US Women Beat Nigeria, Win Group By Whitey Kapsalis, author of To Chase a Dream (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) The US Women beat Nigeria in an important final game of the first round, winning the group and advancing on to the next round. A late 1st half goal by Abby Wambach was the difference in a game dominated by the US. A few counter-attack opportunities by Nigeria kept the game interesting, but the US was in control throughout. The highlight of the game was Lauren Holiday’s presence and composure in the midfield. She orchestrated the offense by being around the ball a lot and by playing balls that kept the Nigerian defense off-balance. Once again, the back five of the US defenders were stingy and disciplined throughout the game, breaking down most of Nigeria’s attack in the defensive third. http://www.tochaseadream.com/ US vs. Nigeria By Shane Stay, author of Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) Columbia vs. England will likely determine who the US plays next in Edmonton, Canada. The Women’s World Cup is getting more exciting! Wambach’s goal, a volley with her foot – not her head – put the US past Nigeria, as predicted, to win Group D. The midfield was better, with room for improvement. This win avoids a second round game against a strong Brazilian side. As Wambach and Morgan got more playing time, maybe that was the key as Abby’s goad in the first half finished the score against Nigeria, 1-0. Coming off a tie against Sweden this was a great confidence builder for the team in the next few days. Furthermore, Morgan’s start was the first in two months, due to an injury comeback. US fans are hoping to see more from her. Combined with Lloyd, and other midfield talent, things are coming together for the US, gaining momentum heading into the knock out rounds. Some keys to look for will be the US remaining composed in possession and not getting rattled when they don’t score right away, with a solid and relaxed defense, who, up to this point, has played well, keeping the US in games, but has also looked jittery at times. http://www.shanestay.com/blog Women's World Cup Tip--Get Your Sleep! By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of Food Guide for Women’s Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) As the tournament moves on to the crucial knock-out rounds, every aspect of players caring for themselves both on and off the field becomes more crucial. In addition to good nutrition, other lifestyle aspects come into consideration. According to Food Guide for Women's Soccer, in addition to fatigue, lack of sleep directly affects athletic performance. According to research quoted in the book, cumulative sleep deprivation has been shown to reduce cardiovascular performance by 11%. It also affects other measures of performance, such as focus, perceived exertion, and alters the supply of energy to the muscles. Stay tuned to more from the Women's World Cup http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/
Here is an interesting statistic from this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup. Teams coached by women have scored more goals and also given up more goals than teams coached by men in the competition thus far. The top two scoring teams so far are Germany and Switzerland and between them they have scored 21 goals. Each team has only played 2 games. The good news is that both teams are coached by female coaches. At the other end of the spectrum, the top two teams that have conceded the most goals so far are Ecuador and Cote D’Ivoire. The bad news is that those two teams have conceded 29 goals in 4 games and are also coached by female coaches. It seems as though that teams with women coaches produce more goals both for and against. It’s interesting that female coaches are at the helm at both extremes. (I shall refrain from making a comment here). In this World Cup, only 7 head coaches of the 24 teams are female. If we look at the total goals for and against record of those 7 female coaches, we see a total of 33 goals were scored and 39 goals were conceded. The combined total from the remaining 17 male coaches shows only 41 goals scored and only 35 goals given up. This could be purely coincidental but based on those numbers I would say that, from an entertainment point of view, watching teams coached by females would provide a lot more excitement. In fact the numbers suggest that games would be filled with goals if all teams were coached by females. Maybe we should consider forcing all teams in the Women’s World Cup to be coached by females. That could make things interesting. Come to think of it, if this is a trend and not just a coincidence, the MLS, which is traditionally a low scoring league, should consider banning male coaches and forcing all teams to hire female head coaches. That may help boost TV ratings for the MLS as well! Please don’t comment on that last sentence because I’m just kidding. But it is an interesting observation isn’t it? Will it continue? Keep an eye on it. Thanks for reading, John DeBenedictis, author of The Last 9 Seconds: The Secrets of Scoring Goals on the Last Touch (DeBenedictis Books) Follow John on Twitter - JohnD_Soccer
