Hello senior parents,
If your student is going to college next year, an important step in the process begins October 1. The first step of the financial aid process is to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA determines a student’s eligibility for Federal Pell Grants, and guarantees every student an opportunity for federal student loans. It is recommended that every student file the FAFSA form.
The FAFSA form becomes available on October 1st — which means you can file the FAFSA next week! Every college or university has its own deadline for the FAFSA — some as early as December 1st — so check out www.ICANsucceed.org/priority to find the priority dates for the schools your student is applying to.
This year senior families should use 2017 taxes to file the FAFSA for the 2018-19 school year. The FAFSA is solely based off of 2017 taxes, so you won’t have to update the FAFSA with 2018 taxes. Visit www.fafsa.gov to file the form.
The extended timeline is beneficial to families because it will allow students to receive their financial aid award letters earlier in the spring semester. This will give students more time to make a final decision about where they want to go to school. Students may receive financial aid award letters as early as January or February, and they still have until May 1st to make their final decisions.
If you have questions about paying for college, or would like free help filing your FAFSA, the Iowa College Access Network offers free resources for college planning and financial aid. You can visit their website, www.ICANsucceed.org/ to schedule an appointment, or call their toll free number, 877-272-4692 to talk to an advisor.
You can also visit a FAFSA Ready Iowa event which offers free assistance without an appointment. Visit www.icansucceed.org/fafsareadyiaevents to find a location near you.
Stay on top of the process, and file your FAFSA as soon as possible!