Each year, the office of Federal Student Aid provides more than 120 billion in grant, work-study and loan funds to help students pay for college.
Yes, more than 120 billion dollars are available to help students like you, your daughter or son fund an education! All you need to do to tap into these funds is fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Believe it or not, the window for filing your 2021- 2022 FAFSA is already here. You could begin filing as early as October 1. By filling out the FAFSA, you can access federal grants that do not need to be repaid, federal student loans with low interest rates, and work study programs that provide a convenient way to simultaneously fund your education and build work experience.
Many people miss out on important grants and student loans because they don’t know what’s involved, miss the filing deadline or simply think they won’t qualify. The good news is you have plenty of time to file if you begin the process now, and there’s no income cutoff to qualify for federal student aid. It doesn’t matter if you have a low or high income; most people qualify for some type of financial aid. Many factors are taken into account, including your family size and enrollment status.
The form is required of all students filing for financial aid, and by most colleges for their college scholarships. It often takes an hour to complete, but you can speed up the process and make it easy by following these steps:
Create an FSA ID to file online
By creating a FSA (Federal Student Aid) ID, you can sign and submit your FAFSA form electronically through the FAFSA.gov website or by using the myStudentAid mobile app on your phone. While you can get your FSA ID as you’re completing the FAFSA form online, getting it ahead of time and using it to begin your FAFSA form cuts down on errors and delays.
Gather documents needed to apply
The FAFSA questions ask for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. To complete the application you will need:
- Your Social Security card and driver’s license, and/or alien registration card if you are not a U.S. citizen.
- Federal income tax returns (you can use the most recent returns you have from last year), W-2s, and other records of money earned. Good news: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This helps simplify the process!
- Banks statements and records of investments, as well as records of untaxed income (if applicable).
- A list of schools that you might attend. If you’re planning to apply to seven schools, list all seven on the FAFSA. You can list up to 10 schools.
- If you’re a dependent student, you’ll also include your parent’s information.
Get help if you have questions
There are a lot of online tools and resources available to help answer any questions you may have. On the FAFSA.gov website, you can access help by clicking the “Help Center” link in the upper right-hand corner. There, you can view answers to commonly asked questions or submit your own. You can also contact Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ Financial Aid office and one of our staff will be happy to help! The earlier you submit your application, the sooner you’ll learn your federal financial aid eligibility. Everyone is encouraged to file, you may be surprised to see what aid is available to you!