Okay high school seniors, it’s time for a pop quiz. Now that it is September and the FAFSA is about to come online, you and your parents are probably experiencing some “concern” about the financial aid aspect of paying for college. If you don’t receive enough help, you might not be able to attend the college of your dreams. So, that is where this very crucial question comes in – what are three types of college financial aid deadlines?
If you are surprised to find out that there are at least three types of financial aid deadlines, you’ve got some catching up to do. Completing the proper applications on time opens up the door to vast quantities of financial aid, but that availability doesn’t do you any good if you don’t submit your application on time. Keep yourself out of trouble, and learn these crucial college financial aid deadlines:
- The FAFSA: The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, will be available online beginning October 1. Technically you actually have until June 30 to submit your application, but the smart money is on getting it done as early as possible. Some programs have limited funding. Once that money has been disbursed, you might miss out on a source of funding that could make the difference between attending a “target” school or a “dream” school. You’ll need 2021 tax information, an FSA ID, and other documentation to complete the application.
- State Financial Aid: Many states offer financial aid programs which are separate from the federal financial aid opportunities. You can find out if you qualify for most state financial aid programs by completing the FAFSA, but be aware that these deadlines may be much earlier than the federal deadline. In some states, the deadline may be coming up much sooner than you realize, and could be as early as October.
- College Financial Aid: Most colleges have their own grants and scholarships that are awarded to potential students to help offset anticipated expenses, but these also have deadlines. Check your college websites very carefully for this key information, especially if you are applying for early action or early decision admission. You may need to fill out the FAFSA much sooner than anticipated.
One other deadline-sensitive form of financial aid is college scholarships. These come in many forms, and have their own deadline requirements. Some rely on the FAFSA for their financial background information, while others do not have any income-based criteria. The point is that you also need to be aware of these deadlines so that you don’t miss out on any financial aid opportunities.
So how did you do on the financial aid deadline quiz? If you knew all three deadlines, that is very good news. You’re on your way to maximizing your chances of obtaining the help you need to attend college.