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It’s FAFSA time again!

01.12.2015, by Susan Conolly
categories: General Interest, Members, Parents, Partners, Professionals, Students, Volunteers

01/09/2015 Published by: Amy Soupene
Categories: Transition to College

FAFSA is an acronym for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Part of the U.S Department of Education, Federal Student Aid is the largest provider of student aid in the nation.  Federal Student Aid provides more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work study funds to more than 13 million students.  The new application is released in January of every year and can be found at https://fafsa.ed.gov/, the official government website.

Please be aware that there are websites out there that look very much like the official site.  Be extremely cautious, if a site asks for any processing fees it is not official.  Remember this is the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid.

There are different deadlines (federal, state and college) for filing your 2015 FAFSA.  The federal deadline is Midnight, Central Standard Time, June 30, 2016.  Each state has its own deadline as do individual colleges and universities, which are often much earlier than June 2016.  This link will help you find your deadlines.

It will save you time if you have these items prepared before filling out the form:

  •     Student Social Security Number
  •     Parent’s Social Security Number (if the student is a dependent)
  •     Driver’s License Number of Student
  •     Alien Registration Number if not a US citizen
  •     Federal Tax info or tax returns, including IRS W-2 forms for student, (and spouse,
        if married) and parents, if dependent student
  •     Records of untaxed income for the student, and parents if dependent student. 
        Examples of this type of income: child support received, interest income, veteran’s
        non-education benefits, etc.
  •     Information on cash, savings bonds, savings and checking account balances,
        investments like stocks,bonds and real estate (not including the home in which you live)
        and business and farm assets for the student and parents, if student is a dependent.

If you filled out the FAFSA last year you can renew your application by clicking on the “Login” button on the homepage and then selecting "FAFSA Renewal".  This can be a real time saver as much of the non-financial data is pre-filled for you.  Be sure to update all information that has changed since last year.

Filing a FAFSA is not mandatory but quite helpful if you want to be considered for other types of awards such as student aid, grants, and educational loans and work study programs. Many states and universities use the FAFSA to help determine their awards.

To find out more information or to start working on your own FAFSA, please visit the official FAFSA website, https://fafsa.ed.gov/index.htm.