July 26, 2012
Anyone heading to college, especially moms, should consider submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, as it provides an opportunity for students to receive financial aid from the U.S. government. The FAFSA is available in print and online, and the official website provides directions as you progress. However, you may encounter some issues or questions along the way.
Obtaining a PIN
You can apply for a PIN at the FAFSA website at any time. Once you have one, you can log in to your account. If you start to fill out the form before receiving a PIN, the site will request that you apply for one. For anyone who forgets their code, a duplicate can be requested, and if it expires for lack of use, you'll need to apply for a new one. Ideally, students want to choose a PIN that they will easily remember. Try not to lose track of this important code, but if you do, the site allows you to disable it.
Filling out the form
As you go through the questions, be sure to answer honestly and carefully, noting all aspects of the question. At any point that you feel confused, the site offers a "Help and Hints" section, and you can have a discussion - in Spanish or English - with live technical support by clicking on the "Contact Us" icon.
If you realize you made an error after completing the form, don't panic. You can update your form to fix the mistake, if, for example, your dependency status becomes incorrect because you're now a legal guardian or pregnant. For students who wish to make their FAFSA available to another school after they've completed the document, they can still add that university's federal school code. However, only 10 colleges can be listed on the online FAFSA at once, and only four on the paper version. In order to correct or edit your FAFSA, you simply have to log in to your account and click "Make FAFSA Corrections." It's best to carefully read through the questions to avoid any errors if possible, and save yourself from worry.
Financial aid for moms is available through the FAFSA, and the U.S. government is a large provider of awards. According to the College Board, undergraduate students in 2010 to 2011 received an average of more than $12,000 in financial aid, with the government as a main provider. So students who haven't yet should submit their FAFSA soon.