Filling Out FAFSA®
When Is the Deadline for 2019-2020 FAFSA®?
Here are the FAFSA® deadlines for the two currently available academic years:
2018-2019 FAFSA® – Closes June 30th, 2019
2019-2020 FAFSA® – Opens October 1st, 2018
FAFSA® Submission Timelines and Other Deadlines
There are three key dates students should circle in their calendars every year: October 1st, June 30th and September 15th.
- October 1st – FAFSA® opens for the next academic year
- June 30th – FAFSA® closes for the current academic year
- September 15th – Deadline to make FAFSA® corrections for the previous academic year
In simpler terms:
|2019-2020||October 1, 2018||June 30th, 2020||September 15, 2020|
|2018-2019||October 1, 2017||June 30th, 2019||September 15, 2019|
Until further noted by the FSA, those dates will not change for subsequent academic years. Students should be prepared to file their 2019-2020 FAFSA® on October 1st, 2018.
If you ever wondered why the FAFSA® asks for financial information from two years prior to the application year, it’s due to the date the FSA opens the FAFSA®. Students who file their 2018-2019 FAFSA® on October 1st, 2017 would not yet have filed their 2017 taxes.
Keep Track of School and State Deadlines, too
While the federal deadline allows students to file their FAFSA® after the school year is already over, that doesn’t mean schools and states are equally lenient.
Many schools and states have their own financial aid deadlines, which could affect the amount of aid you receive. While those schools and states will still accept your FAFSA® for federal aid, they may not use your FAFSA® to judge your candidacy for school and state-provided financial aid.
While the federal deadline generally corresponds to the end of the school year, school deadlines often align with the beginning of the academic calendar. Students already enrolled in college may be required to file their FAFSA® no later than the beginning of the Fall semester.
Students who are still going through the application process may find that their FAFSA® deadlines are even earlier. Some schools may request that financial aid paperwork is submitted to meet the same deadlines as applications for enrollment. That window is usually between November and January, 8-10 months before the school year begins.
The last deadline that students must remain aware of is the tuition deadline set by their school. If you fail to pay for your classes on time, your school may prevent you from registering for classes for the following semester, or even drop you from your current courses.
Check your school’s website or ask your school’s financial aid office for a list of important financial aid dates so you don’t miss any crucial deadlines.
Just as there is a deadline for federal financial aid, each state has their own deadline for the financial aid they provide for students. Many state deadlines come in the spring before the start of the Academic calendar, so it’s important for students to file their FAFSA® as early as possible.
You can check your state’s financial aid deadline here.
File Early – Financial Aid Is First Come, First Serve
Financial aid is awarded on a first come, first served basis, so it is recommended students file their FAFSA® as soon as possible to ensure the best financial aid offer.
Students going through the college application process should know that the earlier they file their FAFSA®, the earlier they’ll receive their financial aid offers. Filing early will allow them more time to make an informed decision when choosing a school.
Deadlines are strictly enforced, so students will need to keep on schedule.
Do you have to fill out FAFSA every year?
Yes, you most likely will have file FAFSA® every year you plan on attending school. Most academic institutions require students to re-apply for financial aid by filing FAFSA® every year the student is enrolled because the amount of aid a student may be eligible to get may fluctuate across years depending on a variety of factors.