Do you ever feel like there are financial aid opportunities available for your child that you don’t know about? Or that you’re missing deadlines that you’re not aware of?
Well, fear no more!
Read on to learn about the 3 most important financial aid deadlines to mark on your calendar.
As you read through this post, I want you to remember these three categories:
- FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID: Think of this as money that comes from the United States government
2. STATE FINANCIAL AID: Think of this as money that comes from each individual state government
3. INSTITUTIONAL AID: Think of this as money that comes from each individual college
So let’s dig into the details now….
1. Federal Financial Aid Due Date
The first deadline to keep track of is for federal financial aid (i.e. money given from the U.S. government to qualified students).
To apply for federal financial aid, your family will need to fill out and submit the FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is the most important form for financial aid.
The FAFSA will become available for you to complete on October 1st of your child’s senior year of high school. Remember this date. October 1st. Mark it in your calendar now.
Even though you can technically submit the FAFSA well into your child’s Freshman year of college (over a year after the form becomes available), I always advise families to submit this form as close as possible to October 1st of their child’s senior year.
Well, this form is also used to apply for financial aid dollars from the state in which you live. And each state allocates their dollars on more of a “first-come-first-serve” type of basis. Which brings us to the 2nd due date to keep track of…
2) State Financial Aid Due Date
In addition to the federal dollars allocated to families, each state government also has their own financial aid program…and their own unique deadlines. I advise you to do a quick Google search to find the financial aid deadline for the state which you live in, and then mark it on your calendar.
Simply search for “College financial aid deadline in the state of ___________ [insert name of state in which you live].”
But regardless of the actual deadline for each state, it’s not uncommon for state governments to allocate financial aid dollars on a first-come-first-serve type of basis. And they actually can run out of money to give.
So as I mentioned above, it’s always best to submit the FAFSA for state aid as close as possible to October 1st during your child’s senior year (no matter what the actual deadline says).
Want to make sure you remember this information? Click here to get your free print-out.
3) Institutional Financial Aid Due Date
In addition to federal and state funding for financial aid, each individual college and university has their own financial aid application deadline as well.
To give you an example from just one individual school, students applying for financial aid from New York University (NYU) must:
- Submit their financial aid applications by November 15th if they apply early decision
- Submit their financial aid applications by February 15th if they apply regular decision
Remember, these dates vary school by school. And even by the specific application deadline at that school that your child chooses to submit their application.
So what are the lessons here? During your child’s senior year of high school, it’s important to research the financial aid deadlines for each individual college or university that your child plans to apply to.
If you have any questions at all about financial aid at each individual school that your child applies to, you can always pick up the phone and call the financial aid office at that school (check the school website for contact information). The people who work in the financial aid departments at each school are usually quite helpful!
Key takeaways from this post:
In terms of financial aid dollars, it all comes down to filling out the FAFSA during your child’s senior year of high school. To maximize the financial aid dollars that your child might receive, it’s best to submit the FAFSA as close as possible to the release date of the form (October 1st) during your child’s senior year of high school. And make sure to check individual deadlines and application details for each individual school that your child applies to. This will ensure you maximize funds from federal financial aid, state financial aid & institutional financial aid.
Did you find this information useful? If so, leave a comment below!