FAFSA applications are open for the 2021-2022 academic year


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Government aid provided through FASFA opened up October 1, 2020. Students who already applied for this aid will have to approve their information but not re-apply.

FAFSA applications are open for the 2021-2022 academic year
Lauryn Fridley

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now open for all students seeking financial aid for the 2021-2022 academic year. Applications opened October 1 and can be completed at any time through the school year. The FAFSA is a free application for all students across the nation who seek help from the federal government. A fee will never be necessary when filling out the FAFSA.

Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Molly Daniels says, “The FAFSA is actually one the most important pieces of paperwork for families that are trying to finance their education, outside of just paying out of pocket, will fill out.” Almost every student who applies for financial aid through the FAFSA will automatically receive some type of aid, whether it be a loan or grant. The FAFSA becomes an important piece when states are giving scholarships and grants to students. The FAFSA also offers federal work study opportunities, in which students can make work and make money while attending school.

There are several different ways to apply for the FAFSA including the website, the mobile app, and the mail in option, where students can print out the PDF form and fill out the information and mail in the application.

When completing the FAFSA, Daniels says you need the student FSA ID, which is a username and password given the first time you apply for federal aid. The same FSA ID is used each time you complete the FAFSA, so it is very important to keep it in a well known place. If you are filing as a dependent with a parent, you will also need the parent FSA ID. Social security numbers and date of births are also needed from you and any parent going on the application. 2019 tax records are needed when applying for financial aid for the 2021-2022 academic year as well as any untaxed income, asset information, and the current balances in any banking account you may have. You will also need a list of schools that you plan on sending the information to that you may need to receive federal aid, such as graduate schools or schools that you may be transferring to.

There is no deadline for completing the FAFSA for the next academic year, but Daniels says students should look out for any state deadlines where you reside. Some of the funding that West Liberty awards is limited, so it is given on a first-come-first-served basis to students who complete the FAFSA earlier. Other students may be put on waitlists for additional funding. “The earlier the better,” says Daniels, when applying for the FAFSA.

Daniels also gave some tips for students when completing the FAFSA which includes, making sure students are logging on to a .gov website instead of .com, which could potentially charge you to fill out the form. Students are always able to change information once they have completed the form in case anything needs corrected or updated. Students and families, if given the option, can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import their tax information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. Once you have completed the FAFSA, there will be comments that pop up which may include that schools may need additional information, so it is important to thoroughly read the confirmation page.

If you need to complete the FAFSA or need any additional information, visit studentaid.gov or westliberty.edu/financial-aid for help with financial aid.