Shane Stay and Whitey Kapsalis, two soccer experts weigh in on US, Sweden game. Also included is a helpful nutrition tip from Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark. Here is what they have to say: US Women Build in Confidence Against Sweden Shane Stay, author of Why American Soccer Isn't There Yet (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) Even though it turned out to be a tie, the US women looked much better in this second game against Sweden. That is, in the second half of this second game. Despite strong defense from the US in the first forty-five, the front side of the attack was lacking a connection, as opportunities in the box were missed, with a through pass massively over-paced as the first half came to a close, missing out on a prime opportunity to create danger in Sweden’s box. As the team regrouped at half, the pace to the next forty-five was much better. As the Winnipeg-based crowd picked up the spirits’ of the players, there was good patience in possession, the spacing was exploited in Sweden’s defensive third, along with good footwork from Lloyd, Krieger, and very good composure from Christen Press. Lloyd came very close to scoring near the Swede’s goal-line which turned into a clash of heads, leaving both players on the ground momentarily. There was a close call for a penalty kick as the ball ambiguously glazed off a Swedish defender’s hand, but the real attacking threat came from a delicate shot past Solo which a US defender deflected off her head into the crossbar, averting a near certain score from Sweden. In the end, a 0-0 score will do for now as the US moves on with a point, on top of Group D with four points. Wambach and Morgan came on late, with little impact. Overall, the US outplayed Sweden and things should pick up on the scoreboard carrying this confidence into the next match against Nigeria, which should be a walk in the park. http://www.shanestay.com/blog Unusual lackluster performance by US ends in scoreless draw with Sweden By Whitey Kapsalis, author of To Chase a Dream (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) Perhaps it was the fact that they were playing their old coach, or perhaps it was just one of those days, but the US Women’s Soccer Team gave an atypical lackluster performance last night in drawing even with Sweden. The US was unable to sustain any momentum in the attacking third and did not create any real scoring threats. Passes in the final third were not connecting and play in the midfield was a bit methodical, contributing to the lack of firepower we have grown accustomed to seeing. Defensively we were strong and had another huge save off the goal line to prevent what could have been a big loss. Let’s hope the game next Tuesday produces a more inspired effort, the kind of effort that has always made this team so special and fun to watch. http://www.tochaseadream.com/ Women's World Cup Nutrition Tip By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of Food Guide for Women's Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) As the tournament progresses, history shows that the most successful and experienced teams know how to build: they have to get better as they go along. Refueling is an important part of the equation. According to Food Guide for Women's Soccer, the best post-exercise snacks include a foundation of carbs to replace the depleted glycogen (muscle energy) stores, and a small amount of protein (10 to 20 grams) to repair the muscle damage. The target is about three times more carbs than protein. Good choices include a fruit smoothie made with Greek yogurt, or an energy bar plus chocolate milk. http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/
I just finished watching the Women’s World Cup match between Canada and New Zealand that ended in a 0-0 tie. Although there were a few crossbars and a few great saves by the keepers, there were not that many chances manufactured by either team. In the past, it was not uncommon for a coach to say to his or her team, "If they don't score, you can’t lose." Teams would play defensive soccer and hope to steal a victory with a chance goal. It was after the 1982 Men’s World Cup that FIFA probably started considering changing their point structure to encourage attacking soccer. In that tournament, Italy played 3 first round games without winning a game and only scoring 2 goals but they managed to advance because they also only gave up 2 goals. That was enough to allow Italy to go through to the next round. As it turned out, they ended up winning the World Cup but it only came after they started scoring. In their last 3 games they scored 8 goals. But playing negative soccer was not attractive so FIFA introduced the 3 point system whereby a win was worth 3 points instead of 2 while a tie was still worth only one point. Today, it would be unlikely that a team can go to the next round with only 3 ties. Nonetheless, goals are still hard to come by thus far in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. If you take away some lopsided scores, which are probably a result of some weaker teams being entered into the competition due to more teams being allowed in the finals, scoring would still be very low. Courtesy of Les Jones, Covershots, Inc. So far, in 62.4% of games only 1 goal was needed for a team to win the game. Staggering when you think about it isn’t it? Only 1 goal can win you over 50% of soccer games. Are the goalkeepers that good? Maybe teams are playing as though they are afraid to lose in fear of being eliminated from the tournament. We did see goal scoring go up in the 2014 Men’s World Cup, so let’s hope that as we move to must-win games