It’s that time. The new Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, will become available online starting today January 1,2015. The US Department of Education provides more than $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds each year, but some programs make awards on a first-come first-serve basis.
Filing the FAFSA as soon as possible after Jan. 1 increases applicants’ chances of getting the best financial aid packages for which they are eligible.
One of the biggest mistakes many prospective students make is thinking they wont qualify for financial aid because their family makes too much money. Nothing could be further form the truth. Many middle and even upper-middle income families qualify for financial aid. In addition to your family’s income, there are a number of different factors that go into the process of determining eligibility, including assets and number of household members currently attending college.
Here are a few other misconceptions about financial aid
- Age is not taken into consideration during the financial aid process.
- Grades are not a primary consideration for receiving financial aid.
- The deadline for applying is June so you have plenty of time. Many programs are first come first serve. Get your applications in ASAP.
- You filled out a FAFSA last year so you’re good. FAFSA doesn’t just automatically renew. To remain eligible for federal student aid, and many other kinds of aid, you need to file for every year you are attending school.
Filling out a FAFSA will help you when it comes to Pell Grants, Perkins Loans, Federal Work Study, merit-based state grants and college scholarships.
After you get past your New Years Day headache, get your FAFSA filled out as soon as possible. it may just be the best move you will make in 2015