Happy Fall!   It is hard to believe that in a short eight months, the Class of 2020 will be graduating from high school.  I know there are many plans to make and things to do prior to that time. One of the important questions on most parents’ minds is “How are we going to pay for college or post-secondary training?”  Each year we hold a workshop on financial aid, which will include learning about the FAFSA, what financial aid is and take time to actually fill out the FAFSA. This year the financial aid workshop for parents and seniors is on October 2nd at Red Lodge High School beginning at 6:30 p.m.  You will have an opportunity to learn the various kinds of financial assistance available for college students and how to get it. If you are confused or have questions about financial aid, please come to this workshop and we will be here to help answer all your questions. We will be serving pizza, vegetables and drinks.

In order to receive any financial aid the FAFSA (Free Application Federal Student Aid) form must be filed.  The FAFSA opens on October 1st and most colleges have a December 1st soft deadline for financial aid.  That means that they begin distributing the financial aid then and some of the grants and work-study go quickly, so you want to meet the deadline if at all possible.  Both the student and parent have parts to fill out on the FAFSA form. The FAFSA form is filled out online which decreases the processing time by three to four weeks. The website is www.FAFSA.ed.gov.  To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need to bring the following (student and parent) to the workshop:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Your 2018 federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID to sign electronically.