Filing your FAFSA® as soon as possible is highly encouraged to receive the best possible financial aid package. There are several factors that play a part in determining financial aid awards that many may not be aware of.
Here are a few reasons why filing financial aid early could help you get more aid.
Did you know?
Filing early can increase your chances of receiving need-based aid like grants and scholarships. This is because many institutions award their aid based on a first-come, first-served basis until their aid runs out. So, do yourself a favor and get in line as soon as you can!
Studies have shown on average, students who file early receive more than twice as much grant funding than students who file later. This means more money at no cost to you!
My parents make a lot of money — Should I still file?
Some students might fall into the category of making too much money for Pell Grant Benefits, but this does not exclude them from other financial aid awards. It’s still worth filing the FAFSA® so that you can be considered for grants and scholarships directly from the schools you’re applying to.
New to FAFSA®? Put more schools down
Don’t limit yourself to one institution, they are all competing for your attendance! Another advantage of filing early, and listing several schools, is that you might receive different financial aid packages from the schools you put down. That gives you the option to make the best financial decision for your future since you’ll be able to choose the package that makes the most sense for you.
Don’t get as much as you were hoping for from your #1 school? One other advantage of filing early is that you’ll have time to go through the aid appeal process. You can use the aid package you received from one college to negotiate more aid from another. That could put you in an even better financial place.
Filing early gives you more time to really determine where you will get the most financial aid for your education.
Don’t forget your deadlines
Deadlines often get the best of people, so if you are a procrastinator, make a calendar reminder for yourself – FAFSA® opens up every year on October 1st. Colleges and state grant programs have different deadlines for filing, some deadlines are as early as February 1st.
Set yourself up for success and make your filing process easier by gathering your documents ahead of time. When your reminders go off, you’ll have everything ready and can ensure you don’t miss a single deadline.
So, hurry up and get everything ready, October is quickly closing in on us and there are so many schools out there that want you! File your FAFSA® as soon as you can and best of luck in your school search!