The must-have “Filling out the FAFSA form online” survival kit.

This is a little heads-up to all parents who have ANY hopes that their children MIGHT be going away to college some day. (Guess what, that day DOES come. I'm getting the party hats ready as we speak.)

Here are the things you will need; pay close attention.

1. The BIG book of passwords. This will hold the password to your child’s PIN, your PIN, your husband’s PIN, your grandmother’s PIN and your dog’s PIN. You will need them all and then some before you are done.

2. At least four pair of reading glasses. You will need back-ups, as you will surely fling them across the room as you try to read the fine print about signing your life away. (Oh hell, just sign the damn thing. But don't forget your PIN. THAT's how you SIGN. And good luck collecting that money some day. Yeah, just give me a call. )

3. The stack of W-2’s; make sure you have yours, your spouse’s, your child’s your grandmother’s and your dog’s. And a calculator. Or two.

4. This is the folder of ALL your investments. (Or lack thereof.) You might have to list them. (I guess some people actually HAVE investments. huh.)

5. Vodka. You will need this at about page five zillion.

6. Vodka. See above.

7. Keys to the poor house; it’s your home for the next four to EIGHT years – depending on how many children you have that can actually get IN to college.

8. Aleve.

Oh, and don’t forget to save up for the senior year. THAT list of vital purchases is coming shortly; after I recover from this most recent “things I do for my children” episode.

And that phone that's ringing? Just ignore it.

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Anonymous said...

THIS IS SO TRUE! I just graduated from college last Spring and I now work in Higher Ed. I laughed when I saw it!

Dee said...

Lmao!! When my son graduated high school I couldn't believe how frickin' much it cost...just to graduate! Not to mention the cruise to Cozumel, the laptop, the $200 watch and all the other gifts I got him! I'm so glad that's over with!

Pam said...

I'm in the middle of filling ours out--I highly recommend having several bottles of Vodka around!

Missy said...

Oh, good God, you hit the nail on the damn head. Talk about a migraine maker. I think they even ask your bra size for cripes sake.

Oh, and those pins....best just use your favorite four letter words!!


pst...come visit us...we're in a contest....NEED VOTES PLEASE

Jules AF said...

I've never done FAFSA. I think I'd rather die.

Kelly Dawn said...

I am in the midst of ours for TWO girls - count em TWO - and that senior year list? I told them to pick two pictures off their facebook/myspace...lmao....for their senior pictures :) why should i pay when they are SOOO good at it...@@ - senior prom? ehhh thrift store he we come! @@ they would DIE!!! i havent even come close to announcements and caps and gowns and prom tickets and limos - and graduation party and omg the list goes on and on and on and on....I will be getting the mail the whole month of may in case those envelopes contain cash - its MINE!!!

Anonymous said...

five and six are must haves for life...at least mine;) lol

x said...

VM - this is such a funny post! I have 7 years before BK goes to college and am taking notes...

Carolyn...Online said...

Meh. College is overrated. I can let my kids do stupid shit at home for free.

Pseudo said...

If I were better at these things, my children would, perhaps be going away to college instead of commuting from home.

Maybe I need to drink more vodka...

Kelly said...

Wow, you're strong. I needed vodka and vicodin by page THREE. And my kids aren't even ready for college, I did (and still do) my sister in laws every year because her mom is a... well, not an award winning mommy. It's even more fun when you're not working with your own financial info, but the info of someone who won't even return your phone calls or file their taxes on time :)

Lynn Kellan said...

You mean, I have to PAY for college? I'm weeping...

Gigi said...

Thanks. Thanks alot. I've got a sophomore right now. I've already pulled out the wine (my beverage of choice) and am drowning my sorrows......

Suburban Correspondent said...

You forgot the divorce lawyer.

(The link works - just scroll down to the third segment of the post.)

Anonymous said...

I will have to pass this on to my mom who will soon be helping my sister get ready for college!

Im hoping for an easier version when my kids go to colege. Think it will happen? Yea, me either.

Irish Gumbo said...

Yee-haw! I got at least 14 years before I have to worry! Woot!

Wait, I have 14 years OF worry. F$#k me! Pass that vodka, would ya?

Robin said...

Luckily Im all done for this year..did em in January..but great post....unless you've done it you'll never know..!! Good luck now for loans over an above the feds..! have a great day..!

