October 1: FAFSA is the gateway to $150 billion in financial aid to help you pay for higher education
What you need to understand about the most recent updates to the 22-23 FAFSA application form
October 1st marks the start of the annual college financial aid application cycle as you start filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for your share of billions of dollars in federal student aid — including grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study — for the 2022-2023 school year.
Some students don’t apply because they mistakenly think the FAFSA is only for students with financial aid. That’s not accurate, families should know that income is not the only factor used to determine the financial aid they can get. It also depends on the number of children in a family and how many are enrolled in college at the same time.
In terms of changes to the 22-23 FAFSA application form, there are two questions on the application that have traditionally been “disqualifiers” for financial aid: a question about drug convictions and a question about registering with the Selective Service.
In the past, students who received a drug conviction while they were also receiving financial aid have been disqualified for future financial assistance. And male students 18 or older who indicate on the FAFSA form that they haven’t registered for the draft have also been disqualified from receiving financial aid.
These two questions will still be on the application but having a drug conviction and not registering for the draft will no longer impact students’ ability to receive federal financial aid.
To complete the FAFSA, you will need:
- Your Social Security number
- An Alien Registration number (For non-U.S. citizens)
- Federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned (Thanks to the newly-updated IRS data retrieval tool, applicants may be able to automatically transfer their tax return information instead.)
- Bank statements and records of any investments (if applicable)
- Records of any untaxed income (if applicable)
- FSA ID to sign electronically
If you are a dependent student, then you will also need most of the above information for your parent(s).
You should apply for the FAFSA as soon after October 1 as possible, because the earlier you apply, the more likely you are to qualify for aid that has a limited pool of money available.
Even if you apply after your school year is over, your financial aid can be applied retroactively to your educational costs for the year as long as you submit your application by June 30, 2022.
You should look beyond federal student aid as scholarships are a great way to pay for college, and unlike loans they don’t need to be repaid. But winning scholarships takes time, dedication, intensive research, and hard work, especially on the essays. It’s deadline time for college applications, so it’s important to start and learn how to apply for free money now at at IO Scholarships.com!