Financial Aid Application Services for CPA Members

Provide professional FAFSA preparation help. Member discount offered by using promo code: CPA.

January 19, 2010
Sponsored by Student Financial Aid Service, Inc.

Skyrocketing college costs spurred by the recession and tightening bank credit are making families more dependent on financial aid to pay for college expenses. CPAs can now expand their service offering and help clients apply for financial aid and lower college expenses by taking advantage of a special discount from Student Financial Aid Services, Inc. (SFAS), the nation’s oldest and largest student-aid application preparation and advisory service.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the essential first step in being eligible to receive a share of the approximately $168 billion in available federal, state and college-sponsored financial aid — including grants, low-interest loans and work-study programs. Nearly every student is eligible for some type of aid for college.

About 15 million college students apply for aid each year. Many students who are eligible often fail to apply because the application can be complicated — especially for families with more complex tax situations. The U.S. Department of Education uses a student’s aid application to do a “need analysis” based on financial information, such as income, assets and other family information that a student (and parents if the student is a dependent) must provide in order to be considered for aid. Students must submit a new FAFSA each school year to be eligible for any aid.

While students can complete the application themselves for free with the U.S. Department of Education, either online or by mail, many students and their families find answering more than 130 asset, income and dependency questions to be difficult and time-consuming. That’s why the government allows fee-based professional FAFSA help, just like it allows professionals to prepare income tax forms.

Each year, FAFSA errors, incomplete applications and missed deadlines cause countless students to miss out on thousands of dollars in available student aid. Furthermore, according to former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, as many as eight million students each year don’t apply for aid at all, in part because of all of the red tape.

To prevent errors that lower aid awards, an increasing number of students and their families are turning to FAFSA preparation services — a process similar to using a professional to help file their income taxes — to help them maximize their student aid.

CPAs can now capitalize by providing clients with FAFSA preparation services through Student Financial Aid Services at a special 10-percent discount. As the oldest and largest fee-based preparation and advisory service, SFAS has 16 years of experience and is dedicated to helping America’s families access the most student aid possible to pursue their college dreams.

SFAS’ student-aid advisors are trained specialists whose comprehensive knowledge about the student aid process, financial aid deadlines and the FAFSA application can help students submit on-time, error-free FAFSA applications to maximize their eligibility for student aid.

CPAs have two easy options for using SFAS to assist clients:

  1. Provide a FAFSA preparation service. CPAs can prepare the FAFSA on behalf of their clients, either with SFAS’s easy-to-use online form at www.FAFSA.com or in as little as 15 minutes over the phone with a student-aid advisor at 1-866-514-8934.
  2. Act as a referral service. CPAs can direct clients to SFAS, with their W-2s and completed income taxes in hand, where they can complete the application themselves, either with SFAS’ easy-to-use online form at www.FAFSA.com or with the personal assistance of an experienced student-aid advisor at 1-866-514-8934.

To receive your 10 percent discount on either service, you will need to use Promo Code: CPA.

Online or by phone, SFAS quickly and easily guides applicants through the FAFSA process with simple questions and clear referencing of tax-form line numbers. In addition to personalized assistance and advice from student aid professionals, SFAS’ service includes a 450-point FAFSACheckerror detector, which automatically examines each completed application for errors and omissions that could otherwise result in a loss of valuable student aid, as well as access to a comprehensive database of federal, state and college application deadlines to help ensure timely submissions.

SFAS enables CPAs to confidently provide a value-added service to their customers — reliably and affordably.

To learn more about SFAS, visit http://www.FAFSA.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-514-8934.