Financial Aid Season Has Started!

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

Whether you’re ready or not, the financial aid season where more than $120 billion dollars in federal financial aid for the 2020-2021 school year started October 1st. Federal financial aid is given on a first come first serve basis, so you need to get the FAFSA completed ASAP. This is what you need to know so you can not only meet the deadlines, but to get the maximum amount of money in aid.

What are the financial aid deadlines for the 2020-2021 school year?

  • October 1, 2019–June 30, 2020

What does FAFSA stand for and why is it important?

  • FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid

  • Pell Grants, Work Student and Student Loans

What advice/tips for parents or students who are completing financial aid forms for the first time?

  • File early

  • Set a schedule

  • Not sure you'll get aid? File anyway

  • Be sure to fill out the form completely

  • Use a supplemental letter to explain special circumstances.

  • Appeal a disappointing aid package

  • Be prepared for different aid packages

  • Don't Lie

Is it true that high school seniors should complete FAFSA now even if they don't know where they are going to school next year?

  • Yes this is true! Even if your high school senior has no idea where they want to go to school, you still need to complete the FAFSA immediately. You can update the list of schools you want the financial aid information to go to later, but not indicate the top schools your student wants to attend.

What tax return do you use to complete the FAFSA?

  • 2018 tax return

If parents are divorced or remarried, what parent must complete the FAFSA?

  • The parent who the child spends the majority of their time with or whomever provides more than half of the support

  • If parents are unmarried but live together, both parents' info goes on the form

  • If the custodial parent is re-married, yes the step parent's information must be provided on the FAFSA

What else should families be doing now other than completing the FAFSA?

  • Looking for scholarships

  • Determining their college budgets

You hear about students wanting to be “independent” so they qualify for more financial aid. What are the requirements for a student to be independent?

  • Be 24 or older by December 31 of the award year

  • Be an orphan or in foster care

  • Be a veteran or serving on active duty

  • Graduate or professional student;

  • Married

  • Have legal dependents

  • Emancipated minor or in legal guardianship

  • Homeless youth

For more information, check out Jini's advice in the video below:

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