Do I really have to file a FAFSA? (And answers to other financial aid questions)
Jan 13, 2017, 17:05 PM
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Understanding the FAFSA from the Marian University Office of Financial Aid.
by Melissa Spratt | January 16, 2017
Short answer? YES! You can go here: https://fafsa.gov/
to fill out both the 2016-2017 FAFSA, and the 2017-2018 FAFSA. But wait, don’t stop reading yet – there’s more…such as, what’s the big deal about the FAFSA, anyway? Why should I fill it out? How will it impact me? And more – so read on!
What exactly is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a form that compiles information about you and your household to determine federal financial aid eligibility. This includes federal grants and loans, state grants, and certain scholarships. The Spring 2017 semester is based on the 2016-2017 FAFSA. Anything after May, 2017 is based on the 2017-2018 FAFSA.
What’s the big deal about the FAFSA?
Even if you do not qualify for grants or scholarships, federal loans have the best interest rates and even have a “subsidized loan” which does not accrue any interest while you are in school. Even if you don’t think you’d qualify, or won’t need any federal or state funding, it’s still a good idea to complete the FAFSA since most organizations utilize the information on it to determine scholarships and other awards. It certainly can’t hurt, and it is only for your benefit.
Why should I fill out the FAFSA? How will it impact me?
Aside from the numerous reasons mentioned above, the Office of Financial aid at Marian University utilizes the FAFSA to create an award package specifically tailored to you. As soon as your FAFSA is received, we create a letter with detailed information related to your course load and other relevant information. From there, you can make some informed decisions about how you will finance your education. None of that can happen until you file the FAFSA.
If you haven’t filed a FAFSA, please do so ASAP. If you are a full-time student, the FAFSA must be filed by March 10 in order to considered for state grants. Ideally, the sooner you can file, the better. Both the 16-17 and 17-18 FAFSAs utilize tax information from 2015, so the best way for you to add this information to the FAFSA is to use the Data Retrieval Tool. And if at any time you have any issues or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Marian University Office of Financial Aid M-F, 8:00am-4:30pm, via telephone call (317.955.6040), email (FinaidMAP@marian.edu
), or stop by – we’re just down the hall from the MAP office in Marian Hall at the main campus.