The average in-state college tuition, including fees and room and board for the 2017-2018 school year is $9,970. That number soars to $25,620 for out-of-state students, and $34,740 for private schools, according to the College Board, and that’s not even the most expensive schools. With tuition skyrocketing, applying for college financial aid has become more critical than ever.
The U.S. Department of Education provides more than $120 billion in grants, loans and work-study opportunities each year. The only way to apply for financial aid from the federal government is by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. Read on to learn about the financial aid deadline and learn more about money in your college years.
Completing the FAFSA
You can apply for FAFSA to receive federal aid either with an online application through the U.S. Department of Education with a FAFSA ID or by paper. When you apply, you’ll need to include your social security number, driver’s license, alien registration number, if applicable, federal tax information, records of untaxed income, and information about your financial assets, like bank accounts and investments. If you file for FAFSA on the web, you can usually import your tax records using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you’re still a dependent, you’ll need your parents’ information as well.
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Apply for FAFSA
When Is the Deadline for FAFSA?
You can file for FAFSA as early as Oct. 1 of the year before you plan to attend classes, or as late as June 30 of the same calendar year. If you make a mistake, you must make the changes by Sept. 14. Here are the FAFSA deadlines for the 2018-2019 school year:
- Earliest Date to File: Oct. 1, 2017
- Last Date to File: June 30, 2019
- Correction Deadline: Sept. 14, 2019
You should file your FAFSA as soon as possible because some federal student aid programs have limited funds, and once the funds run out, you’re out of luck, even if the hard deadline hasn’t passed.
State FAFSA Deadlines
Each state also has its own FAFSA deadlines when you’re looking to apply for state aid, especially for states with specific programs. Many states require additional forms and have limited funds, so apply as early as possible. Here are the deadlines for the 2018-2019 academic year:
|State FAFSA Deadlines|
|California||March 2, 2018|
|Connecticut||Feb. 15, 2018|
|Delaware||April 15, 2018|
|Washington, D.C.||May 1, 2018|
|Florida||May 15, 2018|
|Idaho||March 1, 2018|
|Indiana||March 10, 2018|
|Iowa||July 1, 2018|
|Kansas||April 1, 2018|
|Kentucky||Oct. 1, 2018|
|Louisiana||July 1, 2019|
|Maine||March 1, 2018|
|Maryland||March 1, 2018|
|Massachusetts||May 1, 2018|
|Michigan||March 1, 2018|
|Missouri||Feb. 1, 2018|
|New York||June 30, 2019|
|Ohio||Oct. 1, 2018|
Some states have different deadlines for different programs:
- Alaska: The Alaska Performance Scholarship deadline is June 30, 2018, while the Alaska Education Grant is as soon as possible after Oct. 1, 2017.
- Arkansas: The Academic Challenge deadline and the Higher Education Opportunity Grant deadline are both June 1, 2018. Check with your financial aid administrator for Workforce Grant deadlines.
- Minnesota: The deadline is 30 days after your term starts.
- Mississippi: The deadline for MTAG and MESG Grants is Sept. 14, 2018. For the HELP Scholarship, the deadline is March 31, 2018.
- New Jersey: To receive Tuition Aid Grants, you must apply by April 15, 2018. For all other applicants, the deadline is Sept. 15, 2018 for students attending both fall and spring terms, and February 15, 2019 for spring term only students.
- Pennsylvania: A special Aug 1, 2018 deadline applies to all first-time applicants enrolled in a community college; business/trade/technical school; hospital school of nursing; designated Pennsylvania Open – Admission institution; or non-transferable two-year program. All other students must apply by May 1, 2018.
- South Carolina: The deadline for Tuition Grants is June 30, 2018. Other aid is distributed until it runs out.
- Tennessee: You must submit the FAFSA by Jan. 16, 2018 for Tennessee Promise awards and to receive a State Grant if you received one the past year and are still eligible. The State Lottery deadline is September 1, 2018 for the fall term and Feb. 1, 2019 for the spring and summer terms.
- Texas: The deadline for Texas public colleges is March 15, 2018, but you have to check with your financial aid administrator for private colleges.
- West Virginia: The deadline for the PROMISE Scholarship is March 1, 2018 and the deadline for the WV Higher Education Grant Program is April 15, 2018.
Several states do not have a state-specific deadline, but encourage you to apply as early as possible because awards are made until the fund run out:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
For the following states, you must check with your financial aid administrator for details:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota