Show & Tell: College financial aid applications

Jerry Inglet is director of college and education advisory services at M&T Bank.

We asked him what parents and students need to know about college financial aid applications.

Fall ushers in cooler weather, all things pumpkin spice and is also an important time of year for students to begin applying for college financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education began accepting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on Oct. 1 for the 2019-2020 academic year. Consider the following:

  • Completing the FAFSA is not only important for federal Pell grants, but for the purposes of college-based aid. FAFSA information will also be used for state-based financial aid in New Jersey.
  • Complete a CSS profile with the College Board at to be used by certain schools in determining scholarship and grant offers.
  • When filing online, a convenient tool is available that will let you retrieve your 2017 tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA form.

Only 61 percent of last year’s graduating class in the U.S. filed a FAFSA, leaving billions of dollars in potential aid on the table. We recommend our clients file the FAFSA as soon as possible to increase their chances of maximizing their financial aid packages.