This week’s podcast discusses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FASFA. We’ll hear from experts Kathleen Koch, Assistant Dean for Student Financial Services at Seattle University School of Law; Nicky Fornarotto, Financial Aid Coordinator and LRAP Administrator at Rutgers School of Law–Newark; and Dr. Jeffrey Hanson, owner of Jeffrey Hanson Education Services.
Kathleen Koch begins by explaining the FASFA as a federal form that students fill out to present and organize their complete financial profile for educational institutions. She explains that students must gather their most recent tax returns, W-2 forms, pay stubs, and school codes for any program they are interested in applying to, in order to prepare to complete the FAFSA. Koch also talks about the Student Aid Report (SAR) form that is generated after students complete the FAFSA, and explains that it the summary of the information provided in the latter. She warns that filling out the form truthfully and completely is a must—30% of the applicant pool at Seattle University School of Law, for example, is randomly requested to give more information for verification. Koch’s final advice to students filling out the FASFA is to take their time and complete the form without rushing.
Our second guest, Nicky Fornarotto, begins her comments by answering the frequently asked question, “Do students have to include their parents information on the FASFA form?” Although her answer to this is no, she says that some schools do ask for parental information so students should be prepared to provide it. In addition to the information already mentioned by Kock, Fornarotto also suggests that students know and be ready to provide the balance of their bank account(s). Fornarotto also advises students not to include their home value or current held student loan monies in their asset calculations.
Jeffrey Hanson agrees with Kathleen Koch, and emphasizes that students should have their tax returns readily available when filling out the FASFA. He also mentions that students will receive their SAR (Student Aid Report) after completing the FAFSA, and should receive their financial aid package notifications from the schools they have applied to shortly after. After receiving these notifications, students can then decide which financial aid package is best for them.
Kathleen Koch – Assistant Dean for Student Financial Services at Seattle University School of Law
Dr. Jeffrey Hanson – Owner of Jeffrey Hanson Education Services
Nicky Fornarotto – Financial Aid Coordinator and LRAP Administrator at Rutgers School of Law–Newark