Pearl and I have catalogued dozens of ways families self-sabotage in the area of financial aid aid and scholarships over the years. Last time I counted, we had 60 or 70.
But isn’t the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA” is what we in the biz call it), simple and straightforward? That’s what the government says – it’s easy-peasy!
Before I answer that softball question, let me reprint some actual, unedited verbiage from the good folks at the Departement of Edu-ma-cation, who thoughtfully placed the following on the student loan section of the FAFSA website yesterday, to explain why it’s been down FOR TWO WEEKS.
Please read it carefully, even aloud, so you catch the majesty and grace of their wording:
Due to extended system maintenance, the studentloans .gov website is unavailable from 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 18, 2018 until 8 a.m. ET on Monday, August 20, 2018. You August not sign master promissory notes, complete counseling or TEACH Grant processing ows, or submit Loan Consolidation applications or Income-Driven Repayment Plan requests. Please attempt to log in to the website after the outage period ends. We apologize for any inconvenience this outage August cause and appreciate your understanding and patience while we complete this important activity.
I don’t know who this August guy is, but he’s in deep sh-t! He can’t borrow anything!!!
OK, everyone, including your faithful correspondent, makes mistakes. But wouldn’t you like to believe that someone at the Dep’t of Edu-ma-cation would be edu-macated enough to profread this short paragraph that millions will read?
Usually the parent mistakes Pearl and I see have to do with blowing deadlines, not knowing what forms to file, not knowing about key “loopholes” that could enhance your eligibility for grants and scholarships and other similar errors.
But this latest doozy reminded us of another, equally fatal mistake: putting things off until the last minute!
Imagine if you needed money to pay for your kid’s college bill due in August, but, instead of doing your applications back in October/November, you blew it off util a few days before the bill was due.
Then, you frantically head over to the FAFSA website and BLAM – you’re stuck in the mud, while the bursar at your child’s college refuses to allow him to enroll until you fork over the dough.
Not the best way to start the school year.
The tragedy is that this scenario is easily avoidable, if you plan ahead.
Because sometimes, even if you do evertying right, the shinola hits the fan over at the Dept of Aggravation, and there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it!
Tonight, Pearl and I are going live to help you avoid this and multiple other deadly mistakes. We’re holding a live webclass, to help you create a “Financial Aid & Scholarships Cheat Sheet.”
Here’s where to sign up. There’s no charge, but the information you will glean could, in all seriousness, be worth thousands or tens of thousands of donuts if you pay attention:
We’ll be live and unscripted for an hour (we have dinner plans, thank you very much!), so bring your questions to lob at us in chat!
And please share this with a friend or five who’s stressed out about affording their kids’ tuition, and/or thinks they can’t qualify for anything, whatever!
See you tonight!
-Andy “DeVos Won’t Take My Calls” Lockwood
P.S. This is a live session, my tech guy has not set up a replay. I hope you can make it.