that teams will need at least 2 goals to win a game instead of 1. That would be more enjoyable to watch too. And don’t forget, that you also cannot win without scoring a goal! Thanks for reading. John DeBenedictis – Author: The Last 9 Seconds: The Secrets to Scoring Goals on The Last Touch (DeBenedictis Books 2013) Go Like my Facebook page The Last 9 Seconds by John DeBenedictis http://www.thelast9seconds.com/ Nutrition Tips By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of Food Guide for Women’s Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ As the competition ramps up, here is a key fact to consider from Food Guide for Women's Soccer. Some statistics reveal that the majority of goals are scored in the last five minutes of the first and second half of the game. And according to a 2002 men's World Cup analysis, the peak of scoring was between the 76th and 90th minutes of the matches. This indicates that fatigue and/or lack of focus has a major impact on allowing opponents to score. That's why smart nutrition can keep you in the game, and competitive until the final whistle. Stay tuned for more from the Women's World Cup http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/
Abby Wambach’s missed scoring chance against Australia in the USA’s opening game, clearly proves that when it comes to goal scoring, that often the reason players do not score is not because of lack of technique or skill but something completely different. I would say that psychology plays a bigger part of missed scoring opportunities than coaches give credit for. Wamback’s missed header would normally have been a routine goal. We know she has the skills and techniques needed to score because she has scored on similar chances many times before. In fact she’s The BEST in the World when it comes to scoring. She holds all the women’s goal scoring records. Courtesy of Les Jones, Covershots, Inc. Her psychological make-up is usually spot-on because to re-iterate, she’s the best in the world at scoring goals. We know she has the skill because she has scored in these situations over and over so her miss cannot be blamed on lack of skill or technique. Even Abby, the best in the world, missed scoring chances. You can only attribute her missed opportunity, in the first half of their game against Australia, to a psychological breakdown for that instant. It’s clear on all the replays. It happens to the best of them; Messi, Ronaldo, Marta, Sinclair, and yes, even Wamback. Even these superstars have psychological breakdowns when it comes to scoring goals but much less often than most of their competitors. It took only a split second for her to lose her deep concentration needed to score in that situation. It was a common mistake that players make all the time. When she realized it, it was too late to correct. She’s a pro and she’ll bounce back better than ever. I have come up with three key things to focus on in such situations to keep a player focused. These 3 “secrets” have helped players I have coached break their own goal scoring records. They can be found in my book, The Last 9 Seconds. In it I explain how and why players miss chances and offer coaches some tools to help their players eliminate psychological errors. They will never be 100% perfect, but an improvement in conversion rate in these types of chances can be the difference between winning and losing. Thanks for Reading, John DeBenedictis, author of The Last 9 Seconds: The Secrets to Scoring Goals on The Last Touch (DeBenedictis Books 2013) http://www.thelast9seconds.com/ Women's World Cup Nutrition Tip Water, water everywhere...Hydration is a vital topic for soccer players, and especially in the summer heat of the World Cup. Australian forward Lisa De Vanna, who terrorized the U.S. in game 1 of the tournament with her incredible speed and ability, reveals in "Food Guide for Women's Soccer,": "The biggest nutrition improvement I've made since coming to professional soccer is drinking more water. Drinking enough has made a significant impact on my energy level and performance on the field." She sure showed that, scoring Australia's only goal of the game. Stay tuned for more from the Women's World Cup! By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of, Food Guide for Women's Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/
John DeBenedictis, author of, The Last 9 Seconds: The Secrets to Scoring Goals on the Last Touch (DeBenedictis Books 2013) Only One Team has scored in 8 out of 12 Games at Women’s World Cup The 2015 Women’s World Cup has just begun and already goals are hard to come by. So far, out of the first 12 games played, only one team has scored in eight of those games. This means that only one goal was needed to win a game. In fact 4 of those 8 games ended with a 1-0 result. The importance of scoring that one goal can be the difference between victory and defeat. Strikers are under intense pressure to score and if they don’t, the media are quick to start asking questions. Even the best strikers in the world will get scrutinized which is why it’s the goal scorers who will either emerge as our new heros or be labeled as failures. There’s incredible pressure on the Strikers. How unfair! Thanks for reading. Follow John's blog at http://goldengoalscoring.blogspot.com/ Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of, Food Guide for Women’s Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) Women's World Cup Nutrition Ever wonder what soccer players from various nations eat during the World Cup? Are their diets 'true to their culture'? One clue is the way the players, who travel the world, have adapted various typical dishes from other countries with the use of ingredients native to their own culture. In "Food Guide for Women's Soccer", Japanese team captain Aya Miyama (who scored on a PK in Japan's first game and win) shares her recipe for Japanese-Style Hamburgers. They include Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and Tonkastu, a typical Japanese sauce (or steak sauce with ketchup if you can't find her version). Stay tuned for more from the World Cup! http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/
