Is it a good idea to pay someone to fill in the FAFSA for you?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,805
    Financial advisor Brad Barnett discusses whether it’s a good idea to pay someone to fill in the FAFSA for you.

    Brad Barnett

    Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.  He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health.  He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University.  Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees.  In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.”  Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college.  He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.

    Host: Is it a good idea to pay someone to fill in the FAFSA for you?

    Brad Barnett: Most of the time it's more advantageous for the student to use the federal website, the .

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    gov designation to complete the FAFSA, rather than pay someone to submit it on your behalf. The FAFSA can be rather complex, especially the first time you complete. So if you need some assistance doing that then I encourage you to speak with the Financial Aid Officer at your local college, he ll be happy to assist you at no charge whatsoever. From time to time there will be people who will approach you and they will want to assist you through this process and will charge you a fee, but I have found in my experience that majority of the time its really not worth the money.