Webinar in Review: College Planning: How to Navigate Financial Aid and the FAFSA

Contributed by: Abigail Fischer Abigail Fischer


Filling out the FAFSA is only one of the many tasks requiring your attention while you, or your young adult, prepares for entering college. That’s why we invited Carrie Gilchrist, Ph.D, to join Nick Defenthaler, CFP® for the College Planning webinar. She is the Senior Financial Aid Outreach Advisor at Oakland University, and well versed at assisting families with their financial concerns.

Here are a few key points from the College Planning webinar:

  • The FAFSA is available October 1st.
  • Everyone should fill out the FAFSA, even if you don’t think you’ll be eligible to receive aid money. At the very least, you’ll be offered loans. At best, your college might use the FAFSA to determine who will receive university-based scholarships.
  • Your completed FAFSA might offer benefits other than the typical education loan:
    • Federal Pell Grants (given through your school’s loan money bank)
    • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
    • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
    • Federal Work-Study (the fed. pays 70% of your wages for on-campus jobs)
    • Parent PLUS Loans (parents can take out federal loans with much lower interest rates than a private bank loan)
  • A CSS Profile is used to reward institutional aid, used by over 400 colleges nationwide.
  • When filing the FAFSA within a divorced family, your federal aid need is determined by the custodial parent.
  • If there is a significant change in your finances after your FAFSA has been submitted, contact the school and inquire how they can assist you through this school year.
  • If you don’t need a loan, please don’t take a loan!

You need these documents to complete the FAFSA:

  • Taxed and untaxed income
  • Current bank statements
  • Records of investments

Here are some helpful websites:

The Center, and your financial planner, are here to assist you in planning for college, just give us a call!

Please check out the College Planning Webinar, recorded on September 21st, 2017:

Abigail Fischer is a Client Service Assistant at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®

Raymond James is not affiliated with Carrie Gilchrist or Oakland University. Links are being provided for informational purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.