Students encouraged to submit FAFSA soon

All students seeking financial aid should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible.

Financial aid is a general term for any monetary awards given to students which covers any financial need for school. Student loans, scholarships, and grants are all part of financial aid; by receiving one, you do not miss out on the chance to receive another.

According to the FAFSA site of, “Our general eligibility requirements include that you have financial need, are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at your college or career school, and more.”

To receive state or federal grants, you must apply for the FAFSA.

The FAFSA is an application you fill out online which determines your need for financial aid. How much a student is rewarded is based on factors such as income during the most recent tax year, whether the student is independent or dependent, how many people are in the student’s household, how many of the people in the household are in college, and other assets.

Two different types of grants given out are the MAP Grant and the Pell Grant. The difference between the two is who funds them. However, the Illinois State MAP Grant Program has already stopped issuing MAP Grants for FAFSAs received after Feb. 27.

“They have a pot of money, and once they run out, they run out,” said Patty Williamson, Financial Aid director at IVCC.

Students should file their FAFSA as soon as possible. IVCC’s preferred filing date has already passed, but there is still time to be considered for awards.

In addition, as part of the application for the IVCC Foundation Scholarships, students must submit the FAFSA by April 18 in order to be considered for the scholarships.

Williamson suggests that you apply for the FAFSA even if you have not filed your
taxes. You may go back and correct the application, if needed, once your taxes are filed.

To help students and parents file the FAFSA, IVCC hosts FAFSA Fridays.

It is an open computer lab where staff is available to help anyone who has questions on filing. This is open to the public at both the IVCC Main Campus and Ottawa Center. A list of dates is available on the IVCC Web site.

For more information on financial aid or the FAFSA, you may contact Williamson in the Financial Aid office in the new Peter Miller Technology Center, or through email at [email protected]