The deadline for FAFSA completion is fast approaching. Early March is a standard time by which you should get your FAFSA submitted. However, in reality, each state has its own deadlines for grant based aid (for example, Feb 15, 2015, is the deadline for those in Connecticut who want/need “priority consideration”). Check here for a 2 page list of specific deadlines or what to do if no deadline is listed. Remember: Each year you must REAPPLY/RESUBMIT the FAFSA.
Much aid is given on a “first come, first served” basis (there are nine states that follow this method: Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington). This means that meeting specific STATE deadlines is critical to have the chance to be early in line to get money — grants, scholarships, and loans. Aside from those 9 states, people who fill out and submit the FAFSA by March 30 “receive, on average, twice the grant money as later filers” (according to an article by Kim Clark that you can read here).
There are some excellent tips for parents at that link as well; so, parents if you are involved with your students’ FAFSA filing, please read the article, too.
Remember: Filing a FAFSA is the only way your college or university can understand what kinds of money (grants, scholarships, federal work study programs, loans) you are eligible to receive. You will miss out on FREE money (as well as campus work opportunities and also loan money) if you don’t file a FAFSA.
What are you waiting for? Go here to begin the process today! If you filled out the FAFSA last year, you are a “returning user.” If you have never filled one out, you want to “start a new FAFSA.”