If you are a college student or will be one in 2019, now is the time to begin thinking about completing your FAFSA, or your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form must be completed by any student who plans on using federal student loans or receiving federal grants from the U.S. government. Even if you do not plan to use federal student loans to cover some, or all, of your college expenses this year, it’s still a good idea to submit a FAFSA because you may qualify for free grant money.
A common mistake made by many college students is waiting until the last minute to file their FAFSA. This is a big mistake that can lead to receiving no funding at all. You must keep in mind that the amount of time it takes to file a FAFSA application often exceeds a month, so if you wait until the very last moment, it may just be too late.
The submission deadline for the 2019-2020 school year is midnight June 30, 2019. The state deadline is usually much sooner than that–some state deadlines are as early as March 1st. Find your state’s FAFSA submission deadlines here.
I recommend completing your FAFSA as soon as possible so that you have it done and out of the way. It can be completed at the start of the new year, so don’t procrastinate and risk forgetting to file or filing too late. You can quickly and easily fill out the application online, which I recommend because the filing times are usually much quicker. Just make sure to follow all of the instructions given to you at the FAFSA website so that you don’t miss a step, fill in the wrong information or don’t have the proper financial papers available at the time of filling out the application.
You can head over to the FAFSA website to get started on the application for federal aid. The great thing about the online submission process is that automatically saves your progress as you fill out the information so you can come back to the application at a later date if necessary.