Excerpts from the Experts Below are excerpts from articles written by soccer experts on the game last night. You learn more about each author by going to the link at the bottom of their remarks. Ashu Saxena, author of Soccer – Strategies for Sustained Soccer Coaching Success (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2012) USWNT v Australia: U.S. Off to a Good Start with a 3-1 Victory Areas to improve upon for the U.S.: Communication in team defending- Australia's early chances along with its goal could have been prevented by better communication to apply pressure, get into passing lanes and snuff out attempts on goal. Movement in the final third- there was not a lot of movement on and off the ball until late in the match when Australia seemed to fade. Against a better opponent, this needs to improve and at a greater pace. Midfield play- not enough dictating of play via spraying effective passes to put players in scoring opportunities or retaining possession and moving to get the ball back. U.S. gave up possession far too often. Passion- the competitive fire necessary to put an inferior opponent away (or at least compete with greater intensity) early was lacking. This must improve to overcome stronger opponents. Next match prediction: Bolstered by its depth, the U.S. will continue to improve one match at a time. Playing against former coach Pia Sundhage's Sweden, U.S. will improve upon tonight's performance and win 2-0. http://www.saxenacoachingservices.com/ Shane Stay, author of Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) Australians Give US a Good Run The Australian side gave the US a good run, as they have in past attempts, but fell short of walking away with a key win. The US started out slow, and very impatient. The keeper, Solo, had to make a number of saves in the first half. Add to that, with little build-up in possession from the back, the US looked like they were trying to get things arranged, but couldn’t quite find the right path. While in the second half, the team picked up the pace and the play became crisper, with energy brought from the bench. The build-up from the back improved, to mark the first game a 3-1 victory. With steady keeper play, the team got the jitters out, moving onward to the next step. Possibly, with Morgan’s injury – only coming on late in the game – the team must find a way to keep things moving in a positive direction into the next challenge. http://www.shanestay.com/blog/womens-world-cup-us-vs-australia Whitey Kapsalis, author of To Chase a Dream, (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) USA Survives Early Jitters, Takes Control in Win Over Australia Two brilliant saves by US Goalkeeper Hope Solo kept the game tied until the US could finally settle in and dictate the tempo. They did so by calming their nerves and taking it to Australia for the final 15 minutes of the 1st half and entire 2nd half. A dominating performance the rest of the game resulted in a comfortable 3-1 victory. Key learning points regarding the 3 US goals: The first goal confirmed the importance of shooting the ball from distance. Once you have an opening, strike the ball with the intent to get it on target. Shots resulting in rebounds, or in this case, deflections can lead to great scoring opportunities….don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to strike the ball if within distance. http://www.tochaseadream.com/ Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, Food Guide for Women’s Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) Women’s World Cup Nutrition Tip Here’s a couple of insights from Food Guide for Women’s Soccer. You might assume players simply ‘chow down’ before playing, but not so, according to U.S. forward Amy Rodriguez, “When we have an evening game, I eat a big breakfast, a lighter lunch, and then I make sure I don’t go too crazy with food before the game. It’s difficult to work out really hard on a full stomach.” http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/
