Jini Thorton’s advice for student financial aid this fall

Brain teaser: Now that all these students have just returned to college, the financial aid season for next year, fall 2023, spring 2024, the school year begins next month. And we gotta prep the kids, man, what should they do Jini?

Jini Thorton: You know, I’m so glad we’re talking about it because people are always confused about the date. So yes, Fall 22 has just begun. But on October 1, the financial aid forms for fall 2023 come out. In two weeks, these forms come out. It is therefore very important not only that we know that the forms are coming out. But we have to get the FAFSA, this free application for federal student aid, we have to get it the first week of October.

Lore’l: So, what mistakes are families making about the financial aid process?

Jini Thorton: Well, number one, obviously, I’m just waiting to fill out the FAFSA forms, because some people say, hey, it’s October, that’s not so bad, I could do it November, December, January, I shouldn’t do that this money is actually distributed first come, first served, so people who line up earlier, who fill out their forms earlier, will have access to what you remember, that is- ie Pell grant money. It’s that job, education money, you can’t even get student loans without completing the FAFSA. So you definitely want to do it early. Another thing that people get wrong is that often parents own the whole process and don’t involve their student, your student needs to know what’s going on. Or I also see the reverse, where the parents are like, look, this is your degree, I have nothing to do with it.