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What is – FAFSA?
First Applicants Find Substantial Assets, of course!
FAFSA is the national Free Application for Federal Student Aid but, based on how aid is distributed, it may as well stand for First Applications Find Substantial Assets. Because aid is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, every student that hopes to receive aid for college must fill out this form to even be considered. Every college has its own deadline. For high school seniors who do not know what school they are attending, you can submit an application for schools you are planning on attending and then update your application down the road. If your financial situation has changed since filing a tax return, do not hold off starting the application process. You can discuss the change in finances with the financial affairs office once you know your student’s school.
UCF’s school code is 003954. UCF’s priority deadlines are December 1st each year. After December 1, applications are reviewed in the order they were received. Of course, if your student did not know if they were accepted back then, but they can speak with the Office of Financial Affairs to update their application if your circumstances have changed substantially from what was reported on the Federal Income tax return for the year submitted. If your student has not yet filled out FAFSA, do it immediately. The one take away we have learned from 2020, is that you never know when your financial position may change.
The FAFSA is available online. This is a first come first serve as these loans are limited and time-sensitive. You can complete the application initially using estimated tax information and do not need to wait for your taxes to start the process. And, there is now an app for filling it out which includes access to the IRS’ data-retrieval tool. The app is called myStudentAid which will allow students to fill out the FAFSA on their phones.
For high school seniors who will not know what school they are attending, you can submit an application for schools you are planning on attending and then update your application down the road. If your financial situation has changed since filing a tax return, do not hold off and starting the application process. You can discuss the change in finances with the financial affairs office once you know your student’s school. Each school has a different deadline and therefore better to apply early than risk not getting financial aid. You can add the schools you are planning on applying to as early as October 1st.
Keep up with the paperwork!
Make certain you apply EVERY year. It may not be the perfect scenario, but it is how FAFSA works. More information is available on the FAFSA website. If you still want a little guidance, UCF is hosting two virtual Facts about FAFSA events in which they will share tips and tricks for making sure you’re filling out the form correctly. Read our information on Financial Aid Disbursement.
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