By Tom Doherty The following article first appeared in IBPA Independent. The time to begin thinking about selling a book comes long before the book is available to consumers, and even before acquisition of the content. Naturally, your first thoughts may center on considerations such as how good the content is and who will be interested in it. But while you think about attracting consumers you must also consider your customers—the people you have to reach before you reach the people who will buy and read the book you plan to publish. Although potential consumers differ from book to book, potential customers—retailers, wholesalers, and institutions—have several needs in common. Your ability to sell to them will depend on decisions you make about packaging, distribution, and marketing, starting before the editing process begins, and on whether you can make a compelling case for a book in terms of content, author, marketing, and marketplace. CONTENT AND AUTHOR CONSIDERATIONS When you’re selling to a customer, you need to bear in mind a question customers always ask themselves: “If I buy this book, how will the publisher get consumers to purchase it?” Where content is concerned, providing a satisfactory answer requires distinguishing your product from the competition. Customers may not be interested a novel’s plot details or the instructions in a how-to title, but they will want to know how a book is different and better than apparently similar titles. Convincing customers that a book’s content is good is relatively simple if the book is by an established author with a proven track record, but what if you are selling one by a new author, or by an author whose new book should rise above previous releases? Allocate time in your production schedule for getting advance praise from relevant professionals and writers. Take all the quotes you can gather and put them in a flyer you can share with reps and customers several months before the release of a book. Aim to produce galleys four to six months before publication, and send them to industry review sources, your reps, and your potentially important customers. Run a contest on Goodreads and/or utilize the IBPA NetGalley member benefit. And if you use electronic versions of your book as galleys, make sure you send files only to trusted and reputable places. If you are selling a book by a first-time author, think long and hard about all the ways you can tie the author’s life experience and professional credentials to the content. Tactics can include something as simple as focusing on biographical material that relates to content, along with focusing on the author’s social media followers, access to media, and/or entrée to associations whose members are part of the audience for the book. If you are selling an author you wish to bring to the next level, you might have to focus more on the content of the new book and what distinguishes it from previous efforts, or present a truly innovative marketing plan. MARKETING AND MARKETPLACE MATERIALS A good marketing plan is your very best friend. It will cover all potential audiences for the book, all forms of media (print, online, and broadcast), and all other ways you will reach a particular book’s readers. Many great Independent articles can help you develop a marketing plan, and they’re available via ibpa-online.org. However, it isn't enough to have a really nifty plan. You must communicate the plan effectively to your reps and customers, and you must do that months before the release of a book, preferably six to nine months in advance. If you don’t have a clear idea of how you can market a book to consumers when you’re thinking about acquiring the book, you might move on to considering another proposal. Even if the copy in your catalog or sell sheet features only a few bullet points from your plan, key customers and your reps will benefit by having specifics months in advance of publication. You can update the marketing plan and your sell sheets as you get closer to the release date. The important goal is giving customers and reps as full a plan as possible right from the beginning of the sell-in process. Although you may have fewer customers when you’re marketing a book only in electronic formats, a strong marketing plan is just as important for e-books as for print editions, and the process, including timing, is remarkably similar to the process for print books. Regardless of format and no matter how unique the content of your book is, marketing means reaching out to people who read books, and more than likely your book will not be their first. Do not make the mistake of thinking that your book has no competition. Your reps and customers need to know how your new book fits in with their existing catalog of products, and one of the best ways to tell them is with comparative title analysis. Comparative title information can boost sales to retail and wholesale buyers by revealing geographic hot spots, genre and sub-genre performance, and trends. So, doing the research is well worth your time. Visit retail outlets, explore online, talk with your distributor if you have one, and check out the IBPA Nielsen BookScan member benefit if you haven’t already signed up for it. BookScan will show you which competing titles are selling well and which are not in certain sales channels. A QUICK SUMMARY OF POTENTIAL PAYOFFS Key buyers look for clues of professionalism as they try to pick winners and losers. Because customers are gambling their cash-flow on every purchase, they like to bet on publishers and books that seem professional, and that’s the image you will project when you provide compelling evidence about the strengths of a book’s content, author, marketing, and marketplace right from the beginning of the book’s life. Doing so should help you sell more copies. And selling more copies should, in turn, help you avoid problems with your cash flow and revenue. On that happy note; good luck with your next book. Tom Doherty This article is offered here by permission of the IBPA Independent. Tom Doherty is the president of Cardinal Publishers Group, a full service national book distributor.
