FAFSA and CSS Estimating

<p>We won't know data for 2009 until early to mid February. Obviously, its not good to wait until February, so we were wondering what we should do.</p>

<p>Should we just use the data for 2008? We have no idea how to estimate--no clue at all.</p>

<p>Please help!</p>

<p>What I did was start with the numbers from the previous year's taxes and estimate changes where possible. For instance, you usually know your salary information for all but the last pay period. Estimate slightly on the conservative side--meaning numbers that will give you more financial need--lower salary, higher health expenses, etc. This way, the college has a place holder of FA for your family of a slightly higher amount than you will likely need, that's better than needing more money later in the FA cycle.</p>

<p>Don't worry, fr year is the worst, after that deadlines are later and you can usually finalize your taxes before filling out FA forms.</p>

<p>The 2010-2011 FAFSA will be available for online submission on January 2, 2010. You should do it in keeping with the deadline for the schools to which you are applying. If the school has a January deadline...here's what you do.</p>

<p>File your FAFSA using a "will file" status which means you WILL file your taxes but have not yet done so. Use the BEST possible estimates based on your end of year pay stubs, interest statements etc. Then submit it to the school(s).</p>

<p>Do your taxes as soon as reasonably possible after Feb 1 when you have all of your 2009 documentation. Go back IN to the FAFSA website and amend your FAFSA to reflect the figures from your 2009 completed tax return and resubmit to the college(s). Change your status to "taxes completed". </p>

<p>This is the year you want to get your taxes done as soon as possible. It is NOT the year to wait until April 15th to complete your taxes.</p>

<p>^Thanks for adding about the 'will file' and 'taxes completed' status on the FAFSA, very important.</p>

<p>For the Profile, you will want to submit it by the deadline(s) and then send hard copies of documentation to each school of your final numbers; they don't provide the ability on line to estimate and then finalize.</p>