Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are now open for the academic year 2021-22. Applying for the FAFSA allows you to qualify for grants, scholarships, and other federally-sourced aid, such as work-study or student loans. The applications opened on October 1, 2020, and will be accepted until the deadline, June 30, 2022.1
Why does this matter? An earlier application has a better chance of receiving part of the $122 billion the government offers in aid to over 10 million American students. Much of this aid goes to those with the earliest applications, so it’s smart to start now.1,2
With many students competing for free aid and options for work limited by the ongoing pandemic, families of every economic background will be looking to take advantage of this opportunity. First-time applicants can begin the process by creating a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/
A really helpful tool to find out how much you will be expected to pay for college is the Expected Family Contribution(EFC) calculator. You can access it through this link to the calculator. In order to fill it out, you will need your most recent tax return and investment account statements. Once you have those, simply input your information and the calculator will produce your EFC number. You can then take that number and subtract it from the total cost of one year of education from your school of choice. The higher the resulting number, the more needs-based financial aid your family would qualify for.
Wishing you and the students in your life all the best.
1. Nerdwallet.com, September 29, 2020
2. Money.com, October 1, 2020
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