How to Apply for FAFSA 2022-23: Deadlines, Tips, and FAQs

Many students and families find the college application process stressful. At Livius, we always strive to help our students find the joy in discovering and enriching their themes, searching for their best fit colleges, writing a powerful and personal application essay, reaching their personal test score goals, and completing the applications with time to spare. Despite all of our counselors’, coaches’, and tutors’ successes in these areas, there is one part of the process that still inspires dread in the hearts of students and their families: filling out the FAFSA. But don’t fear! We’re here to provide information, deadlines and answer all of your questions about FAFSA 2022-23.

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a digital form completed each year by high school students applying to college and college students continuing their education. Students fill out the FAFSA form in order to qualify for various forms of financial aid. Financial aid is provided by the United States federal government and each of the various state governments based on the financial needs of applicants. This aid can take several forms.

What is Considered Financial Aid?

Financial need is determined based primarily on the income and savings of the parents of each student applicant. Other factors include the number of other children or dependents in the students’ household, the student’s income, and their parents’ real property holdings. Applicants may also be eligible for additional aid based on their own military service.

 

Federal aid comes in three primary forms: grants, loans, and work-study. Grants are the preferred option for most students. A grant is a cash award paid directly by the federal government to the college you attend. Grants do not need to be paid back, as it is the government’s policy that they represent an investment in an educated, professional populace. The two current grants that students can qualify for are the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Between the two, a student can qualify for as much as $10,000 is yearly, renewable aid.

Student Loans FAQ

Student loans are managed by the U.S. Department of Education (DoE). The DoE negotiates with various banks around the country, with interest rates set directly by Congress, and then distributes the money directly to colleges on behalf of the students. The students are then required to pay the loans back to the government, starting six to ten months after graduation, which then repays the banks. There are two classes of students loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while the student is in college, but unsubsidized loans do accrue interest, starting from the moment the government distributes the money to the college.

Work-study represents money distributed by the U.S. government to colleges to help cover the cost of paying students to work on campus during their education. Students are expected to pay for college out of pocket to cover this “aid” and then earn the money back over the course of their education.

Who Uses FAFSA in 2022-23?

Most U.S. states use the FAFSA for their own financial aid programs, which primarily consistent of various grants and additional work-study programs. State governments cannot authorize or distribute student loans.

The application seems complicated, but the best advice we can give you is to make sure your parents file taxes each year. Use their tax return documents for all of the information that the FAFSA will request and require.

More importantly, be wary of other websites posing as the FAFSA. You can access the FAFSA 2022-23 at studentaid.gov. Any website claiming to be the FAFSA, but using a dot com or dot net suffix is likely a scam.

When is the FAFSA Application Period in 2022-23?

Each year, the FAFSA opens the application period on October 1st. Currently, the deadline to complete the FAFSA 2022-23 is June 30th of your senior year, but we recommend applying as early in the year as possible, as some financial aid sources may run out of money by the end of the school year. This is especially important since many states have earlier deadlines for their financial aid programs.

Keep in mind that most colleges also have financial aid available to their students. This money comes from funds that the colleges manage, based on decades of fundraising, primarily from alumni. Many colleges have their own financial aid forms as part of their regular applications. Additionally, many smaller, private colleges use the College Board’s CSS Profile service to handle financial aid applications. The CSS Profile is found on the College Board’s website. Unfortunately, the CSS Profile has a fee, but filling it out will likely result in financial aid and scholarship rewards that far outweigh the fee.

 

Author: Jason Breitkopf

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