Discover the many financial aid options available to you!
One of the biggest mistakes students can make is assuming they don’t qualify for federal financial aid!
Nerd Wallet reported that Texas high school graduates missed out on $344.3 million in free federal grant money because they did not apply (2013).
The good news is that nearly 20 million students who applied to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) got access to federal grants and loans each year. Many of those students qualified for a Pell Grant, which is not a loan and money you don’t have to pay back.
So even if you don’t think you’ll be eligible, you should apply anyway.
There is more good news. Beginning Oct. 1, you will be able to file a FAFSA application for the 2017-18 school year. This moves the start date up from the current Jan. 1 opening date, so you find out much earlier if you’re eligible for aid and how much you may receive, giving you more time to consider college costs and options.
It’s important to remember that financial aid is disbursed on a first come, first serve basis, so since completing the FAFSA form is the first step in getting federal money, it’s very important to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. The information on your FAFSA is also used by state governments and others to determine if you qualify for other types of financial aid or scholarships.
Some people can be intimidated when trying to submit a FAFSA application but it is far less of a headache – and much easier – than it used to be. In the past, filing for financial aid involved a 10-page workbook and collecting reams of your financial documents. Today, you can simply go to FAFSA.ed.gov and fill out an online form.
While the new online form does involve questions related to your income, much of the information is auto-populated using data already on file through the IRS.
Still have questions? Lone Star College has lots of helpful financial aid experts on hand ready to help you at 281.290.2700.