By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
If you are planning on resuming or starting your college career in 2016, there are a handful of tips and important dates you need to understand. Listed below are some of these tips and important dates.
- January 1, 2016 — June 30, 2017
- You must submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between these dates to be eligible for aid during the 2016-2017 school year. The earlier you fill out the FAFSA the better, as there are other school- and state-specific deadlines that may be needed before June 30, 2017.
- September 23, 2017
- Any corrections to your FAFSA must be completed by midnight on the 17th.
- Various school and state-specific dates
- Each college and state may have different deadlines for certain types of Federal Student Aid (FSA). For example, West Virginia provides the PROMISE Scholarship and the WV Higher Education Grant Program. The PROMISE application must be completed by March 1, 2016 and the WV Higher Education Grant Program application must be completed by April 15, 2016. The deadlines in most states and for most schools are early 2016, so make sure you are aware of those deadlines. Please note that APUS does not administer state-based aid such as the programs listed above.
- Try to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible so that you have the best chance of receiving the maximum amount of aid you are entitled to.
- Keep all of your financial documents in one place (i.e. tax returns, child support documentation, etc.). This way, they are easily accessible when you need them to to fill out the FAFSA.
- Research the deadlines for the schools that interest you, as well as the states in which those schools reside. Write down all the deadlines on a calendar. Set up some reminders for yourself so you don’t forget.
- If you are a dependent, make sure your parents/guardians have their financial information ready. You will need their tax returns to file your FAFSA.
- Keep in frequent contact with the financial aid counselors at the school(s) you wish to attend. They are an excellent source for any of your financial aid questions.
The holidays will soon be over, and the 2016 school year will be here before you know it. Make sure that you are prepared to have a smooth and successful school year. Being cognizant of the above dates and helpful tips will aid you in making 2016 a success!