Beware of Financial Aid Scams


A few years ago a close family member contacted me for assistance with completing his Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We discussed the differences between loans and gift aid (e.g. grants). In the coming weeks, we exchanged text messages and he asked me, “Are you sure FAFSA is free? I have completed my form and in order to be eligible for financial aid it reads that I have to submit my credit card information.”

I immediately called him and asked what website he was on. I informed him that the FAFSA has always been free and if there is a fee it’s a scam. Over the years, I have also come across websites seeking individual’s social security number and payment information to apply for scholarships. The FAFSA is free, hence the first word, “FREE” Application for Federal Student Aid, and organizations that award legitimate scholarships will not ask you to pay to apply.

Please read scholarship applications closely to avoid scams. Also, the only place online to submit your FAFSA is through: .

Remember to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Happy New Year!

~Dr. O




Submit Your FAFSA Earlier


The first week of school is usually exciting! For those who are lucky, there is a limited amount of homework and time to catch up with friends about their summer adventures. Also, there is time to explore what’s new on campus while attending events with free food. It may seem like the difficult part of college with tests and quizzes is in the distant future.

As demands increase in the coming weeks, keep in mind that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid Application (FAFSA) can be submitted as early as Saturday, October 1, 2016 for the 2017-2018 academic year. This early financial aid option provides families and students with a means to determine their costs for various institutions to make a knowledgeable decision.

Mark your calendar and submit the FAFSA early!

~Dr. O