Reading Rosie said...

I've so been putting it off.....taxes are finally finished and filed, just trying to get my second wind before I take the plunge...thanks for the reminder :P

As Cape Cod Turns said...

Thanks for the heads up. I have 5 years...OY!

cheatymoon said...

Good luck, VM. None of this is easy...

Haven Fairfield said...

"Plumber!", I cry. "Zoologist!", he replies. "Carpenter", I exhort. "Engineer!", he laughs. "Soldier?" I beg. "Artist!", he celebrates. Oy vayy. Pass that vodka, would ya?

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

not looking forward to this, vodkamom! sounds super fun.

Mellodee said...

There are certain things about having only one child that are just wonderful. Not the least of which is that you only have to go through the whole college process once!! We are very proud of our daughter and she came through college with flying colors! And we gladly admitted it was worth every cent that it put us into debt. (We're middle income folks. You know, too rich for financial aid, but too poor not to need a loan!)

So graduation was a milestone and she was ready to be out on her own.

Then she decided to immediately go on to grad school!! Back to the forms and the applications, and documentation, and so on and on.

This time, though, SHE took out the loan for her continued education!! Bless her Heart!

Beth said...

I just whined (a little) about completing the FAFSA in my last blog post. Obviously, this is part of some diabolical plan to make us WANT THE CHILDREN TO LEAVE THE HOUSE. There, damn it! I finished the freaking form and lost two hours of my life. The least you could do is move out and never bother me again.

Maybe that feeling will pass. Probably right around May.

Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

OMG, you make me laugh!! Good luck with all of this! I don't have children, can I just skip to the vodka and Aleve?

Brian Miller said...

VM...you make me tired just reading it...cant we just put college off for a bit...

andrea lynne said...

I guess that's the advantage of never filling out a FAFSA until I was considered an independent. I just had my information, and it took about twenty minutes. Never thought I'd say it, but there's an upside to owning nothing and having no assets!

Michele said...

My favorite is the part when they send you back the information about how much they are not giving your child because your "contribution" is twice your yearly salary.

lisahgolden said...

There seems to be no end to the ways in which we are expected to be parted with our money, when it comes to our children.

More vodka!

Suzy said...

I'm in the middle of TRYING to fill out forms to get all my money out of my brokerage account AND forms to include myself in a giant lawsuit against Hollywood agents.

The first one was so mind boggling I had to call my accountant and make an appointment in hopes I can con her into filling them out (i.e. explain them to me first). So I have to pony up acct fees which I had no intention of paying until APRIL 15.

The lawsuit claims form is written in Chinese. Either that or I've gone blind.

Vodka Logic said...

I finally gave up on the FAFSA they dont give money to middle income and I don't fit into any of the "good" categories..

Oh and I forgot ALL those pins you are talking about...shit.

Amy said...

This is so true. I want to cry just thinking about it.

The Covert Lover said...

So true that it's almost not funny, but sad instead! Almost. lol

My kids still have several years before college, but I filled out my FAFSA again a couple weeks ago... and I need to do my little sister's for her I guess - but first I think I'll take your advise and stock up the vodka/aleeve supply. :)

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I have two out of three in college right now. I'm finally losing weight because we no longer can afford food.

Sara said...

I'm putting it off.

I don't wanna. FAFSA can lick my W-2.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Every year the damn FAFSA! And this is my 2nd year with 2 kids in college. Does that mean I get twice the vodka?? Please??

Kathleen said...

You nailed it! Last one just got her degree. Ee-gads, the loans! It's just so wrong!

Suzy said...

I had to come back and read this again. It was THAT funny.

Lori P said...

EEK!! I'm right there - knocking at the door. You have a way of making me just want to dive right in.

Carol said...

The only bright spot of my 1040/FAFSA filled weekend was learning that my 23 year old son, who has been attending college(s)FOREVER is now old enough to be considered "independent." Who knows, he may actually decide to move out and give us some peace- oops, I mean move out and enjoy the social and intellectual interactions of living on campus.

Kim said...

Vodka at page five zillion? You might be better off starting the vodka at page one. :)

Linda said...

Is there a way I can get free money for my kiddo? I mean, anyone want to sponsor my kid? Give away money?? Apparently, according to the FAFSA people, I can afford to pay 11,000 OVER the (estimated) cost of his year's bills. I was hoping they would work magic and make it so I have to pay 11,000 UNDER the cost of a year!

