Why Should You Fill Out the FAFSA?

Many families do not realize that it is time to apply for financial aid and scholarships. Most students are relieved to be finishing with their college applications and the thought of filling out more forms is the last thing on their minds. Families will not receive financial aid if they 
do not ask for it. Some families may not have financial need, but circumstances can change.The FAFSA is the first step to ask for financial aid. And if you have no already applied, it is the time to do it.

FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an online form which determines which students are eligible for federal financial assistance. No one should be intimidated by the FAFSA form and everyone who feels that might qualify for federal, state, or institutional grants or loans should definitely apply.

Applying for financial aid is not as overwhelming as it used to be, but it does require time and accurate answers to allow the government to determine what your Expected Family Contribution toward college will be. This is known as your EFC. The FAFSA form is filled out by the parents of prospective and continuing students on an annual basis. Read the instructions carefully. The name on your Social Security card is the same name you should use on the FAFSA. Make all of your corrections online. If an answer applies to you, it should not be left blank.

Since financial aid is often given out on a first come, first served basis, it is important to fill as the FAFSA form as soon as you can. The form for the 2021-22 school year is now available online.. The amount of financial aid a student receives is based on your previous year’s tax return. Every state and college or university has a specific deadline for the FAFSA form to be submitted. The federal deadline is June 30, but the state and school deadlines can be as early as February 15. Most college websites list the deadline for their schools.

Paying for college is one of the biggest concerns parents have today. Last year more than 80% of the parents who had students applying or returning to college filled out the FAFSA form. You have nothing to lose by filling out the free form and some families are pleasantly surprised that they actually qualify for at least some financial assistance. Every little bit helps.

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