Students can apply for FAFSA earlier

Hannah Smith, IV Leader Associate Editor

New changes are being to the application process for student federal aid, or FAFSA.

According to Patty Williamson, it is important for students to be aware of these changes in order to be considered for government aid and grants.

In past years, the FAFSA application has been made available on Jan. 1 of the school year it would applied toward.
This will be changing, effective for the 2017-18 school year.

This year, the FAFSA application will be made available on Oct. 1. IVCC’s Financial Aid office always encourages students to apply for federal aid as early as possible.

This is because the money for grants, such as MAP grants, usually runs out within two months of the application being made available.

Another change to the FAFSA application is that it will no longer look at taxes that are filed the previous year.
The application is being will now look at taxes that would have been filed two years previously.
For example, students will apply for their 2017-18 federal aid beginning on Oct. 1, and they will apply using their tax information from their 2015 filing.

This will help students apply faster, since money for MAP grants run out very soon and, as Patty Williamson, Director of Financial Aid, says, “You could have the eligibility but there’s no money left for you.”

Approximately 550 students per year are awarded some form of government money. This includes Pell Grants, MAP grants, student loans, and student work study, which are all awarded based off the FAFSA application.

To fill out the FAFSA application, students can go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. Factors that FAFSA looks for include a student’s status as a dependent, whether they claim any dependents, whether they are married, income, family size, and the number of students currently enrolled in college courses that live in their household.

To apply for MAP grants, you must make sure you mark it on your application and apply as early as possible.

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