Great Advice for Parents 2022

You need to submit the FAFSA every year that you want to be eligible for federal aid. The FAFSA for this upcoming award year, or 2023-24, will remain open until June 30, 2024. If you haven’t yet submitted the FAFSA for the 2022-23 award year, it remains open until June 30, 2023. But deadlines can differ for individual institutions and states, so check which deadlines apply to you. Give yourself more time to make a college decision By submitting the FAFSA early, you also give yourself more time to consider your college choices. If you haven’t enrolled in college yet, you can submit the FAFSA to the schools you’re considering and compare your award letters before you choose one. The aid you’re offered, including federal and school-based, can differ among colleges. Completing the FAFSA early can also give you more time to appeal your financial aid award by submitting a financial aid appeal letter or requesting a professional judgment, regardless of whether you’re submitting it for the first time or not. During the 2020-21 academic year, 29% of families who received a financial aid offer appealed for more aid, according to Sallie Mae’s 2021 study. You can submit an appeal letter if you’re unhappy with the amount of aid you received or if your economic circumstances have changed since you submitted the FAFSA. Nevertheless, submitting the FAFSA early will ensure financial aid is still available when your letter is processed. Regardless, completing the FAFSA in the first place makes you eligible for the more than $120 billion in federal aid the Department of Education distributes each year. And getting it done early “maximizes your potential to be considered for all available financial aid,” Cooper said.

Colin Beresford is a former NerdWallet writer.

The article Don’t Delay Submitting the FAFSA, Your Ticket to Help Pay for College originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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