COMMON APPLICATION MISTAKES
FAFSA — it’s an acronym thrown around so much in the college-planning process that it begins to lose its meaning. So, let’s get back to basics. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form designed to gauge how much financial assistance a current or prospective college student is eligible for. The importance of this form is hard to overstate, yet so many families make errors when filing it. Here’s a guide to help you avoid these very preventable mistakes. WRONG INFORMATION
meant for your student (this happens very often). Another common mistake is entering the wrong income tax amount. This is not the amount of income tax that was withheld, nor is it your annual gross income. This number should be your assessed income tax liability. EXCLUDING COLLEGES Many students fail to list all the schools they are applying to in their FAFSA form. This is a huge mistake because it prevents colleges from being able to assess your need for financial aid. In fact, in many states, like Texas, listing state schools on your FAFSA is the only way to be considered eligible for state-based grant aid. PROCRASTINATING
come, first-served basis. If two families have identical financial information on their forms, the family that sends in their application first will likely receive the greater amount of aid — you don’t want your FAFSA to come in when the coffers are running empty. Procrastination on the FAFSA also exacerbates other mistakes. If your form has errors and gets sent back to you, you’re going to be even later getting it in on time. You may even miss the deadline entirely!
HAVE A LAUGH While it’s important to get your FAFSA in as soon as possible, you still need to take the time to understand the directions and fill out the form correctly. After all, you don’t want to waste precious time making corrections! Be sure to enter your information as a parent or guardian in the appropriate fields and not in the sections
This is by far the most damaging error you could make. FAFSAs are evaluated on a first-
BURNISHED POTATO NUGGETS
INGREDIENTS • 5 lbs russet potatoes,
• 8 cloves garlic, crushed • 2 sprigs rosemary • Kosher salt, to taste
peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 425 F.
2. In a large pot, pour water over potatoes to cover by 2 inches. Salt water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. 3. Thoroughly drain potatoes and let stand for 10 minutes. Toss gently and season with salt. 4. Meanwhile, combine both oils in a large pan and heat in oven for 10 minutes. 5. Remove pan from oven and add potatoes, turning to coat thoroughly. Return to oven and cook for 30 minutes, turning every 10. 6. Toss in garlic and rosemary and finish cooking for 8–10 minutes. 7. Drain and serve.
Inspired by Bon Appétit
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