting it in earlier, and they don't even look at them until after the deadline.

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doomswitched
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby doomswitched » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:23 pm

snotrocket wrote:
doomswitched wrote:@animalcrkrs and cnola (and other poster in a different thread): yes, working could affect your EFC, and that could result in a higher EFC and therefore lower loan amounts. On the one hand, this may suck as Pell grants and subsized Staffords are foreclosed. On the other hand, you should also have some extra money saved up, which means lower loans, which means less to pay back both in principal and in interest. So, really you do benefit by working and having some money. Fewer loans is a good thing. Next year, you'll probably be as poor as everyone else, and the subsidized Staffords will be available. Pell loans vary by school. I got it at some schools and not at others. No one makes any money during 1L (okay maybe a few do), so the only difference is what you go into 1L with. If you work and make a lot of money for 2008, you go into 1L with more than others. Since need based aid is based on need, you get less than those who need more. If you don't have the money that FAFSA says you should have, you can always go the private loan route to make up the difference; however, I strongly recommend living more frugally in 2009 and taking out fewer loans at your chosen school.

There is some misinformation in this. The Pell program gives grants only, not loans, and they're only available for undergrad. The EFC will not affect the amount that you are allowed to borrow -- only the amount that you can take in subsidized loans. At the most the subsidized loans only cover $8,500 per year in borrowing anyway, so this is sort of a nominal benefit. You can always take loans through the Stafford and PLUS programs up to the full student budget amount, no matter what your financial situation. Nobody needs to take private loans anymore to cover their full student budget amounts, because the PLUS program has no limits on annual or total borrowing. And if you want to qualify for federal income based repayment or forgiveness after graduation, then you should take only Stafford and PLUS loans. Private loans these days only make sense for that tiny number of people who are completely certain that they can and will repay their entire loan balance within three to five years of graduating. Everyone else (which is pretty much everyone) should take Stafford and PLUS program loans only.

Ugh! Totally right; thanks for correcting me. I had Pell grants confused with Perkins loans. I remember discussing the EFC as lowering borrowing amount last cycle. I wonder if that is new this year. Link to FAFSA description of PLUS loans verifying this.

dlindqui wrote:Are the financial aid priority deadlines like the application deadlines where it is best to get your application in early in the cycle, or are you fine as long as you get it in before the priority deadline?

As said above, anytime before is fine, but you could get an earlier spot in line, so to speak, for schools that have rolling notification of awards, so getting it in early would result in earlier notification of your award.

LSATfromNC wrote:Some of us have this thing called a family (wife+kids), with the application fees, LDAS fees, LSAT fees ect (that we didn't get waived due to not being a non working college senior) there is not much to spend outright on tuition.
FAFSA and Need Access both ask for number of dependents and that factors into the EFC and whatever calculation your school uses.

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animalcrkrs
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby animalcrkrs » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:22 pm

Thanks so much for all of this info everyone, it is incredibly helpful and I (and cnola and the others here) appreciate it!

sarcasmsslave
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby sarcasmsslave » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:49 pm

This is all very helpful information. I am able to fill out almost all the W2-related questions by looking at my last pay stub, which has year-to-date numbers for income and tax on it.

I'm stuck at the part where it's asking which schools I want the results sent to — it limits you to 10. Is there some other way to get the FAFSA information to the other five schools I applied to?

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animalcrkrs
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby animalcrkrs » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:32 am

sarcasmsslave wrote:I'm stuck at the part where it's asking which schools I want the results sent to — it limits you to 10. Is there some other way to get the FAFSA information to the other five schools I applied to?


See bottom of this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=51637

amyLAchemist
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby amyLAchemist » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:25 pm

I know this isn't FAFSA related but, is it also possible to estimate my parents income on these needaccess things? My parents told me they can't have their taxes done till early april. This is problematic since some schools have deadlines in early march. Or do I just need to yell at them and tell them to get them done sooner? (I don't know what the holdup is.)

I plan on submitting my FAFSA in early-mid february (once I get my W2/1099), so that isn't a problem...

snotrocket
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby snotrocket » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:29 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:I know this isn't FAFSA related but, is it also possible to estimate my parents income on these needaccess things? My parents told me they can't have their taxes done till early april. This is problematic since some schools have deadlines in early march. Or do I just need to yell at them and tell them to get them done sooner? (I don't know what the holdup is.)

Estimating should be fine as long as you have something to go from. You can always submit a corrected form later if the guesses are off. There is a notes field at the end of the form, and you can put in a comment if you want stating that you estimated some data. Need Access might even have an explicit option that lets you say whether you're using lines from an actual return or estimates.

amyLAchemist
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby amyLAchemist » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:31 pm

snotrocket wrote:
amyLAchemist wrote:I know this isn't FAFSA related but, is it also possible to estimate my parents income on these needaccess things? My parents told me they can't have their taxes done till early april. This is problematic since some schools have deadlines in early march. Or do I just need to yell at them and tell them to get them done sooner? (I don't know what the holdup is.)

Estimating should be fine as long as you have something to go from. You can always submit a corrected form later if the guesses are off. There is a notes field at the end of the form, and you can put in a comment if you want stating that you estimated some data. Need Access might even have an explicit option that lets you say whether you're using lines from an actual return or estimates.


OK, thanks, and I do have their 1040 from last year. It's just a formality for me anyways. I am most def not getting any need based aid, but I don't want to not be considered for other merit-based stuff just because I didn't submit required pointless paperwork.

chadstew55
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby chadstew55 » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:40 pm

what do you do if your parents refuse to give you a copy of their 1040?? I probably won't get need based aid even on my own. I just want to be able to get the unsubsidized stafford loans.

amyLAchemist
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby amyLAchemist » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:43 pm

chadstew55 wrote:what do you do if your parents refuse to give you a copy of their 1040?? I probably won't get need based aid even on my own. I just want to be able to get the unsubsidized stafford loans.


You don't need your parents info on the FAFSA, just yours, which is what determines (un)subsidized stafford loan eligibility.

My parents were like yours for a while about this. I worked on my dad to get him to agree to copy their 2007 1040 and send it to me, and do the same with 2008 when he gets it. I forget which school....but one school I applied to had on their website that you won't be considered for scholarships if you don't submit your parents into. Makes me sound evil, but I guilted him into it.

snotrocket
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Re: FAFSA Q: Sending to schools before you're accepted?

Postby snotrocket » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:44 pm

chadstew55 wrote:what do you do if your parents refuse to give you a copy of their 1040?? I probably won't get need based aid even on my own. I just want to be able to get the unsubsidized stafford loans.

Some schools will waive the parent data requirement based on age or some sort of independence test. For loans only, all you need to file is the FAFSA. This is linked in a couple of other threads on financial aid, and it covers pretty much all of these questions:

http://lawschoolalmanac.blogspot.com/20 ... l-aid.html




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