If you have a college bound high school student in the house, you are probably scrambling like I am to meet deadlines for scholarships and FAFSA. One thing I didn’t know until recently is that there isn’t one deadline for FAFSA but several deadlines. These deadlines all vary depending on where your teenager plans on going to school.
Since my teenager isn’t very good at keeping me informed as to upcoming FAFSA deadlines, I’ve been doing a little research on my own. Here is what I found:
Many schools give priority consideration to students who turn in a FAFSA between January 1-31. Since most of us don’t have our tax information pulled together at this point, it’s totally OK to estimate a number based on the year-to-date wages listed on your December paystub.
The FAFSA is not just for federal assistance but may also be used for state grants and loans. This deadline differs from state to state with many ranging between February 1 – March 1. You can learn your state’s deadline by visiting “Deadlines” on the official FAFSA web site.
For all the schools that my teenager has applied to, the school deadline seems to coincide with the state deadline. However, I recommend contacting the school earlier to find out their actual deadline and whether it is the date the college receives your FAFSA or the date your FAFSA is processed. Hitting the school deadline is important since it may make the difference in whether your teen is eligible for additional scholarships or Work Study.
Final FAFSA deadline
The federal deadline for filling out an online application is Midnight Central Time, June 30 (for year 2015). If you miss this deadline, you may still be entitled to a little bit of financial aid providing there is any available.
Midnight Central Time, September 19 (for year 2015) is the final deadline when you must make corrections or updates to the FAFSA application. By now you should have filled out your tax returns and can update the information.
Sending off a teenage off to college is an exciting time for everyone. Paying attention to the FAFSA deadlines will make the difference in whether or not your teen will receive assistance to the college of her choice.
More by this contributor:
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Additional Resources: FAFSA on the web: Deadlines