Have a child in college? Let’s skip the pumpkin spiced latte and call October the start of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) season.
Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for financial aid, submitting the FAFSA (as soon as possible) is absolutely worth it.
- It’s an application required to qualify for federal financial aid and is often used by states, colleges, and private organizations to dole out loans and grants
- The submission period for 2019-20 school year: Oct 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020 (Oct 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019 for the ‘18-’19 school year)
- It can (and should!) be completed each academic year
- And it really is “your ticket into the financial aid arena”
“Yeah but we’re probably not eligible…”
Low-income families aren’t the only FAFSA beneficiaries; applicants of all financial backgrounds are eligible to receive grants and merit-based scholarships. In fact – in 2016-17 alone, around half of the 1.2 million high school graduates who didn’t submit a FAFSA were actually eligible for the federal Pell grant. Last year, the estimates were even higher, with some 50% of those surveyed simply not aware of their eligibility. So, as the old saying goes: Don’t be just another statistic.
The Department of Education has made the application process easier than ever:
- The app is free and takes a blink-of-an-eye average of 30 minutes to complete
- You can use last year’s income report instead of waiting on this year’s
- The annual submission period has been moved up from Jan 1 to Oct 1, though…
There are perks to completing your FAFSA early
Don’t let that lengthy submission period lull you into inaction. Many state grant applications have earlier deadlines, and schools often give out their scholarships and grants on a first-come, first-served basis.
To make sure you tap into the full potential of financial aid, make it simple: Spend 30 minutes on FAFSA each October, get it off your plate early, and put yourself in the best position to reap the benefits.
- FAFSA can provide financial aid to students of all income backgrounds
- It’s a high-reward, no-risk propositio
- Fill it out ASAP to qualify for the most possible loans & grants