FAFSA application needed by Feb. 15

IV Leader Staff

Students interested in attending Illinois Valley Community College next fall are being encouraged to file a FAFSA by Feb. 15.

Financial aid director Patty Williamson said students filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by Feb. 15 will have the best chance of receiving state MAP grant dollars.

“MAP dollars are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Williamson. “If MAP runs out before a student applies, it could be a loss of up to $1,800.”

Williamson said an estimated FAFSA can be filed using last year’s tax return information and updated later after the 2013 return is filed. She encouraged students to apply even if they don’t believe they’ll qualify for an award.

“Students should apply anyway. It is free and they need to apply in order to qualify for a low-interest student loan, work on campus or apply for IVCC Foundation scholarships,” Williamson said. “Every year I have students who don’t believe they’ll qualify for aid and are surprised to find they do.”

Awards range from $600 to $5,000 and more. Williamson said applicants sometimes receive enough aid to cover all tuition, fees, books and course-related materials plus transportation and other living expenses.

IVCC is hosting “FAFSA Fridays” to assist students with the application from 2 to 4 p.m. beginning Feb. 7 at Ottawa Center and in Room E216 at the Oglesby campus Feb. 14.

Students should bring their 2013 federal tax return and/or W2 forms, their Social Security number and that of their parents, driver’s license and federal pin number. For information, call (815) 224-0438.