If you haven’t yet completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there is probably some time left for most states and colleges! While some extremely selective schools might have a priority FAFSA deadline as early as February 1st, most of them will consider federal financial aid applications that are filed later in the year.
What you’ll need
To get started with your application, you’ll need your tax information from the previous year and a student identification PIN. If this is your first time applying, you won’t have your PIN yet so be sure to head here to register that first. Then, make sure all of your tax forms have been double and triple checked & have them on hand to answer questions about income and assets on the FAFSA. There really isn’t that much more to it, thanks to recent efforts designed to simplify and speed up the application process.
What you get
Is a chance to be considered for federal financial aid – the biggest source of free money for college students in the United States. Every year, more than $100 billion is provided to students with unment financial need, just through the FAFSA and its related programs! Even if you or your family makes too much money to be considered for grants, it is still a good idea to complete the application because other scholarships, grants, and institutional aid awards will also want to consider the information contained in it. They might give more consideration to grades, but still want to take a look at the FAFSA.
Where to go
When you’ve got your PIN and tax documents gathered up, click over to the FAFSA website at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. You’ll be able to complete everything online with just a few clicks and a few forms, so there really is no reason to delay!
Each school and each state has its own deadlines for filing the FAFSA. Sooner is always better, so as quickly as you can get your 2010 taxes done, it is time to take the next step and complete your FAFSA for the 2011-2012 academic year. Many colleges and departments provide funds on a first-come first-serve basis, so if you wait too long there might just not be any money left, and the sooner you get these applications out, the better your chances of finding some free cash!