File your FAFSA ASAP – financial aid is often first-come first-served

by Grace

Do not procrastinate in filing your FAFSA because it could mean less financial aid.

“There are several states [and colleges] that have a first-come, first-serve basis where they have a limited pool of funds and when they run out of money, they stop awarding money,” says and publisher Mark Kantrowitz.

The FAFSA form to use if you plan to attend college between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 became available online on January 1, 2012.  The federal deadline for filing is June 30, 2013, but state and college deadlines are usually earlier.  For example,  the cut-off date for Connecticut is February 15, 2012.  You can check deadlines for all states by going to the FAFSA website.


What is FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in theUnited States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid (including the Pell GrantFederal student loans and Federal Work-Study).[1]

Despite its name, the application is the gateway to be considered for the nine federal student aid programs and the 605 state and most of the institutional aid available. The U.S. Department of Education begins accepting the application beginning January 1 of each year for the upcoming academic year. Each application period is 18 months; most federal, state, and institutional aid is provided on a first come, first served basis. Students are advised to submit a FAFSA as early as possible for consideration for maximum financial assistance.


2 Responses to “File your FAFSA ASAP – financial aid is often first-come first-served”

  1. Just saw this from article titled ’10 Things Financial Aid Offices Won’t Say’:

    1. “You waited until April? Sorry, we gave your money away.”

    At first glance, the amount of financial aid available to students seems like a goldmine. According to the College Board, graduate and undergraduate students received more than $168 billion in aid during the 2008-09 academic year; more than $109 billion came from the federal government alone not including education tax benefits. But thanks to the down economy, competition for that money is expected to be tougher for the coming year. Don t miss out on aid because of confusing deadlines for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Available at, the form must be completed to be considered for government grants and loans and both the government and prospective schools will review it. The federal deadline on the form is June 30, 2011, but schools’ financial aid deadlines listed in the colleges’ materials are as early as this February.

    “Families need to submit their financial aid info as soon as they can after Jan. 1, preceding the student’s freshman year,” says Barry Simmons, director of university scholarships and financial aid at Virginia Tech. While the FAFSA asks for the previous year’s tax information a common reason parents postpone applying until April parents can estimate tax figures based on last year’s return and update them later.



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