All college-bound individuals, regardless of age and income level, are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is now open for the 2020-2021 school year.
With more than $350 million in state financial aid available, as well as billions of dollars in federal aid, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education reminds Hoosiers it’s more important than ever to file the FAFSA by April 15, 2020.
Officials note that in addition to determining eligibility for state and federal financial aid, many colleges require a completed FAFSA to award merit and need-based scholarships.
Filing the FAFSA is also critical for Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars, who are required to fine on time in order to earn the state scholarship that pays for up to four years of college tuition.
The app was designed to make the process easier for the nearly 19 million students who file the FAFSA each year. Officials note that it also benefits students who do not have access to a computer or high-speed internet at home.
The first step for students who have not filed the FAFSA in the past is to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.
Once that is in place, each student will need their social security number or “alien registration number” for non-U.S. citizens, federal income tax returns, W-2s and other records of money earned.
If individuals can, they should also have bank statements and records of investments as well as records of untaxed income on hand for the process.
The U.S. Department of Education provides email and live chat assistance for FAFSA filers as well as a helpline at 800-4FED-AID.
Hoosier families can also find FAFSA help through INvestEd Indiana at www.investedindiana.org.
For questions about state financial aid, students can contact the Indiana Commission for Higher Education by phone at 888-528-4719 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.