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December Newsletter: FAFSA Resources and How to Get Ahead Over Your Break

14 December 2010 11,767 views 59 Comments

This month, we share some valuable tips for getting all the financial aid you are eligible to receive for the next academic year. Holiday break is a perfect time to prepare your FAFSA, write scholarship essays, and apply for additional financial aid. Don’t forget to enjoy your weeks off, but use your time wisely!

FAFSA Secrets Revealed

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA, is one of the most important yet, misunderstood forms you’ll ever file. For a step-by-step guide, visit www.FAFSAOnline.com. Here are some key financial aid tips which can help you qualify for more financial aid when you complete the FAFSA:

Reduce Your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI): AGI is the amount of money you make per year, after standard adjustments. The goal is to reduce your adjusted gross income by making contributions to retirement plans, consolidating federal student loans, using health savings accounts, and more.

Apply As Early As Possible: There is a limited pool of financial aid in the form of college scholarships and grants made available each year. The sooner you file your FAFSA, the more likely you are to receive money from this pool as this money is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more about applying early.

Watch for Mistakes that will Cost You: It’s better to be right than fast. Be sure you’re filing the FAFSA correctly, paying careful attention to the instructions and the included worksheets. For example, regarding dependency, many people have situations at home which aren’t necessarily reflected on the FAFSA form. Be absolutely sure that you fill out the questions on the FAFSA according to the guidelines provided concerning who is or is not a dependent student. And be sure to avoid typos.

Download a Free FAFSA eBookPuzzled by a few of the FAFSA Questions? Download our eBook for some detailed advice on how to handle the tricky areas.

Stay Tuned: Next month’s issue of the Financial Aid Newsletter will introduce changes to www.FAFSAOnline.com upon the arrival of the new 2011-2012 FAFSA Form.

Consider Online FAFSA Assistance From Student Aid


SECURING STUDENT FINANCIAL AID is critical for many students intending to pursue a college degree. More than $199 billion in student aid was awarded last year, with the average student receiving $11,461, including $6,041 in grant aid and $4,883 in subsidized student loans.

To file your FAFSA the EASY way, call 1.866.514.6760 or visit online at www.FAFSA.com.
For a small service fee, a professional Student Aid Advisor will prepare your FAFSA entirely over the phone and advise you on how to maximize your eligibility for student aid.

  • Quick and Easy – Complete the entire process in as little as 20 minutes.
  • Accurate – Minimize mistakes that can affect your eligibility for aid.
  • Peace of Mind – Get answers to all of your questions.
  • Deadlines – Meet all of your state and college student aid deadlines.

Student Financial Aid Services, Inc. is a partner organization not affiliated with Edvisors or Student Loan Network.

The Best Way to Pay for Spring Semester

If you had any trouble affording your books and expenses on top of your tuition last semester, don’t fret – now is the time to review your options again before you return to classes.

Holiday break is right around the corner and it’s about time to designate some of your free hours for plugging away at scholarship essays. Time and effort is required to get this done, but it is worth every second if your hard work results in free money for college. Read our scholarship essay tips and get started today.

In addition, private student loans are a viable option as they can cover up to your total cost of attendance and you may apply at any time during the year. Also, this time of year, a number of zero or low-interest credit card offers will pop up, such as this holiday special from Citi which gives you a $50 Statement Credit.

Find Scholarships | Compare Private Loan Options

Meet the November $1,000 College Scholarship Winner

Zach Beaus was recently announced as the ScholarshipPoints.com November 2010 $1,000 Free College Scholarship Winner. Zach is a freshman at the University of Utah. “I have been really stressed out about how I am going to afford college,” said Zach. “With this scholarship, I don’t have to worry as much about how to afford things I need, such as books for the upcoming semester.”

To see all of the latest scholarship winners, or to become a member and have you chance of winning free money for college, visit ScholarshipPoints today!

ScholarshipPoints members, redeem the code FANDEC2010 for 25 scholarship points!

Join ScholarshipPoints | Login to ScholarshipPoints

Tips From Our Team

Did you know that you can RENT your text books?

Yes, you can rent textbooks at the fraction of the cost of used textbooks and saves you the hassle on finding books that are both used and high quality. Learn more about how to save on textbooks for spring semester.

December’s Featured Blog

Approximately 80% of the FAFSA is based on IRS tax data, and by completing the 1040 first, you’ll save yourself a lot of time. Even if you don’t have your W-2 and 1099 forms from your employers, you can still estimate using your last pay stub(s) from 2010. Read more…

Financial Aid Questions?

Find the answers you seek at the Financial Aid Forum.

Our team of Student Advocates answer questions daily – head over to our forum to post yours!

Online Classes

Last year an estimated 4 million students were enrolled in at least one online college class, and that number is expected to grow in the coming years. Holidays and breaks can be a great opportunity to catch up on credits.

Complete the class at your own pace to fill a requirement, save money, and graduate on time. Find online classes in criminal justice, accounting, business management, education and more on Edvisors.com.

Even More Scholarships

With over $9.7 billion in awards, and tens of thousands of dollars given away each month, StudentScholarshipSearch.com is your ticket to finding free money for college.

Be sure to check out our Student Scholarship Database – it’s free and we add new scholarships and grants every day.


Financial Aid News is sponsored in part by:


59 Responses to “December Newsletter: FAFSA Resources and How to Get Ahead Over Your Break”

  1. Storme says on December 16, 2010 at 8:42 pm:

    This was very helpful in helping me find scholarships and financial aid. I really need the assistance since finding and filling out all of this stuff is very overwhelming. Thanks.

  2. Sandra says on December 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm:

    Thanks for the information. I was curious as to how soon I should start applying for financial aid.

  3. Jennifer says on December 17, 2010 at 12:50 am:

    This was rather helpful in letting me understand more

  4. Morgan says on December 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm:

    Thank you so much. ALL of this information helps!

  5. Ebony Holden says on December 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm:

    This news letter gave some great advise and i enjoyed reading all the information.

  6. abera says on December 20, 2010 at 8:25 am:

    giving free scholarship for developing countries is one of the best way for reduction of poverty.

  7. Rachel Girone says on December 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm:

    I feel thankful that there is financial aid available. Education is so important. I am a 24 year old mother with two children ages, 5 and 2. I am going to be the change I want to see in the world and send them into this world as responsible, educated and ambitious adults. Education in America is an investment that will pay off in the future.

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