2019–2020 FAFSA priority deadline is Jan. 15

The 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid deadline is Jan. 15. In order to receive priority consideration for financial aid, stu­dents need to fill out the application by next Tuesday.

FAFSA is a form that current and prospective college students can fill out to determine how much financial aid they can receive for the upcoming school year. FAFSA offers several different types of aid — ranging from grants and various scholarships to loans and on-campus work-study jobs. It also offers aid to military families and veterans.

Student financial assistance pro­grams were first authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as it aimed to strengthen educational resources for colleges and universities by providing financial aid and low-interest loans to students.

“Students should complete the 2019–20 FAFSA — especially by the priority date — to be considered [for] all aid that they are eligible for, most specifically institutional and state-base funding which is limited and requires an application submitted by the prior­ity date,” Marisa Mezs, UW Tacoma senior financial aid counselor, said. “Students also still need to complete [the] FAFSA even if they plan on bor­rowing federal student loans.”

Students who do not fill out their FAFSA application by the priority deadline may not be able to receive and secure certain kinds of aid — though they are still allowed to complete their FAFSA at any time. The UWT Office of Financial Aid encourages students to apply for FAFSA and hosts year round workshops and events to help them through the process.

“Our office typically will send an email to currently enrolled students to remind them to complete a FAFSA for next year,” Mezs said. “We also advertise the date on posters and ban­ners around campus, on our website and on our promotional materials from our office.”

In addition to federal student aid, there is the WASFA — Washington Application for State Financial Aid. WASFA is available for HB-1079 and DACA students or all students who are ineligible for federal financial aid due to their immigration status. The WAS­FA priority deadline is also Jan. 15.

“As a counselor in the Office of Student Financial Aid, I try to remind each student I see to complete the 2019–2020 FAFSA so they can make a mental note of it or put it on a per­sonal calendar,” Mezs said. “It’s a great idea to set aside some time … for stu­dents to sit down and complete the application. Some aid, like scholar­ships, require a FAFSA as part of their process as well, so it’s never a bad idea for a student to complete one so their eligibility can be determined for aid.”

To learn more about the FAFSA application process visit:


Leticia Bennett

Leticia is the News Editor for The Ledger. She is a Senior majoring an Urban Studies and hopes to become an Urban Planner. She is interested in all things happening around campus and loves to learn new things and meet new people.