By Aliaha Austin, College Adviser serving East Bladen High School
From homecoming games and spirit weeks to Countdown to College initiatives like Free College Application Week (or CAW as we like to call it at the Wolf CAC), October is a busy month for seniors, families, and college advisers alike. One important part of the college application process opens the first day of October: FAFSA.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is an application students complete in order to receive federal student aid. My goal as an adviser goal is to encourage my students to complete their FAFSA applications as soon as possible because federal student aid is on a first come, first serve basis.
During August and September, my focus has been on helping students create their FSA ID. The FSA ID will allow them to access their FAFSA account and complete the FAFSA, when it opens. To help students remember everything they need to do, I provide them with a FSA ID completion form that a previous adviser created. It has instructions at the top and then fill in the blank spots for students to input email, username, and password. At the bottom, there is a section for parents or guardians to create their accounts.
Starting October 1st, the goal will be to complete FSA ID and FAFSA applications; however, already making a FSA ID allows students and families to have one portion of the FAFSA process complete and it provides the opportunity for families to prepare for the FAFSA before the actual opening date.