According to a recent post shared by the Los Angeles Cash for College, 90% of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA process directly to college versus only 55% who don’t complete the FAFSA. With the FAFSA changing over time and recently updating its requirements to allow for students to begin filing their FAFSA three months earlier using prior-prior year taxes, many students have been able to get a head start in submitting their FAFSA along with their college applications. Given that the goal for changing the FAFSA submission window was to allow for the college application season to be a one-stop-shop for students which would allow for them work on applications while also taking care of their financial aid applications, there were other underlying reasons for the early extension. Ideally, students who submitted FAFSA earlier would provide colleges and universities their financial information ahead of time which would in return allow for earlier release of financial aid packages. Since this is the first year that FAFSA opens its filing window in October, there is still no data to show how much earlier colleges and universities will be able to release financial aid packages, which in turn, would allow for students to have more time in making a college decision. However, given former experiences, the later a student submits their application, the less access they have to grants (free money).
Regardless of the progress, until 100% of students submit their FAFSA, our work to create awareness will continue. LA Cash for College has partnered with dozens of schools and organizations to host their annual event, Super Saturday, which focuses on helping students who have not filed their FAFSA have a place to receive support and guidance from financial aid experts. Super Saturday will be taking place on Saturday, January 21st at many locations near you. Simply visit the LA Cash For College website here, and search for and register to attend a FREE Cash for College workshop near you. All high school seniors and college students who need help applying for financial aid are welcomed.
It is critical that we all serve as advocates and ensure we remind our students, friends, and family members with college-bound students to submit their FAFSA before as soon as possible. Students jeopardize the timeliness of their financial aid packages when they submit after March 2nd. If you have questions regarding the application and cannot attend a local workshop on Super Saturday, please click here for FAQs.
Do not miss out on the many opportunities available to support FAFSA completion. Super Saturday’s events are FREE, as are all LA Cash for College events. Share the opportunity with friends and families with college bound students. Remember that planning today, pays off in the future.
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