Laptop computer sitting on a table with money symbols in the background.

Blog Archive July 2022


FAFSA Deadline

Hispanic College student holding a folder.

If you have a college age child, you have most definitely heard of the FAFSA. While it may seem intimidating, have no fear. This application is being revised with positive changes to come and a preview sheet so you can be prepared. Future versions will be reduced to about 36 questions and required tax information will be automatically input by the IRS.

FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the main source of information the government uses to determine if a college student qualifies for need-based financial aid. This may include a combination of student loans, scholarships, grants and work-study options. Some state schools also consider the FAFSA when deciding if the student will receive state or school aid and some private schools may use it to determine if the student qualifies for financial aid.. There are deadlines each year and it may be a bit confusing. If you are unsure if you qualify for aid, you should fill out the FAFSA to avoid missing out on the opportunity.

The first day to submit the FAFSA for the 2023-24 school year is October 1, 2022 and the deadline is June 30, 2024. The time frame is extensive, but it is important to apply early because schools award their financial aid within the first weeks of the FAFSA opening. Since the submission period is so long, it overlaps with the previous year. FAFSA should be filled out for every year the student is attending college. Since the submission period is so long, it overlaps with the previous year. Therefore, some of the info used in the previous FAFSA will be repeated. If this will be your first time filling out the FAFSA, it is recommended you check out the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet. This guide will help you preview the information and documents you will need when actually filling out the FAFSA.

While FAFSA is the Federal Aid application, there are others that should be taken into consideration as well. Students should also be applying for state-based financial aid, which is usually earlier than the FAFSA deadline. Each state has their own their own dates so those should be researched carefully. Schools also provide financial aid and have their own applications and deadlines. As with the FAFSA, the earlier your application is submitted, the better your chances of receiving aid because the awards are given out at the onset. Lastly, students should consider completing the CSS Profile or College Scholarship Service Profile. This service is offered through College Board, a mission-driven not-for-profit organization, connecting students to non-federal financial aid.. The CSS application opens the same day as the FAFSA, on October 1st, but the deadline is based upon the college.

As with any significant financial decision, the complexities of college costs can be planned and managed by starting a savings plan early. The sooner you begin to save, the more time your money has to grow through compounding.  Meet with a Pan American Bank & Trust Relationship Banker to begin a savings plan  for your child’s future and success.


Summer Road Trips Made Easy

Family sitting on the back of an open SUV.

As airfare prices skyrocket and flying becomes more of a hassle due to cancellations, long security lines and overbooked flights, more summer travelers are considering their vehicle as a means to their summer destinations. The United States offers a magnitude of drivable hot spots worthy of a long drive. Whether you crave beach, mountains, canyons or cities, the options are numerous. Once you’ve settled on the perfect choice, here are some pointers to make that drive as pleasant, cost effective and quick as possible.

Prior to departure, plan ahead. It would be wise to have your vehicle inspected. You do not want to be due for an an oil change while in transit or changing a tire while on the road. It is also worth noting that tires that are not properly inflated consume extra gas milage. Before starting your trip, ensure you are covered with a roadside assistance service such as OnStar or AAA. It is also a good idea to have an emergency kit that includes items such as jumper cables, medical supplies, flashlight, blanket and tools.

Then, consider the costs you will encounter along your trip. Gas, lodging, depending on the length of the drive, food, parking, tolls and miscellaneous expenses. To utilize less gas, try to use cruise control when possible or maintain a steady speed. When refilling your tank, opt for smaller in-town gas stations as opposed to those immediately off the highway where prices are elevated.

Utilize a navigation system that will alert you and help you avoid accidents, traffic, construction and other delays. However, it is always a good idea to download a map in case you are in an area without reception. Pack a cooler of drinks and snacks that can be refilled at a store rather than a gas station where the cost will be significantly higher. Download apps such as BestParking to find the least expensive parking options in your new location and compare prices for hotels on Kayak to get the best deal. Apps like Roadtripper can be a game changer when on the road, helping you to identify new favorite places along your route and attractions at your destination.

Lastly, you can rest assured you will not miss anything important by downloading the Pan American Bank & Trust mobile banking app from the App Store or Google Play. This app will guarantee you can enjoy your trip while still being able to deposit checks remotely, view accounts, pay bills, submit wire transfers and much more. It’s free, secure and easy to use, so you can focus on enjoying your trip.

The diversity of multiple hands holding dirt with plants growing out of it.

community development

We invest in you.