FAFSA Deadlines: Meeting State and Federal FAFSA Deadlines

FAFSA Deadlines: Meeting State and Federal FAFSA Deadlines.

FAFSA Deadlines: To apply for grants, scholarships, federal work-study and federal student loans, you have to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for each academic year. But the time limits for federal, state and local assistance differ. Oct. 1 and June 30 are the two most important dates that you need to remember.

Meeting FAFSA deadlines:FAFSA opens on Oct. 1 each year. File your FAFSA as close as possible to Oct. 1 to improve your chances of being considered for the most grant, scholarship and work-study assistance. Applications began being accepted for the 2019-20 school year on Oct. 1, 2018. The starting date for the school year 2020-21, is Oct. 1, 2019.

Most assistance is given to students applying the earliest, such as federal labor-study dollars and various state and local grants and scholarships.

The federal government gives students a deadline of June 30 after school year in which they need help— for example, June 30th, 2020, for school year 2019-20 or June 30th, 2021, for school year 2020-21—to file the FAFSA. But you need to apply the form much sooner to reach the state and college financial aid deadlines and get your support dollars in time for the school year to begin.

In this Post:

State and institutional FAFSA deadlines

States and individual colleges set their own FAFSA deadlines that are typically much earlier than the federal one. You have to file your application by these deadlines to qualify for state and institutional grants and scholarships.

Below are the deadlines for each one:

States from A-D

  • Alabama — Check with your financial aid administrator.
  • Alaska — AK Education Grant – ASAP after October 1, 2018. AK Performance Scholarship – due June 30, 2019. Notes: Why ASAP? Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • Arizona — Check with your financial aid administrator.
  • Arkansas — Academic Challenge – June 1, 2019 by midnight, CST, (date received). Workforce Grant – check with your financial aid administrator. Higher Education Opportunity Grant – June 1, 2019 by midnight, CST, (date received).
  • California — For many state financial aid programs, date postmarked must be March 2, 2019. Additional community college Cal grants must be postmarked by September 2, 2019. Notes: You’re also encouraged to obtain proof of mailing and additional forms may apply. If you are a non-citizen holding a Social Security card issued through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or for some other work authorization, you should fill out the California Dream Act Application found at www.caldreamact.org, NOT a FAFSA form.
  • Colorado — Check with your financial aid administrator.
  • Connecticut — February 15, 2019 (date received) Notes: For priority consideration, submit an application by the specified date. You’re also encouraged to obtain proof of mailing and additional forms may apply. Contact your financial aid administrator or state agency for additional information.
  • Delaware — April 15, 2019, by midnight, CST (date received).
  • District of Columbia — FAFSA completed by May 1, 2019 (date received). For DCTAG, complete the DC OneApp and submit supporting documents by May 31, 2019.

States from F-L

  • Florida — May 15, 2019
  • Georgia — Check with your financial aid administrator.
  • Hawaii — Check with you financial aid administrator. Notes: You may need to fill out an additional form.
  • Idaho — Opportunity Grant – March 1, 2019 (date received) by midnight, CST. Notes: For priority consideration, submit an application by the specified date. Also, an additional form may be required. Contact your financial aid administrator or state agency for additional information.
  • Illinois — ASAP after October 1, 2018. Notes: Why ASAP? Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • Indiana — ASAP after October 1, 2018. Adult Student Grant: As soon as possible after Oct. 1, 2018. Awards are made until funds are depleted. New applicants must submit additional forms at ScholarTrack.IN.gov. Workforce Ready Grant: As soon as possible after Oct. 1, 2018. Frank O’Bannon Grant: April 15, 2019, by midnight CST. 21st Century Scholarship: April 15, 2019, by midnight CST.
  • Iowa — July 1, 2019 by midnight, CST. Notes: Earlier priority deadlines may apply for certain programs and an additional form may be required.
  • Kansas — April 1, 2019 by midnight, CST (date received). Notes: For priority consideration, submit an application by the specified date. Also, an additional form may be required. Contact your financial aid administrator or state agency for additional information.
  • Kentucky — ASAP after October 1, 2018. Notes: Why ASAP? Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • Louisiana — July 1, 2020 Notes: Turning it in by July 1, 2019, is highly recommended.

