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This document contains information about the FAFSA. The priority deadline (must meet this or you go to the end of the line) for most Kansas schools is March 1. Washburn is Feb. 15th. Please note:

  1. The process is free and can be done online at fafsa.ed.gov. (DO NOT use .com or you will be charged)
  2. If you do not have your taxes done or necessary paperwork before the deadline, you can estimate using last year's tax return. If you do this, you MUST go back and amend your FAFSA based on current information. It is better to use a previous year's tax return and then amend than it is to miss the priority deadline.
  3. College Goal Sunday is Feb. 22 from 2-4pm. College financial aid officers from across the state will be available at select locations to help you fill out the FAFSA. To register for this go to: CollegeGoal.org

What is the FAFSA

To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.

In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid. Most colleges will NOT award any merit based of need based aid without the FAFSA being filled out

When to apply for the FAFSA

Because of the variation in state and college deadlines, it is highly recommended that you fill out the FAFSA as soon as you can after January 1 to ensure that you do not miss out on available aid.

One thing to consider, however, is that the FAFSA asks for your tax return information for the current year. Often, this information might not be available until the end of January, at the earliest. Keeping this in mind, you can choose to either wait until you or your family files income taxes for the year or complete your FAFSA using estimates derived from the previous year's tax returns and other documentation. (Note: If you do this, you will need to return later and correct any discrepancies between the estimated values and the current year's tax returns.)

How to apply for aid

To apply for federal student aid, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

By completing and submitting a FAFSA, you will automatically be considered for federal student aid. In addition, your state and college may use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for nonfederal aid.

Completing the FAFSA is an easy process, and it's completely free. We recommend that you submit your FAFSA online using FAFSA on the Web, as your application will process within 3-5 days; alternatively, you can submit a paper FAFSA, which processes within 7-10 days.

For help with filling out the FAFSA, you can go tohttp://studentaid.ed.gov/resources#free-application-for.

Why should I fill out the FAFSA

Completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the single most important thing you can do to get assistance paying for college.

The U.S. Department of Education uses the FAFSA to determine students' eligibility for federal student aid. Every year, the federal government awards about $150 billion in the form of grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans to help millions of students pay for college.

Many state governments and colleges also use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for nonfederal aid.

Unfortunately, some students feel like they shouldn't bother filling out a FAFSA because of some common myths. These include:

  • "I (or my parents) make too much money, so I won't qualify for aid."
  • "Only students with good grades get financial aid."
  • "I'm too old to get financial aid."
  • "The form is too hard to fill out."

However, these concerns are usually unfounded. For more information, download "Myths About Financial Aid" at http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/financial-aid-myths.pdf.

What do I need to fill out the FAFSA

To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Your most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note:You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • A Federal Student Aid PIN to sign electronically. (If you do not already have one, visit pin.ed.govto obtain one.)

If you are a dependent student, then you will also need most of the above information for your parent(s).

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