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About how long does it take to fill out FAFSA form? (other title: HELP-Please talk me off the college app ledge!!)


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#1 HappyGrace

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 03:32 PM

I am deer in the headlights, burying head in sand w/ college stuff for dd who is a senior in high school. She started filling out applications this week.

 

I know I need to get on this stuff but I'm overwhelmed beyond belief about all this-too intimidated to even start.

 

I need to start w/ FAFSA since dd is saying she needs it done to get an application in by this Sunday (!) Is it a big deal or something I can crank out in a couple hours? I keep hearing what a nightmare it is to fill out and I'm freaked out!

 

(a side question: the FAFSA just came out Oct 1, right? Why do places need it already by this weekend? She said it's to avoid application fees by getting apps in early?)

 

Then maybe do her transcript? I tried to look at the sticky Lori put up, but it's making me way more overwhelmed.

 

I need to find a way to keep it simple!

 

It shouldn't be that bad-she knows she wants to go to Liberty Uni, and her grades and SAT scores are enough to get in and also for honors level there. We are applying at three others though to see what packages they give.

 

FINANCIAL AID is key and we need a GREAT package-we have nothing to contribute toward college due to being on one small income plus debt.

 

Thanks for any help! I'm also hoping any answers to this thread will help others in the same boat right now!



#2 regentrude

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 03:34 PM

FAFSA takes about half an hour if you have your financial papers in order and can find your tax return or use the data retrieval tool. It's really not that bad.



#3 JanetC

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:17 PM

Check the college financial aid website. The application deadline and the financial aid deadline are separate. The earliest deadline for any of my DDs schools is November 15th.

And, no, the FAFSA isn't bad at all. The Profile is the painful one, but it's not required in most cases. (Again, go read the financial,aid website for the school.)

#4 J-rap

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:58 AM

I was prepared for it to take days, and was shocked when it only took me about half an hour the first time.  I was certain I had done it wrong.

 

I did have all of my financial information handy.



#5 fourisenough

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:42 AM

Took me 15 minutes!

#6 OnMyOwn

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:05 AM

It took me a good chunk of the morning to do yesterday, but that was because I spent the time setting things up to transfer my tax data from the IRS and when I looked at what was being checked off on the fafsa, it did not seem right. (The SE retirment box was checked and the lifetime learning box was checked and neither of those apply to us). So, I re-input the info manually. It also took me a bit of time to figure out how to handle the personal investments section and what actually needed to be included.

But then, I am experiencing murphy's law for everything I go to do lately. I went to print my school profile and we had no paper. I reloaded the paper tray and then it said toner low. I went to order toner from amazon and it said it couldn't because I didn't have a valid payment option. (There had been fraudulent activity on my cc.)
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#7 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:43 AM



Now I am worried I missed an error because we imported...

#8 OnMyOwn

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:08 AM

Now I am worried I missed an error because we imported...

Probably not. Mine might have even been okay and had those boxes checked with zeros input. Since I couldn't see what had actually transferred, I just thought it would be safer to manually input.

Did your EFC come out about how you expected?

Edited by OnMyOwn, 12 October 2017 - 09:10 AM.

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#9 HappyGrace

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:10 PM

Thanks, feeling better about it! I will attempt it tomorrow.....



#10 Chanley

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:42 PM

If you use Turbo Tax, there is a form that you can print out with just the info you need. I could not get the tool to link to the IRS to work when I did mine. So I just used my Turbo Tax cheat sheet. Took no time at all. This is not the stressful part, that is when you see the numbers they think you can afford. 



#11 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:10 PM

Probably not. Mine might have even been okay and had those boxes checked with zeros input. Since I couldn't see what had actually transferred, I just thought it would be safer to manually input.

Did your EFC come out about how you expected?

 

 

Yes it did. I just worry. 


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#12 mamakelly

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:35 AM

It’s not hard at all. Takes about 30 minutes.