It’s That Time of the Year — FAFSA Time!

Who has ever been excited to file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? No one? Oh, well, we’re here to share three reasons why you should be excited for October 1 (psssst…. that’s when the FAFSA opens).

  1. What was the first word? FREE. Who doesn’t love free stuff?! Yes, the FAFSA is a free process to find out how much money you can get to pay for college. Never pay money to file a FAFSA. Instead, file your FAFSA for free online at fafsa.ed.gov.
  2. Speaking of FREE, there’s the potential for some free money up for grabs! Well, not really free — somebody is covering it, but not you! The FAFSA is how you qualify for grants and scholarships, neither of which needs to be repaid. Moreover, the federal government will lay out all of your award options, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on the free money, if you qualify.
  3. Low interest rates. That’s right — the FAFSA is the only way to qualify for federal student loans, which have the lowest interest rate (currently 4.45%) of any undergraduate student loan option. Even better, depending on your expected family contribution (EFC) you may qualify for a federal Subsidized Loan, which means the federal government will cover (A.K.A. subsidize) the interest while you are enrolled in school.

And here is a key takeaway for you: Many of the funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is extra important to file your FAFSA as early as possible.

The new FAFSA opens on October 1 each year, and you use tax information from two years prior to the year for which you’re filing the FAFSA. Example: The 2018-19 FAFSA will open on October 1, 2017 and use 2016 tax information. 

More pros to filing the FAFSA? Gather all your materials ahead of time, review the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet as a “pre-test” before filing the actual, online FAFSA, and if you still have questions, review the step-by-step guide to learn how to answer questions for your unique situation.

Still have questions? Contact the CommunityAmerica Credit Union Education and Career Planners to discuss your college financing options, including scholarship searches and net price comparisons.

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CommunityAmerica Credit Union has Education and Career Planners ready to assist you through all the stages of planning for higher education and beyond. From calculators and checklists to deeper discussions about financial aspects, we can help. Our goal is to help you reach yours.

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