FAFSA priority deadline is almost here

The priority deadline to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is Monday, Jan. 15. With the deadline approaching, the Office of Student Financial Aid is encouraging students to submit their forms as soon as possible.

Students have the opportunity every year to update and complete the FAFSA in order to obtain financial aid for the following school year. The application process opened for the 2018-2019 school year Oct. 1, 2017.

To help students who still have not filed their FAFSA or for the Washington Application for State Financial Aid, the Office of Student Financial Aid is offer­ing a last chance workshop Jan. 12. The hour long workshop will be held in the Dougan Building room 101 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Students who attend the workshop can expect to have their questions about how they can pay for college answered, as well as assistance in correctly com­pleting their FAFSA or WASFA forms.

The difference between FAFSA and WASFA is that WASFA is the Washington State equivalent of the FAFSA. It is open to non-citizens who want to apply for financial but do not qualify for federal student aid due to immigration status. Students who were covered under the Deferred Ac­tion for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA, can still qualify if they meet certain requirements.

During President Lyndon B. John­son’s administration, the Higher Educa­tion Act of 1965 was signed into law. The act established scholarships, gave money to colleges and universities, as well as providing loans to students.

Today, according to the Federal Stu­dent Aid website — an office in the US Department of Education — they are the nation’s largest provider for financial aid. Every year, they loan around $120 million to over 13 million students in over 6,000 postsecondary schools.

Students are highly encouraged to submit their FAFSA before the prior­ity deadline, even if they only want to receive partial aid. Those who do not file before the Jan. 15 deadline may not be prioritized for certain scholar­ships and awards.

Students who do not file by the pri­ority deadline may also only be eligible to receive limited types of financial aid. Once the priority deadline has passed, students may still file for FAFSA until June 30. Those who have successfully filed the FAFSA can expect to receive award notices at the beginning of spring.

The Student Financial Aid office, located in Mattress Factory room 213, will have special drop-in hours Jan. 8 and Jan. 9 to answer questions on stu­dents’ FAFSAs. They will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. both days.

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