What is the FAFSA?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,888
    College counseling director Jerome Cole explains the basics of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.

    Jerome A. Cole, MA

    Jerome A. Cole, M.A., is the Director of College Counseling for the Edmund Burke school in Washington, D.C. and the founder of Cole Educational Consulting Services (Cole ECS.) He has worked with students and families for over seven years to help them plan and strategize for college. As a college counselor at Burke, an independent college preparatory high school founded in 1968, Mr. Cole oversees a program that is designed to support students and families as they go through the selection and admission process for college. Mr. Cole advises over 100 students each year in a small academically challenging environment where every senior is expected to apply to and enroll in college. Prior to Burke, he was a school counselor at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has successfully counseled hundreds of students and helped them prepare for admission to a variety of schools such as: American University, Clark-Atlanta University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Temple University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, to highlight just a few. He established the consulting firm Cole ECS to provide students and families with the necessary information and support to make the best choice for college. Cole ECS defines the best choice as the optimal learning and social environment to ensure a student’s holistic success, culminating in on-time or early graduation and desirable post-graduate options. Mr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. He is certified as a school counselor and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

    Host: What is the FAFSA?

    Jerome Cole: The FAFSA is a Federal Form; it s an acronym that stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a form that every family, who wants to qualify for those federal funds and state funds, we are talking about public money now to colleges and universities, has to complete. This is done online. The forms come out in the month of December, they can be submitted until January, but around January you want to get those forms completed and get those submitted online. You cannot under any circumstances receive federal funding for college purposes, if you do not have this FAFSA form completed, its very important F-A-F-S-A, just type that in on your computer and it will take you directly to the website and good luck with that, but it is mandatory.