Where were the questions on the FAFSA like:
Did you have to buy a new car because your 17 year old Toyota has rust holes big enough for small children to fall through?
Did you wisely (HA) invest in the market with a person who would ignore the signs of the "crash" and loose over half the money you had saved for college?
Do you plan on being able to buy food or clothing for the remaining people in your house?

ARGH. All that paperwork--TWICE, I might add because we had to do once for summer AND once for fall--for NADDA. Ugh.

me in the pink said...

I share your pain! I just finished THREE of them - my two kids and one for me. AND - I had to pull "apart" our joint tax return b/c we are separated and getting divorced, and it will only be based on my income. I think it only took me 2 bottles of wine to complete it......

Anonymous said...

I hate giving out personal info on line and that's what those applications ask a lot of.
You will need some vodka and reading glasses.


shrink on the couch said...

I feel completely and totally prepared for this stage of my parenthood - at least where the vodka is concerned.

Ice Queen said...

I'm glad those days are over for me. Although the investment part was easy...just check "no" and enter "0" all the way through those 9 or so pages.

Unknown said...

Ouch. I thought I had it bad paying for travel soccer, hip hop classes, swim lessons ... oh, and my 9 year olds addiction to Crewcuts ... I'm sooooo holding out for those soccer scholarships :-)

Anonymous said...

Sorry it took so long to comment, I was writing this down. Saving it in eighty-six secret places, for the horror that will come, aka Daughter Growing Up and Going To College.

Poppy B. said...

Good lord; we're barely surviving freshman year around here. It is like a stab wound to my mind and wallet. PLEASE don't twist the knife!

In other news, cute reading glasses! WANT.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I am sending this post to my sister who is up to her ass in this stuff. She'll appreciate the humor and the Vodka :-)

Hang in there.

Jenni said...

Eh...if he's smart enough to go to college, he is smart enough to figure out his own paperwork, right? Just show me where to sign...

バックリンク said...

Haha, that's really interesting.

And we should transfer those things from genaration to genaration.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I hate filling out forms of any kind. You have my sympathies!

Corine (@ComplicatedMama) said...

In the words of Dane Cook-- "Its funny, cause its true"....

My kids aren't near this age yet- but Im sure it creeps up quickly.. and I do remember filling many of these papers out myself during my college years.

Drink up! ;)

PS- I stumbled and shared with some people I thought would appreciate this too.. sometimes its best to make light of the stress


Otter Thomas said...

I experienced the FAFSA with my wife. Ugh! I am sure it will be much much worse by the time my kids go to college. Maybe I should stockpile pills and alcohol starting now.

seriously? said...

Oh how I hope my kids get scholarships...then I can drink the vodka without worrying if I am checking the right boxes on those forms. :)

Joanie said...

Silly Kaknockers, you get the vodka out FIRST and begin with a few drinks. That makes all the other steps so much easier and it saves you reading glasses. You don't fling anything if you're not sober.

By the way, the leopard print glasses? My faves. They go with my business card holder, a pair of shoes, and just about everything in my closet.

Vixen said...

I simply couldn't stop laughing at this. We JUST finished doing my daughter's yesterday. It is such a trial! And I decided to try to go back to school too, so I did one for me.

Probably neither of us will get aide and I will go to jail for filing the forms out wrong. Also I can't remember my PIN!

Caroline said...

Truly outstanding post. Now I *must* know - where did you get those AMAZING reading glasses??? They are about 10,000 times cooler than the $3 drugstore specials I'm sporting these days - comment over at www.caroline67.typepad.com if you don't mind!

Julie D said...

Oh, amen to this!

Getting caught up on my blog reading. Happy Friday!!!!

Melisa Wells said...

Just...ugh. I did mine last month (first timer with FAFSA), and though it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I still felt completely violated when I was done. Blech.

Ann Imig said...

Ugh. Taxes are bad enough.

Teresa said...

I am one delighted Momma. It's our daughter's 4th year at the University of Chicago. No more FAFSA for us! But don't gripe until you have filled out the CSS Profile that private colleges require in addition to FAFSA. The CSS puts the whole process of applying for aid WAY over the top. But then...it does result in at least a bit of moolah for us middle class peons to educate our kids at supposedly prestigious institutions that reek of entitlement.

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