Home > School and Learning > By Grade > College > Paying for College > How to Seek Financial Aid for Your Teen
|

How to Seek Financial Aid for Your Teen

Here are the tasks you and your teen will need to take care of during his senior year. (Expect him to do as much as possible; it's a great way to learn the way the world works.)

  • Call the financial aid offices at each college your teen is interested in. Ask for a packet of financial aid information, and find out what deadlines you must meet.
  • If your teen is considering applying for early decision, ask the college whether you can get early financial aid estimates. If not, and financial aid is crucial, your teen will just have to apply as a regular applicant so he'll be able to apply to several places and compare offers from different schools.
  • Request a FAFSA form from the guidance office, and plan to fill it out in December. You'll want to mail it shortly after the first of January.
  • Start gathering the personal information you'll need to fill out financial aid applications. The type of information is very similar to an income tax form. You'll need:
    • Your last paycheck stub

      Bank statements, including checking and savings accounts, money market funds, certificates of deposit

      Investment statements from brokers, mutual funds, partnerships or other income sources

      Property records showing the purchase price, value, and outstanding debt on second homes or other real estate (the value of your primary residence is not part of the financial need calculation)

      Business or farm records to establish value and debt levels

  • Fill out the form and photocopy it for your records before mailing it.
  • After processing, a Student Aid Report will be sent to you. Check it carefully for accuracy. If it's inaccurate, follow the instructions provided for making corrections. After you have a correct form in hand, send it to the appropriate colleges.
  • Most colleges will want a copy of your federal tax return, and some may want state tax returns, medical and dental expense records, or other documents as well.

For Further Info

The financial aid process can be intimidating and confusing to the best of parents. Luckily, there are several resources you can turn to for help:

  • If your teen's high school has a financial aid counselor on staff, you're very fortunate. He or she can advise you on the best packages possible and can help you navigate through the intricacies of getting financial aid.
  • In some schools, your teen's guidance counselor is the right person to contact.
  • For more specific information, phone the admissions office, financial aid office, or academic counselor at your teen's target schools. (Save yourself time by drawing up a list of questions you want to ask before you make the call.)
|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Teenager © 1996 by Kate Kelly. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!