States from M-O

  • Maine — May 1, 2019 by midnight.
  • Maryland — March 1, 2019 by midnight.
  • Massachusetts — May 1, 2019 by midnight. Notes: For priority consideration, submit application by the specified date.
  • Michigan — March 1, 2019 by midnight.
  • Minnesota — 30 days after term starts (by midnight CST) (date received).
  • Mississippi — MTAG and MESG Grants – October 15, 2019 by midnight, CST (date received). HELP Scholarship – April 30, 2019 by midnight, CST (date received).
  • Missouri — February 1, 2019 by midnight, CST (date received).
  • Montana — Check with your financial aid administrator.
  • Nebraska — Check with your financial aid administrator.
  • Nevada — Silver State Opportunity Grant — As soon as possible after October 1, 2018. Nevada Promise Scholarship: April 1, 2019. Check with your financial aid administrator. Notes: An additional form may be required.
  • New Hampshire — Check with your financial aid administrator. Notes: An additional form may be required.
  • New Jersey — 2018 – 2019 Tuition Aid Grant recipients – April 15, 2019 by midnight, CST (date received). All other applications – September 15, 2019 by midnight, CST for fall and spring terms (date received). February 15, 2020 by midnight, CST for spring term only (date received).
  • New Mexico — Check with your financial aid administrator.
  • New York — June 30, 2020 by midnight, CST (date received). Notes: An additional form may be required.
  • North Carolina — ASAP after October 1, 2018. Notes: Why ASAP? Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • North Dakota — ASAP after October 1, 2018. Notes: Why ASAP? Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • Ohio — October 1, 2019 by midnight, CST (date received) Notes: An additional form may be required.
  • Oklahoma — ASAP after October 1, 2018 by midnight, CST (date received). Notes: Awards are made until funds are depleted.
  • Oregon — OSAC Private Scholarships – March 1, 2019. Oregon Opportunity Grant – ASAP after October 1, 2018. Notes: Why ASAP? Awards made until funds are depleted.

States from P-T

  • Pennsylvania — All first-time applicants at a community college; a business/trade/technical school; a hospital school of nursing; or enrolled in a non-transferable two-year program – August 1, 2019 by midnight, CST (date received). All other applicants – May 1, 2019 by midnight, CST (date received).
  • Rhode Island — Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms may be required.
  • South Carolina — Tuition Grants – June 30, 2019 (date received). SC Commission on Higher Education Need-based Grants – ASAP after October 1, 2018. Notes: Why ASAP? Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • South Dakota — Check with your financial aid administrator. An additional form may be required.
  • Tennessee — For State Grant – February 1, 2019 (see notes for details) For State Lottery – fall term, September 1, 2019 by midnight CST (date received); spring & summer terms, February 1, 2020 by midnight, CST (date received). Notes: Prior-year recipients of State Grant will receive an award, if eligible. All other awards are given to neediest applicants who have met the February 1, 2019 deadline until funds are depleted.
  • Texas — ASAP after October 1, 2018.

States from U-W

  • Utah — Check with your financial aid administrator.
  • Vermont — ASAP after October 1, 2018. Notes: Why ASAP? Awards made until funds are depleted. An additional form may be required.
  • Virginia— Check with your financial aid administrator. Notes: An additional form may be required.
  • Washington— ASAP after October 1, 2018. Notes: Why ASAP? Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • West Virginia — PROMISE Scholarship – March 1, 2019. New applicants must submit an additional application, available at CFWV.com. Contact your financial aid administrator or state agency for additional information. WV Higher Education Grant Program – April 15, 2019.
  • Wisconsin — Check with your financial aid administrator.
  • Wyoming — Check with your financial aid administrator. Notes: An additional form may be required.
  • All Other U.S. Territories — Check with your financial aid administrator or state agency for details

Federal FAFSA deadline

The federal deadline is your last chance to submit the FAFSA each year. If you need financial aid for the 2019-20 school year, you can submit the form until June 30, 2020. Work-study dollars and most state and institutional aid will run out the fastest for 2019-20, but there will still be time to qualify for federal grants and student loans. Even if you wait until June 30, you can receive these grants and loans retroactively to cover what you’ve already paid for the spring and fall semester. Or, depending on your school, you may be able to apply the funds to pay for 2020 summer school.

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Important FAFSA Deadline Reminders

Important FAFSA Deadline Reminders

  • The 2020-2021 FAFSA on the Web and Renewal FAFSA on the Web must be submitted by midnight Central Daylight time, June 30, 2021.
  • The 2019-2020 FAFSA on the Web and Renewal FAFSA on the Web must be submitted by midnight Central Daylight time, June 30, 2020.
  • Print versions of the 2020-2021 FAFSA must be received by the federal processor by midnight Central Daylight time, June 30, 2021.
  • Print versions of the 2019-2020 FAFSA must be received by the federal processor by midnight Central Daylight time, June 30, 2020.
  • Corrections on the Web forms must be submitted by midnight Central Daylight time, mid-September 2021 for the 2020-2021 FAFSA or mid-September 2020 for the 2019-2020 FAFSA.
  • For the 2019-2020 award, your school must have your complete and correct information by the last day of enrollment in the 2019-2020 school year or June 30, 2020, whichever comes first.
  • For the 2020-2021 award, your school must have your complete and correct information by the last day of enrollment in the 2020-2021 school year or June 30, 2021, whichever comes first.
  • Double-check that you are submitting the FAFSA for the correct award year.

