Nov 01

File Your FAFSA Early for the Most Federal Student Aid

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a program by the United States Department of Education. Every year, about $150 billion is awarded in federal student aids. With this much budget, it is no surprise that the amount of FAFSA applications submitted yearly is about 22 million, which covers more than 6,200 colleges and career schools all over the country.

The FAFSA financial aid process is a very detailed one and it can take as short as a few weeks to as much as two months, depending of course on when you applied and the completeness of the application you submitted. Simply put, the sooner you apply, the better.

When are the FAFSA Deadlines?

FAFSA Deadlines vary depending on the federal government, state government, and college or university. Aside from having different deadlines, each of the three also have different quotas or specific number of federal student aids awarded each year.

  • The federal FAFSA deadline is always June 30, which gives applicants about 18 months to file the form.
  • The state FAFSA deadlines are often earlier than federal deadlines and they vary for every state. The best advice is to check with the state department for the exact deadline and requirements.
  • The college FAFSA deadlines vary for every institution. Some have deadlines as early as February. It is also best to check with the educational institution of your choice so that you stay updated with the important dates regarding FAFSA.

Why is do you need to file your FAFSA early?

Most financial aids for students are first-come, first-served basis. Since there is a specific allocation for every type of federal student aid, the access to loans, and grants are controlled within the limited pool of money. Simply put, if you don’t file for FAFSA early on, there will be many more who might get the financial aid before you.

When is the best or earliest time to file FAFSA?
Submit your FAFSA as soon as you can. The best advice is to file your FAFSA as early as January 1 and begin filing for other scholarships after. Remember that your application has to go through a whole process, along with many other applicants. Getting it in early will make your documents get read, verified, and hopefully approved faster so you will not have to worry about the limited slot for the different kinds of grants available.

Why should I file FAFSA before applying for a scholarship?
If you get a scholarship approved before you get FAFSA, your scholarship will be credited against the FAFSA meaning you may not get as much financial aid as you hoped for or maybe even get denied. It is wise to remember that when you have to make a choice between federal student aid and scholarship, scholarship is not something you have to pay back in the future.

More related information such as FAFSA worksheet, eligibility requirements, kinds of FAFSA loans, FAFSA calculator or FAFSA estimator, calendar of specific deadlines, application for FAFSA pin and FAFSA forms are available at the official FAFSA website www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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