Reminder: Keep an Eye on Financial Aid Deadlines

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Need financial aid for the 2017-18 academic year?

The US Department of Education is reminding students to remain cognizant of deadlines when completing the FAFSA.

While the FAFSA is primarily used to award federal financial aid, many colleges, states, and scholarship programs also use the form to assess eligibility for their aid programs.

“All these entities award their financial aid money differently, and at different times,” according to a recent blog of the department’s Homeroom blog. “…By missing deadlines, you take yourself out of the running for money you might otherwise get. Some states and colleges continue awarding aid to FAFSA latecomers, but your chances get much slimmer, and the payout is often less if you do get aid.”

The Department of Education encourages students to keep these financial aid deadlines in mind:

College Deadlines: “These deadlines vary from school to school, but they usually come well before the academic year starts,” according to Homeroom. “If you’re applying to multiple colleges, be sure to look up each school’s FAFSA deadline and apply by the earliest one.”

State Deadline: “If your state’s deadline is ‘As soon as possible after Oct. 1, 2016,’ you should get your FAFSA submitted ASAP,” the blog notes. “Many of these states award financial aid funds only until they run out, so the sooner you apply, the better your chances.” View your state’s deadline.

Federal Deadline: The 2017-18 FAFSA is available through June 30, but some federal programs have limited funds.

The bottom line? “Plan to get your FAFSA in by the earliest of all the deadlines for your best crack at college money,” the blog notes.

Learn more about paying for college.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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