Edward Snowden truth Q: What are the most important disclosures? A: The first disclosure, the Verizon report, which shows that the phone records of all Americans (by all major phone providers) has been turned over to the federal government for the last seven years. The second exposés, the PRISM editorials, which appeared the next day in both The Guardian and Washington Post. These prove that surveillance is taking place with our online communications. The day after that, the Washington Post rewrote its report (and The Guardian debuted the same in a little noticed article), which revealed that GCHQ and the NSA are working together. The Boundless Informant article. It shows that the NSA has hid surveillance programs from congressional oversight committees. Later reports would argue that this was not an isolated incident. All of the South China Morning Post exposés. They were the first to state the NSA has been spying on foreign nations without provocation. This includes economic and civilian espionage. The XKeyscore article at the end of July is very condemning. It depicts the nearly godlike technological capabilities the NSA has at its fingertips. The Guardian's Microsoft report, which shows that Internet corporations are willfully participating in mass surveillance. The joint Guardian/Washington Post/Pro Publica encryption editorials. They prove that no communications are safe, not even ones using secure websites or encryption technology. Q: What kinds of explosive material has the press failed to report to the public? A: I anticipate that forthcoming disclosures from the bounty of the purported 1.7 million files in the Snowden press's possession will continue to be limited to civilian, diplomatic, domestic, and economic affairs such as revealing that the Five Eyes are spying on each other atop domestic surveillance being more invasive. However, it is clear that of the millions of classified documents, military secrets are being carefully protected. This is because the Edward Snowden press has stated that--upon the whistleblower's request--national security will not be compromised. This implies that they have access to delicate military data but have, and continue, to refuse to divulge this information. Case in point, the federal government openly stated that Chinese hackers stole millions in military R & D from the Pentagon. To assume similar espionage hasn't been ordered and executed by the U.S. would be naïve. Q: What are the most disturbing aspects of the NSA reports? A: That the intelligence community had hid surveillance programs from Congress. A secret court, the FISC, which was supposedly created with the express purpose of overseeing the NSA and whose judgments are rarely revealed to the American public, essentially rubberstamps itself into extraneousness. How our legislators gerrymandered the law in order to grant itself almost absolute freedom to spy, such as creating the word “metadata” because “communications,” by law, cannot be surveilled. The fact that the U.S. government isn’t acting alone and, as the Snowden press has heavily implied, has other nations spy on Americans in order to circumnavigate around the Fourth Amendment. However, the most enraging aspect of the intelligence revelations is the NSA’s attitude. A classified training slide was revealed that tells intelligence agents that if a privacy law has been violated, the error should be reported but, if the government worker fails to do so, it’s “nothing to worry about.” In a September report, another series of slides refers to cell phone users as naïve, gullible “zombies.” Q: What was the NSA's response to the disclosures? A: Instead of changing protocol to keep other guilty consciences from whistleblowing, the NSA instituted a security lock down, i.e., two-person data transfer system. Interestingly, instead of curtailing its spying as a gesture of good faith, it increased its surveillance capabilities: It opened the Utah Data Center last September. This facility has the ability to retain an unimaginable amount of data and is said to be able to make metadata immortal. Author of the "Edward Snowden Affair," Michael Gurnow
By Dr. Frank Mussano with Dr. Robert Iosuse, authors of the book College Tuition: Four Decades of Financial Deception Filling out the free application for student financial aid known as the FAFSA is the most important step you can take to receive financial assistance for paying college expenses. It determines eligibility for all federal student aid, including scholarships, low-cost loans, grants, and work-study. Education Reform 1. What is the FAFSA income limit for awarding financial aid? There is no income cut-off for federal financial aid. Many factors are considered in the needs analysis formula in addition to income. The bottom line is that students should not assume they are not eligible for financial aid. 2. What is the best way to submit the FAFSA? The FAFSA can be completed via paper application or online, but the online application is recommended because it offers many advantages. The FAFSA must be resubmitted every academic year. 3. When is the best time to submit the FAFSA? After filing taxes? After Acceptance to College? Although tax information from the previous year is required to complete the form, FAFSA allows applicants to estimate information and correct it after taxes are finalized. It is best to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of the year the student plans to enter college. 4. What information is needed to fill out the FAFSA? Collect the necessary financial records prior to sitting down to fill out the FAFSA. You should have: • most recent year’s tax forms or end-of-year pay stubs, • w-2 forms and other records of money earned • records of the most recent untaxed income from agencies such as welfare, veteran benefits, Social Security, etc. • current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments • current mortgage information (FAFSA does not assess home equity or personal assets) • student’s driver’s license and social security number • at least one, and up to ten, federal school codes for colleges the student is interested in attending (available via the school’s financial aid offices) 5. How can assets in the FAFSA needs analysis formula be minimized? Under current federal financial aid formulas, all assets of the student are assessed at a 20% rate while parents are assessed at a maximum rate of 5.65%. 6. Is help available to fill out the FAFSA? You can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center with questions about the online or paper FAFSA application process at 1-800-433-3243.