Tracy DaCosta, associate dean of enrollment services at Roger Williams University, said her office will process 8,000 applications this year.
Meeting deadlines is the most important part of the financial-aid process, she
"You don't want to miss any deadlines, and every school sets different dates," DaCosta
said.Completing the FAFSA
as soon as possible means a student is less at risk for missing an early financial-aid deadline at the schools he
is applying to, DaCosta
Equally important is being accurate in estimating a family's income for the most recent year.
Because most employers do not send tax information to employees as early as Jan. 1, students and parents must guess their income for 2005.Based on this data, the federal government determines how much the family is expected to contribute to higher-education costs each year.
"Try to be as accurate as possible when you guesstimate how much your income is, so your financial-aid package won't change enormously when you make the adjustments," DaCosta
said.If parents received a 3-percent salary increase last year, DaCosta
said the raise should figure that into the estimated family income.If a parent always get a hefty bonus, try to estimate that as well.
"Once you get the W-2s, you have the ability to go online and make corrections to your original estimate," DaCosta