If you haven’t already, it’s definitely time to fill out your 2016-2017 FAFSA
! The FAFSA is the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid
, found at www.fafsa.ed.gov, which can be a real help to you for funding your college education. Most colleges and universities require that this be completed at the start of every calendar year.
The FAFSA provides the financial aid department
with what they need to better assist you, the college student, in putting together a financial aid package. Since that package may include grants (that don’t need to be paid back), student loans, and any other possible financial awards that you may be eligible for, it’s important that your financial aid advisor have your FAFSA information to help determine what you qualify for. Some colleges and universities also have their own in-house financial awards, and the FAFSA
will also help your financial aid advisor determine if you qualify for those as well.
The FAFSA utilizes the prior year’s tax returns to make the financial award eligibility determination. So before you fill it out, make sure you have your tax return from last year (or this year if you’ve already filed) handy. If you’re a dependent on your parent’s tax return, then you’ll need their returns too.
If you haven’t completed your 2015 tax returns yet, it’s OK! You can begin filling out the FAFSA
for the 2016-17 school year using your 2014 returns. However as soon as your 2015 tax returns are completed, you must log back in to your FAFSA and update your information.
Every year, the dollar amount of funds changes, and there’s only so much to go around–so don’t delay in getting your FAFSA completed and submitted as soon as you can. Make sure you get YOUR piece of the pie!
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