Every year on the first of January, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) becomes available for students and parents to complete for the upcoming award year. While this may not be nearly as exciting as the start of a New Year, it is a very important form that all students attending college should complete. The students I meet with often ask if they need to fill out a FAFSA. My answer each and every time is YES! There are so many reasons why, but here are my top three:

  1. It’s free!
    Completing a FAFSA is completely free and the application is getting easier and more simplified each year. Today’s FAFSA is done completely online and only takes about 30 minutes to complete.
  2. You could qualify even if you think you don’t!
    So many times I have heard the phrase “We make too much money” or “I don’t qualify”. The simple fact is there is no income cut-off level for federal aid. Several things are factored in to the calculation and you won’t know until you complete the FAFSA. Completing the FAFSA is also our application for state and certain institutional aid. Don’t lose out on your access to millions of dollars in aid!
  3. Sooner is better
    Most institutional and state aid is awarded on a first come first serve basis; with priority deadlines that are as early as March for the 2013-2014 academic year! Don’t have your taxes done yet? That’s ok! Simply submit your FAFSA with an estimate of your tax information. Once you have your taxes completed you can go back in and make any adjustments you need.

Completing your FAFSA is important and at times may seem overwhelming. If you need help or have questions we’re always here to help! Contact us at [email protected]or stop by the Welcome Center on campus and see us in person! You can start the FAFSA at:http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

Did you ever qualify for financial aid when you didn’t know you were eligible? Leave us a comment!