If you are one of the many college students who needs help paying for college, there’s an important date in your near future: March 1, 2012. Why is this date important? Well, if you want to receive government funds to help pay for you education, you need to have filled out and submitted the FAFSA by this date in order to qualify for the 2012-2013 school year.
What is the FAFSA? FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is a federal scholarship for students. Many students qualify for this need-based aid, but you must reapply for it each year in order to receive the money.
In the past, the FAFSA had a reputation for being overtly difficult to complete. Recently, the FAFSA received a makeover, which makes it easier to understand and complete; however, some people still have trouble with it the first time they fill it out.
“I wasn’t sure what numbers to put where or how to answer the questions,” said Kiersten Hopkins, a freshman at Western Michigan University. “I called my roommate and her grandmother helped me with it the best she could.”
For many students, like Samantha Plunkett, a sophomore at WMU, the FAFSA makes attending college a reality instead of just an expensive dream that is out of reach.
“I need to take everything I can get from financial aid, so I think it’s important,” she said. “The sooner you get it done, the sooner you get the information you need so you know how much you need to save.”
If you have not started filing out the FAFSA yet and would like to do so, there is still time. However, it is a time-consuming application and you might have to scurry to get it completed before March 1st. If you need help, the FAFSA’s website offers live help, so there is no need to pay anybody to fill it out for you. For more tips on filling out the FAFSA and avoiding scams, click here.