College may be complicated, proper? Between purposes, deadlines, and determining how a lot you owe, navigating the nuts and bolts of college may be downright mind-boggling … and that is all earlier than you even sit down in a lecture corridor.
One space that appears to attract plenty of confusion is monetary assist on the whole and FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, particularly. Let’s check out what you have to know to remain on high of your monetary assist.
How lengthy is FAFSA good for?
The excellent news is that you simply solely have to use for FAFSA as soon as annually. The award you obtain is nice for a whole tutorial 12 months, which consists of the autumn semester, the spring semester, and the summer time semester (in that order).
FAFSA purposes open every fall for the next faculty 12 months, and stay open for 18 months. (We’ll speak extra about this in a minute.) You have to reapply each faculty 12 months.
That signifies that when October 1 rolls round, you have to be able to fill out your FAFSA.
Even in the event you do not assume you may qualify for for federal loans, grants, or work-study packages, it’s best to nonetheless take into account making use of annually as a result of many colleges use FAFSA data to allocate institutional monetary assist.
Plus, do not forget that earnings modifications, and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) might change. All of these items are considered annually when figuring out the quantity of monetary assist you could be eligible for.
What is FAFSA used for?
Completing and submitting the FAFSA not solely makes you eligible for federal cash, it might even be required to obtain state and college assist.
This might embody faculty or state-specific scholarships, work-study, faculty grants, and loans. Plus, many personal scholarships require you to fill out the FAFSA with the intention to apply and be awarded cash.
Key dates to place in your calendar
The first date to mark in your calendar is October 1. Aim to use for FAFSA for the following faculty 12 months as quickly as doable after this date.
When it involves the FAFSA, there are federal and state deadlines, and your school may have a deadline.
If all three (federal, state, and college) have completely different deadlines, ensure to file your FAFSA by the primary deadline posted. Check the FAFSA web site for extra data.
If you’re trying on the 2018-2019 FAFSA (which corresponds to the 2018-2019 faculty 12 months), the applying window opened on October 1, 2017, and runs till June 30, 2019.
However, though, the federal authorities offers you an 18-month interval to finish your FAFSA, making use of early might imply extra money in your pocket. Many states distribute assist based mostly on a first-come, first-served foundation. If you apply after your faculty’s deadline, there will not be any institutional funds left to disburse.
Recap of dates:
- October 1: FAFSA goes stay on the fafsa.ed.gov web site for the 2019-2020 tutorial 12 months. Those submitting dates are October 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020.
- June 30: FAFSA utility window closes for the present faculty 12 months.
- Note that the present FAFSA cycle is for 2018-2019. Those dates are October 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019.
- If you’re pondering forward, the following FAFSA cycle is for the 2019-2020 tutorial 12 months. Those submitting dates are October 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020.
For solutions to some extra questions on monetary assist, see A Step-By-Step To Completing The 2018-2019 FAFSA Questions.