Those of you who have struggled through college admissions, SAT’s and four years of filling out the dreaded government FAFSA form will truly appreciate what I am about to share – WE ARE DONE! I have finished filing my very last FAFSA form. I have been a single Mom helping both of my daughters through college and my youngest daughter is almost done, she is a junior and has only one year of school left. Tonight she and I filed her last ever FAFSA.
For those of you who do not have children, or your kids aren’t old enough – and if you don’t remember doing this for yourself, the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Aid, is a required government form for students who wish to receive any financial assistance (grants, loans or scholarships ) to help with college tuition. It is required every year, and the form must be completed by the student and parents, to help determine financial need. Luckily, being an underpaid teacher and a single parent – need has never been an issue.
At first, the FAFSA form can be daunting, but this was my 7th straight year of completing the form. I am getting pretty good at reading it. I was very intimidated by these forms at first - being a new single Mom, I was unsure what to do and extremely nervous about making a mistake that might impact my daughters' educations. I am fairly certain I was actually in tears the first year, but with time and practice - I got more comfortable with the process.
Filing our last FAFSA is something of a milestone for our family – it signifies an end to an era – my daughters are growing up (an obvious point since both of my adult daughters are taller than I am). I am so proud of both of my daughters, they both earned scholarships to go to college, and thanks to our dreaded FAFSA each year, they were also given grants to assist them in paying for school expenses. I know that many college graduates face their working careers with large student loan debt, but thanks to a combination of hard work and financial need - both of my daughters were able to afford college and not end up with a mountain of debt. I am extremely happy that I won't have to worry about FAFSAs anymore, I am looking forward to watching my younger daughter walk across the stage and pick up her college degree certificate, as her old sister did two years ago. It may have been a hassle to fill out all those forms - but I have no doubt it was worth it.