FAFSA time is here again!
Welcome back! As you know, the New Year signals the beginning of financial aid season, and this year is no different. The 2014–2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is now available on online (www.fafsa.gov), and seniors should complete it as soon possible.
Most colleges set priority deadlines for applying for financial aid and award more of their limited financial aid funds to students who apply before this deadline. Students should refer to specific college and university websites to find out an individual institution's deadline.
Also, be sure to remind students that everyone should fill out the FAFSA, no matter what! Many scholarship and grant opportunities require students to complete the FAFSA. Even if a student doesn't think he or she qualifies for financial aid, this may not in fact be the case.
Here are a few helpful links to free FAFSA resources you can provide to students:
- The FAFSA: Your Ticket to Financial Aid (A quick overview from AIE)
- Your Guide to the FAFSA (An easy-to-understand, step-by-step guide to filling out the form)
- FAFSA FAQs (Answers to common questions about the FAFSA)
This year, some of the rules related to marriage and filing status have changed. Some of these changes result from the Supreme Court's June 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, commonly referred to as the Defense of Marriage Act case. Starting with this year's FAFSA:
- A student or parent is considered married if he or she was legally married in any domestic or foreign jurisdiction that recognizes the relationship as a valid marriage, regardless of where the couple resides, or where the student attends school.
- Legally married same-sex couples will be treated as married for all FAFSA and EFC calculations.
- Unmarried parents who live together must now include both parents' income on the FAFSA, rather than just one, as previously required.
For more information, visit www.studentaid.gov.