5 Things You Should Know About the FAFSA

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Kaitlyn Keech shares five things to know about the FAFSA for students and parents.

It’s that time of year again, Pointers! With the holiday season just around the corner, and maybe a little more free time, let’s not forget about adding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to your to-do list.

If you haven’t started it yet, the FAFSA can be completed online here.

Five things you should know:

  1. The FAFSA for the 2017-2018 school year is open! The financial aid form opened on Oct. 1, 2016. With this change, when completing the application, you or your parents can use tax information from fiscal year 2015. It is recommended to complete the application as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss out on any available aid.
  1. If you think you may not qualify for federal student aid, it is still important to fill out the FAFSA. Completing the FAFSA allows you to be eligible for work study and other non-need-based types of aid. You may also need to complete the FAFSA to apply for some scholarships.
  1. Even if you file the FAFSA as early as you can, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get your award earlier. Many schools operate on their own timelines when sending award notices. See our webpage detailing dates and deadlines about award notices.
  1. After filing the FAFSA, check your email regularly. UW-Stevens Point will contact you through email should you need to provide additional information. Be sure to respond in a timely manner if the university contacts you about the financial aid form.
  1. If you need help filling out the FAFSA, attend a College Goal Wisconsin You can receive free and professional onsite assistance when completing the FAFSA. I went to an event a couple weeks ago, and I assure you it is very helpful. Although it wasn’t my first time filling out the FAFSA, the volunteers at College Goal Wisconsin work tirelessly to make sure it goes smoothly for all. If you attend an event, you can enter a drawing for a chance to win a scholarship!

If you have any questions regarding the FAFSA, please don’t hesitate to stop in the Financial Aid Office at UW-Stevens Point. In case you missed my last post, our office is located in room 106 of the Student Services Center, or you can always email us at finaid@uwsp.edu. We’re happy to answer any questions students (or Pointer parents) may have!

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