Navigating the College Journey: Ensuring Application Completion and Knowing More About the FAFSA

Hello and Happy New Year to all the parents out there! 

As we usher in the new year, I want to extend my warm wishes, especially to parents of high school seniors. With graduation on the horizon, it's crucial to ensure that your child's college application journey is on the right track. 

In this week’s blog post, we'll discuss the importance of checking application portals and delve into the revamped Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Let's make 2024 a year of informed decisions and financial planning for your child's higher education.


The Application Portal Check

As parents, it's essential to play an active role in your child's college application process. Many students may overlook crucial emails or portal notifications, potentially jeopardizing their chances of acceptance. I've witnessed the unfortunate consequences of students missing vital information, leading to deferrals or rejections. Therefore, please regularly remind your seniors to check their application portals to ensure completeness.

I have witnessed students who did not check their email and portals getting deferred and ultimately denied. It’s unnecessary. Some January Early Action decisions and Early Decision 2 decisions are right around the corner, making it imperative to confirm that all components, including teacher recommendations and standardized test scores, are submitted. 

Parents, please engage in open conversations with your seniors about checking emails and application portals.

Navigating the FAFSA Overhaul 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a vital aspect of the college journey, particularly for parents. The recent overhaul has introduced changes, making it crucial for families to understand and navigate the process effectively.

Although we are not a financial aid company, we understand financial planning in choosing colleges based on cost, location, major, and career. We encourage you to consult financial advisors or explore resources that can help you to complete the FAFSA comprehensively. Here are three important things to know: 

  • Beginning with the 2024–25 FAFSA® form, each of your contributors (if you have any) will be able to create a account even if they don’t have an SSN.
  • Students will be required to enter their SSN to create their account.
  • The formula used to determine your financial aid eligibility is changing. Your Student Aid Index (SAI) is an index number that’s calculated using the information that students and parents provide on the FAFSA form. Once your college, career school, or trade school knows your SAI, they will use it to calculate how much and what types of financial aid you’re eligible to receive.

 As we move further into the new year, let's reinvigorate our commitment to our children's college journey. Ensure your seniors have completed their applications by checking their portals regularly. Simultaneously, parents, familiarize yourselves with the FAFSA requirements and seek expert advice to navigate the financial aid landscape.

At Strategic Admissions Advice, we're here to support you. If you're feeling uncertain or your child needs guidance in reassessing their college list, don't hesitate to reach out. Book a discovery call or strategy session through our website, Let's make 2024 a year of informed decisions, opportunities, and success for your child.