The FAFSA is a free application that offers financial aid for college education. It can be in the form of school or state financial aid, federal student loans, work-study, or grants for college. As applicants can only apply for one of these, they can also apply for all.
It is better to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible since some aid is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications can be submitted starting from October 1 every year for the upcoming academic year. In other words, you can apply for the FAFSA 2023 – 2024 academic year on October 1, 2023.
You can get free financial aid by being one of the first applicants. Thus, it is important to know when FAFSA applications start to maximize the amount of financial aid you can get from the federal government or other grantors.
Check Out Your State’s Deadlines For FAFSA
Another important detail you need to know is that state and college financial aid deadlines vary from one state to another. In addition, you can apply for FAFSA every year, even if you are already on a plan or you are going to be a new student.
Of course, you need to get prepared to complete the FAFSA application as quickly as possible. For this reason, you may have to fill out certain forms and make some documentation ready. The first things to consider are your social security number and driver’s license.
If you would like to import your information from the IRS, you will need a completed tax return from one of your family members. Additionally, you need to make your federal income tax return understandable. If you are going to apply for the 2023 - 2024 academic year, you will have to use your family’s  tax return.
Moreover, you will have to provide your bank statements, W-2 forms, and information about the family’s investments, such as stocks, money market funds, or real estate.
FAFSA Application Started on October 1
As we noted before, the FAFSA application date starts on October 1, 2023, and you can apply for the 2023 - 2024 academic year. The federal deadline determined for filing FAFSA 2023 - 2024 is June 30, 2024.
However, you need to know that each college and state has its own FAFSA deadlines. Therefore, it would be a good idea to check these deadlines before you submit your application. You can always visit the federal student aid website to learn more about these deadlines.
Keep in mind that FAFSA grants are not student loans but student aid. This is why you will not have to pay the FAFSA back. On the other hand, if you receive federal student loans through financial awards, you will be responsible for paying this loan back.
Most people believe that students whose families saved money for their college education are not eligible for FAFSA aid. However, this is nothing but a myth. Of course, family income is one of the important factors, but it is not the only one.
You can still receive aid from the federal government. Another common confusion is that if your sibling will not receive any aid, you too will not be able to receive aid. However, this is also a myth, and you should not give up on the idea of applying for FAFSA.