Start now thinking about completing FAFSA

Admissions officer helping studentsThe FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is required for all students seeking financial aid.

There are two things in the name, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, that are important for you to note. The first is the word, Free, as in no money. It costs nothing but your time to complete the FAFSA. It’s simply a database, maintained by the US Department of Education and used by colleges across the country.

The second thing to note, or at least understand, are the words Federal Student Aid. As we mentioned above, the FAFSA is required of all students seeking financial aid such as Pell Grants and work study. But it doesn’t stop there.

The FAFSA is also used for many forms of state aid as well as individual college scholarships. Most colleges, including Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, use FAFSA information in determining scholarship awards.

That means it is vitally important that you complete it. We encourage everyone to complete the FAFSA as well as to apply for scholarships through our college foundations. It costs nothing but your time and many people are surprised to learn they qualify.

Now is a good time to start thinking about filling out the FAFSA. Many of the questions on it can be found in your, or your parents’, income tax forms. Why not kill two birds with one stone and work on the FAFSA while that income tax information is close at hand?

One last thing to keep in mind, you could wait until sometime in May to complete the FAFSA but, the application deadline for scholarships at many colleges, including ours, is April 1. That means you need to get it completed by April 1 to be considered for many scholarships.

So, go ahead and get started now. Links and more information are available in our financial aid section.