Joyous African American student graduates in their caps and gowns

Education Enrichment: 5 Financial Aid Tips You Need To Know Now

Deacon John Wilson, Director of West Angeles’ Education Enrichment ministry, shares 5 important tips for properly submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

For students beginning at a college or university in Fall 2017 (Academic Year 2017-18, rising seniors), Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deliveries can and should begin October 1. As you probably know, proper and timely FAFSA delivery is required to get Federal or Institutional Aid from a college or university. It’s our advice that the FAFSA be delivered October 1 – 10. 

NOTEIn previous years, the FAFSA would have been delivered January 1-10t of the year of enrollment – in this case, 2017. The date was changed by the Federal Government by Presidential Executive Order earlier this year.

Here are 5 additional important considerations:

  1. The FAFSA should be delivered ONLINE at fafsa.ed.gov, although it could be delivered in the mail. If you deliver by mail, it will take 4-6 additional weeks to complete the financial aid process.
  2. Even though it’s an ONLINE application and it’s their FAFSA, YOUTH SHOULD NEVER DELIVER THE FAFSA UNSUPERVISED.
  3. It’s our 13-year FAFSA experience that 80% of all FAFSAs are delivered ONLINE with some sort of error – 25-30% with an error that significantly reduces or delays the financial aid award. This is why, for a very small donation, we deliver FAFSAs and follow up during the financial aid process. Outside services charge hundreds of dollars for this service.
  4. Before submitting the FAFSA, both youth and parent should order a FAFSA username and password at fafsa.ed.gov. However, it’s quite difficult to follow the online instructions for this. In fact, last year, which was the first year for ordering FAFSA usernames and passwords, we noticed that 60% had serious problems with initial ordering or could not complete the proper ordering of the password. Because of this, we have developed a detailed procedure that can be found HERE.
  5. The FAFSA 2015 taxable income data will need to be retrieved into FAFSA from the 2015 Federal Income Tax Return.

If you have further FAFSA or other financial aid process issues, please call our Office (West Angeles EEP) at West Angeles Church of God In Christ at 323-733-8300 ext. 2629.


Deacon John Wilson is Director of West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Education and Enrichment Ministry (EEM). EEM is provided in accordance with the Urban Initiatives of the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) International, through the leadership of Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr. Please contact EEM at 323-733-8300 X 2629 to find out more about the various programs and services provided, or click please HERE.