There Are Still A Couple Hours Left to File Your FAFSA to Receive Financial Aid This Fall
The deadline to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid is today at 11:59 p.m. CT. For the East Coast, that means 12:59 a.m. July 1, 2021. The FAFSA is for the 2021-2022 academic year. Completing the application allows students to be considered for crucial federal student aid. Importantly, it also submits your information for consideration by states and colleges to award grants, scholarships and other loans.
Aid is limited, which is why it is crucial to meet the application deadline. That being said, billions of dollars are left on the table every year because eligible students and their families decide not to apply.
The application is notoriously complex and many believe it is one of the main barriers to entry for federal student aid. USA Today reports it is the biggest barrier to financial aid and has been shown to prevent students well-prepared for college from even enrolling at all.
Students and families are both required to navigate a myriad of confusing and repetitive questions and submit information difficult for many to get a hold of. One of the more redundant aspects of the application is that both the student and the parent need to set up separate IDs, and then fill in their own personal information.
This should not deter high school seniors though. In 2018, only 43% of seniors applied for federal student aid and an astounding $43 billion was left on the table untouched because of absentee applications.
To get started, click here to be directed to the FAFSA site and start uploading your documentation. Make sure to enable browser pop-ups to avoid any delays. In order to fill out the form, you will need:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
- An FSA ID to sign electronically
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