Right here’s Why You Ought to Submit Your Data Earlier than the FAFSA Deadline

If faculty college students had been superheroes, deadlines can be their kryptonite.

However there are upcoming deadlines to use for federal pupil help you’ll wish to add to your calendar now (sure, it’s a bit complicated, however we’ll clarify in a bit):

FAFSA deadline for the 2020-21 college yr: June 30, 2021.

FAFSA deadline for 2021-22 college yr: June 30, 2022. “That deadline isn’t till subsequent yr!” you say. However the sooner you get your software in, the extra doubtless you may nonetheless declare a few of that cash.

The first day to submit for the 2022-23 college yr: Oct. 1, 2021. Why do you have to care in regards to the first day? Many faculties award their monetary help cash inside weeks (or days) of the FAFSA opening. So although the deadline isn’t till June 30, 2023, that is your probability to get your paperwork so as so that you will be first in line for monetary help.

Wait — What Is FAFSA, Once more?

FAFSA stands for the Free Utility for Federal Scholar Support.

In easiest phrases, the FAFSA is the shape you fill out to get your monetary info multi functional place. In flip, that info lets the folks with the cash know you want monetary help, together with federal pupil loans, scholarships, grants or work-study alternatives.

Many states and faculties will use your FAFSA info to find out whether or not you’re eligible for state or college help, and a few personal suppliers additionally use it to see for those who qualify for his or her monetary help.

You’ll wish to test right here in your state’s and together with your faculty’s monetary help workplace for his or her deadlines.

Filling out and submitting your FAFSA is completely free, and you actually shouldn’t skip it — even when the method appears intimidating. In years previous, college students throughout the U.S. have left as a lot as $2.3 billion (yep, with a “b”) in pupil help on the desk by neglecting to fill out their monetary info.

What FAFSA Deadlines Ought to I Know About?

The opening date for making use of for FAFSA yearly is Oct. 1 earlier than the college yr begins (so for the 2021-22 college yr, the FAFSA opened Oct. 1, 2020). That enables candidates loads of time to submit their monetary info earlier than faculties start sending out monetary help provides.

Candidates use monetary info from the earlier yr’s tax season. Which means for those who had been planning to attend faculty beginning in fall 2021, you’ll have used your (or your dad and mom’) 2019 tax info (the data they filed in early 2020).

The FAFSA software cycle lasts 21 months, opening on October 1 earlier than the college yr begins and shutting on June 30 of that faculty yr.

Confused but? Yeah, you and everyone else.

As a result of the total submission interval stretches greater than a yr and a half for every college yr, most of the dates, deadlines and submission intervals overlap. Due to the jumbled timeline, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and quit or neglect in regards to the deadlines completely.

Right here’s a breakdown that will help you work out which yr’s kind you need to be filling out for which software deadline, utilizing which monetary info.

If you’ll attend faculty between: It’s best to submit the: Utilizing revenue and tax info from: Someday between:
July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 2020-2021 FAFSA 2018 (filed early 2019) Oct. 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021
July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022 2021-2022 FAFSA 2019 (filed early 2020) Oct. 1, 2020 – June 30, 2022
July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023 2022-2023 FAFSA 2020 (filed early 2021) Oct. 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023
July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024 2023-2024 FAFSA 2021 (filed early 2022) Oct. 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024

When you have a fairly broad window for submitting your software, the sooner you submit it, the higher your probabilities of securing help provides will probably be. The federal deadline is in the summertime, however most faculties ship out their help provides through the earlier winter months.

“Each college has a precedence deadline,” says Erin Dunn, director of economic help and scholarships on the College of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus. “When a pupil applies by that precedence deadline, they’re thought of for the utmost quantities and kinds of monetary help out there.”

Whereas federal help should be provided as late because the June 30 deadline, you must test together with your college of option to see when it requires FAFSA to be submitted every year to be thought of for school-related monetary assist.

Why Ought to I Submit the FAFSA for the Earlier Yr After the Faculty Yr Is Over?

However do you have to even hassle filling it out this late?

“Completely, fill it out, as a result of for those who don’t strive then you definately don’t know what you might be eligible for,” Dunn says.

Even this late within the yr, you could possibly obtain retroactive monetary help, together with Pell Grants or different types of federal help.

Professional Tip

In case your monetary state of affairs modified drastically this previous college yr, you may file a 2020-2021 corrected FAFSA by Sept. 11, 2021. You’ll additionally must contact your college’s monetary help workplace.

Plus, filling out the FAFSA takes all of about an hour — and we’ve received a information that may allow you to fill it out in eight straightforward steps.

Simply keep in mind, with regards to the FAFSA, earlier is all the time higher.

Then, fill out the separate 2021-2022 FAFSA (which has been open since Oct. 1, 2020).

When you’re caught up on these, you’ll be again on monitor and able to fill out the 2022-2023 software as quickly because it opens in October.

Grace Schweizer is an e mail content material author at The Penny Hoarder. Employees author/editor Tiffany Connors contributed to this put up.

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