March 6, 2013

Keep Calm and FAFSA On!

My family are huge Game of Thrones fans, and as such we are anxiously counting down the days until Season Three premieres at the end of the month.  We've been waiting almost a year for the next installment of HBO's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's epic series A Song of Ice and Fire and we are growing more excited and anxious every day to discover the fate of our favorite characters.  There is, however, another countdown happening at our house this month, although I seem to be the only one really concerned about it.

Game of Thrones, Season One (although in this instance Winter was coming, not the FAFSA)
It's here and I can't hide my head in the sand any longer.  With our kids' college FAFSA deadline less than two weeks away, I've been sitting at the home computer every night working on taxes, taxes and more taxes (three returns!) and the dreaded (drumroll, please) FAFSA.  For the uninitiated that stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  This form was not around when my husband and I went to college. I know this for a fact (ok, I don't really know this for a fact because Google couldn't find an answer to my question as to when it was first created, but I'm pretty sure we didn't have it when I was preparing for college because my mother still has her sanity.  I, on the other hand, do not.  Proof positive, in my opinion.)


Times, my friends, have changed.  And because I had four children in seven years (did I mention I no longer have my sanity?) I am now working on my ELEVENTH straight year of FAFSA forms.  You can't get financial aid for college without filling out the forms. And you can't fill out the forms until you have completed your taxes.  And I am the designated form-filler-outer in this family. Believe me, I didn't ask for this dubious honor.  But because we don't want to resort to this option for paying for college...

someone has to do it!  So I've been stuck  happily working on the dang forms every single night, because of course mothers LIKE to do this kind of thing after work.  (Do you think my guilt trip is working? my kids even read my blog?  If you are reading this, yes, that's right, while you're up at college having fun, your mother has been working all day and FAFSA'ing the night away!)
I am probably two days away from being finished at this point, and it is going to feel really good to hit the submit button.  I'll try to keep my crown in place and stay calm, but I think I'll be easy to spot at next year's college graduation ceremonies...I'll be the mom who is hysterically shouting "whoo-hoo, no more FAFSAs!!"

And you simply won't believe this, but I found an honest to gosh poem about the FAFSA!  I'm not going to pretend it's a fabulous poem, but there's a gritty honesty about it that I can certainly relate to!

Jingle Bells, FAFSA Smells

Dashing through the Web,
With a decade's worth of pay,
To the Feds it goes
Laughing all the way (hahaha).
Something makes me say,
"I hope my form's alright,
Or good old FAFSA'll make me pay
For full tuition tonight."

Jingle bells, FAFSA smells.
I'd rather get the pox.
Oh what fun it'll be to live
In a soggy cardboard box.
Oh, jingle bells, FAFSA smells.
Too bad it's not April Fool's.
Oh what fun it'll be to pawn
My class ring to pay for school.


  1. I can relate to this and got a real chuckle from the poem -thanks!

  2. Oh, don't I KNOW your pain! For myself and one of my 4 daughters! I don't think my Masters ring will even pay for the stamps to send my tuition loan payments in. *heavy, deep, sigh*