The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) recently became available for students on October 1st. Although it’s not technically due until June 30th of the year after the school year you need aid for, that doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute. There’s actually very little reason to delay at all, and the sooner you complete your FAFSA application, the better. Here are a few benefits of filing the FAFSA sooner rather than later.
You’ll Get it Out of the Way
Seniors in high school have quite a lot going on. Students are having to apply to colleges, visit campuses, potentially take the SAT or ACT (and study for it), and apply for scholarships – all of this on top of their normal responsibilities including school work, studying, extracurriculars, and maybe even work. It’s a lot to take on!
Getting your FAFSA application turned in sooner rather than later will check one thing off your to-do list and give you one less thing to worry about going forward.
You May Get More Aid
Did you know that your FAFSA is sent to the schools you apply to? They often base the money they give off those applications. For many colleges and universities, the money awarded is first come, first serve. Waiting too long may mean funds become scarcer or run out.
This is also the case with federal aid. Once the government is out of money for applying students, you likely won’t receive as much as you could have, if any.
The schools and government will not wait to hand out the financial aid packages. Once the money is handed out, it’s gone. Getting your application in ASAP will give you a higher chance of receiving these packages if you are deemed eligible.
You Can Plan Your Finances
The sooner you apply, the faster you will hear back. This gives you plenty of time to plan your finances. You’ll be able to know quickly just how much you’ll receive, determine which student loans are right for you, and if you’ll have to borrow from other places. You may find you have to (or don’t have to) apply for private loans after you receive the award letter.
The money you’re offered due to your FAFSA application may even help you decide which school you want to attend when your acceptance letters come in.
Filing the FAFSA Sooner!
There really is no reason to put off your FAFSA application, unless you only find out at a later date that you need the assistance or your financial situation changes. Getting your application in sooner rather than later brings a host of benefits while waiting brings none.