By: Tori Berube, MFF Volunteer
Are you a high school senior? Are you currently in college? Will you be enrolled in college at least half-time after July 1, 2021? Do you know the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $120 billion in financial aid to help pay for college or career school each year? What kinds of financial aid, you ask? Think low-cost student loans, grants and work-study!
To access this federal financial aid, students must submit the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. This online form is also known as the FAFSA – and the form became available October 1, 2020.
Filing the FAFSA is a relatively straightforward process, but you will find it helpful to read this information to get started. And there’s even a short video you might want to watch too! To learn about the entire FAFSA application process, click here. If you don’t have access to a laptop to file your FAFSA, don’t worry, as there is an app you can use!
What date do you need to file your FAFSA by? Check the FAFSA filing deadline for each of the colleges you are planning to apply to for their school-specific deadline (you can find this on the school’s financial aid website) and to maximize all of your financial aid, make sure to meet the required deadline.
There is never a cost to file the FAFSA (remember, the first “F” in FAFSA stands for free!) There are many organizations ready to help you and your family complete this first step in the financial aid process. Ask your school’s guidance office what free resources are available in your area.
Another bonus of filing the FAFSA form? Many private scholarship providers will require a copy of your FAFSA results (known as the Student Aid Report) as part of your scholarship application. Ask your school’s guidance office or college’s financial aid office for help on how to find private scholarship opportunities in your area.
And just for fun – this video is an oldie, but a goodie! Enjoy!