Getting an early start on the FAFSA

Getting an early start on the FAFSA

Winter break has come to an end (or ended some time ago for High School students), which means some important dates are coming up! For those of you who are new to the FAFSA system or if you just need a refresher:

Financial aid season starts at the beginning of the calendar year. What that means for you is that the race to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) already began January 1st, 2012. If you haven’t started, go do it now!

While FAFSA application season spans several months (January to the end of June), it is very important that you start your application as soon as possible. Federal aid tends to run on a first-come first serve basis, so the earlier you apply the better your financial aid award could be. And although it takes about a month to figure out an estimate, students don’t receive their actual aid money until the next school year.

So as it said before, it is important for you to prepare your material now to get a head start. For those of you who are just beginning this process, these items include the following: tax returns from 2012 (or 2011), parents’ income information, personal income information (student income), etc. If you do not have you and your parents’ federal income tax returns, you will not be able to complete your application.

So get ready, prepare everything, and hand it in!

For more information on FAFSA and the application process please visit their website.