SOURCE: NextStudent

February 15, 2007 16:11 ET

NextStudent Cautions Those Waiting to Complete FAFSA Until After Filing Taxes

PHOENIX, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 15, 2007 -- Many college students and their parents are operating under the false assumption that they cannot file their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) until after they file their taxes, according to NextStudent, the Phoenix-based premier education funding company. This, and other misinformation that may delay federal financial aid recipients from filing their FAFSA until closer to the federal deadline in July, may prevent students from receiving the student loans they need for college.

Since federal financial aid is on a first-come, first-served basis, those who apply as close to Jan. 2 of each year are more likely to get the funds they need to attend the college of their choice. Those who wait may be forced to attend their second or third choice, or even start at their local community college.

The population of students waiting to file their FAFSA is not limited to those who delay filing until after tax season. Some parents operate under the mistaken notion that they cannot file the FAFSA until February, after they receive their W-2s and other important tax documents. In either case, students and their parents may file their FAFSA on or immediately following Jan. 2 of each year. Many do not realize that they may estimate their income and fill in that number on the appropriate line of their FAFSA. If there is any significant change to the "estimated" amount they enter, they may update the "actual" figure via their online application.

NextStudent makes financial planning for college easy, as students are guided through the financial aid process from start to finish by their own personally assigned Education Finance Advisor. And when students file their FAFSA as close as possible to Jan. 2, they have distinct advantages over others who delay applying until February when W-2s and other tax documents are distributed, until April after taxes are filed, or as late as the July federal deadline.

Students may follow a simple four-step process when filling out their FAFSA online. The first step involves gathering all documents needed to complete the application by filling out the pre-application work sheet. Next, students will need to apply for their PIN, which is their electronic signature and is required to sign the online application. Once completed, students may fill out the actual FAFSA. The final step involves following up to ensure that everything is in order. Approximately three to five days after completing the FAFSA online, students receive a confirmation that their application has been received. Another three to four weeks later, students then receive their SAR (Student Aid Report). To get started, students may go to the FAFSA Web site, located at

About NextStudent

NextStudent, federal lender code 834051, is dedicated to helping students and their families find affordable ways to pay for college. NextStudent offers one-on-one education finance counseling and has a portfolio of highly competitive education finance products and services including a free online scholarship search engine, federally guaranteed parent and student loans, private student loans, both federal and private student loan consolidation programs, and college savings plans.

The NextStudent Scholarship Search Engine, one of the nation's oldest and largest scholarship search engines, is updated daily, available free of charge, completely private -- and represents 2.4 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion.

For more information about NextStudent and its student loan programs, please visit the company's Web site at

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