Note: Transactions must be completed and accepted by midnight to meet the deadline. If an application is started before midnight but not completed until after midnight, the application will not meet the deadline. In addition, any application submitted on the deadline date that gets rejected may not be able to be reprocessed because the deadline will have passed by the time the applicant is notified of the reject.

Tips to Help You Meet FAFSA Deadlines

It is imperative that you submit your FAFSA by the appropriate deadlines. If you don’t do this, you could lose out on tens of thousands of dollars to help pay for your education.

Your best bet is to submit your FAFSA early on—within the first couple weeks of October. This will ensure you don’t miss any deadlines and will be eligible for all federal, state, and college financial aid.

However, I know some of you like to procrastinate, so here are some tips to help you stay on track:

  • Start a financial aid folder to keep all your financial aid documents organized. Doing so will save you time and help you out, especially considering the fact that you must file a FAFSA every year you apply for financial aid!
  • Make a note of the earliest deadline (state, federal, or college) you need to know on a calendar. Set a notification on your phone a week or two before this deadline, too.
  • In September, start looking at the FAFSA with your parents and get together any documentation you might need for it.
  • Encourage your parents to prepare their income tax returns as soon as possible after January 1 since you might need their returns for financial aid purposes. Regardless of whether or not your parents plan on paying for your college education, most students will be considered dependents for FAFSA purposes.
  • If you have a good counselor at your high school, try to meet with her regularly. Many counselors excel at making sure their students submit all applications and forms in time.

FAQs

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is a long, comprehensive application form that you must complete and submit to the government in order to receive federal financial aid . Once you fill it out, the government will share your information with your chosen schools. The form asks for information about your income, the size of your household, and how many of your family members currently attend school.

You will need your parent or guardian to help supply a lot of this information. Once all of your numbers have been submitted, the government analyzes the information to determine your expected family contribution, or EFC.

What if I missed the FAFSA deadline?

If you missed the FAFSA® deadline the first thing you should do is get in contact with your college. If you call your college’s financial aid office, they will give you specific instructions on how to move forward.

All things considered, if you successfully submit your application by June 30, you may still qualify for federal grants and loans. However, if you missed your state’s deadline you may qualify for some federal aid but not state-sponsored aid assistance.

In the meantime, you have two options:

Scholarships 

There are thousands of scholarships year-round. Each scholarship has its own deadline and eligibility requirements. Therefore, stay on high alert for these opportunities. Use scholly and/or scholarships.com to search for all kinds of scholarships.

Private Student loans 

Even though taking out private student loans is not ideal, it will get you through a year of college. You can apply for student loans through a private institution such as a credit union or bank. Keep in mind, private student loans come with higher interest rates, fees and stricter repayment plans.

It’s typical for students to have to take out student loans to go to college. It’s better to get them through federal loans, but if you miss your deadline and have no other choice, at least you know there is an option to get you through that first year of college.

Do you have to fill out FAFSA® every year?

Yes, you most likely will have file FAFSA® every year you plan on attending school.  Most academic institutions require students  to re-apply for financial aid by filing FAFSA® every year the student is enrolled because the amount of aid a student may be eligible to get may fluctuate across years depending on a variety of factors.

FAFSA Deadlines: Last Note

FAFSA Deadline: Last Note

Track colleges’ financial aid deadlines. Priority deadlines at individual schools often fall the earliest, so those deadlines are the most important to track. Those dates are also the best chance to get the most aid. Look up the deadlines for all of the schools you’re applying to and write them down in one place — try using your phone’s calendar, a spreadsheet or a notebook dedicated to your college search.

Submit any other financial aid applications. Many schools require additional or alternative financial aid applications, such as the CSS Profile, to qualify for state or institutional aid. You’ll need to submit all the required paperwork before the deadline to be considered for aid.

Above all, remember Oct. 1. It’s not a deadline, but if you submit your FAFSA soon after that day, you’ll cover all your bases. Finally, Wait for your financial aid award letter, which details how much free aid you qualify for and how much in federal loans you can borrow.

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