• Michael Schreiber

College Funding and Financial Aid

2022 - 2023 School Year FAFSA


The Aevitas Wealth Management team empowers you to financially prepare your family for the college experience. We understand that, for many, higher education is an essential part of building a successful future. Our team works with you to create an education plan that balances your desire to fulfill your family's education needs with your ability to pay for college - without jeopardizing your financial independence.


We encourage you to begin a college savings plan early, and we will assist you when your children are young, in college, and beyond. College application season has started, and we are writing to remind you that we are here to support you and your family.


October is the kickoff season for financial aid. Incoming and returning college students can start filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for the next academic year. The FAFSA is a prerequisite for federal student loans, grants, and work-study. Colleges typically require it before distributing institutional aid to students.


How do I submit the FAFSA?

  • The fastest and easiest way to submit the FAFSA is online at studentaid.gov. The site contains resources and tools to help you complete the form, including a list of the documents and information you'll need to file it.

  • The online FAFSA allows your tax data to be directly imported from the IRS, which speeds up the overall process and reduces errors.

  • There is no cost to submit the FAFSA.

  • Before you file the FAFSA online, you and your child will each need to obtain an FSA ID (federal student aid ID), which you can also do online by following the instructions. Once you have an FSA ID, you can use the same one each year.

  • You don't need to complete the FAFSA in October, but it is wise to file it as early as possible in the fall because some federal aid programs operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Colleges typically have a priority filing date for both incoming and returning students; the priority date can be found in the financial aid section of a college's website. You should submit the FAFSA before that date.

  • Students must submit the FAFSA every year to be eligible for financial aid. Students must also submit any other college-specific financial aid forms that may be required, such as the CSS Profile. Any colleges you list on the FAFSA will also get a copy of the report.


How does the FAFSA calculate financial need?


The FAFSA looks at a family's income, assets, and household information to calculate what a family can afford to pay. This figure is known as the expected family contribution or the EFC. All financial aid packages are built around this number.


When counting income, the FAFSA uses information in your tax return from two years earlier. This year is often referred to as the base year, or the prior-prior year. For example, the 2022-2023 FAFSA will use income information in your 2020 tax return, so 2020 would be the base year or prior-prior year.


When counting assets, the FAFSA uses the current value of your and your child's assets. Some assets are not counted and do not need to be listed on the FAFSA. These include home equity in a primary residence, retirement accounts (e.g., 401(k), IRA), annuities, and cash-value life insurance. Student assets are weighted more heavily than parent assets; students must contribute 20% of their assets vs. 5.6% for parents.


Your EFC remains constant, no matter which college your child attends. The difference between your EFC and a college's cost of attendance equals your child's financial need. The final determination of your child's financial needs will be different at every school.


After your EFC package is calculated, the financial aid administrator at your child's school will attempt to craft an aid package to meet your child's financial need by offering a combination of loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study. Keep in mind that colleges are not obligated to meet 100% of your child's financial needs. If they don't, you are responsible for paying the difference. Colleges often advertise on their website and brochures whether they meet "100% of demonstrated need."


Should I file the FAFSA even if my child is unlikely to qualify for aid?


Yes! There are two good reasons to submit the FAFSA, even if you don't expect your child to qualify for need-based aid.


First, colleges typically require the FAFSA when distributing need-based aid, and in some cases, as a prerequisite for merit aid. So filing the FAFSA can give your child the broadest opportunity to be eligible for college-based aid. Similarly, many private scholarship sources may want to see the results of the FAFSA.


Second, all students attending college at least half-time are eligible for unsubsidized federal student loans, regardless of financial need or income level. Unsubsidized means the borrower, rather than the federal government, pays the interest that accrues during school, during the grace period, and any deferment periods after graduation. If you want your child to be eligible for this federal loan, you must submit the FAFSA. Please note that your child is not locked into taking out the loan. If you submit the FAFSA and then decide your child does not need the student loan, it can be declined through the college's financial aid portal.

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