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FAFSA Deadlines

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Financial aid applications, such as the FAFSA, should be submitted as soon as possible after January 1, but no sooner. You cannot submit the form before January 1, because the need analysis process uses your financial information from the prior tax year when calculating eligibility for the upcoming award year.

For example, if it is now November 1, 2013, and you are applying for financial aid for the 2014-2015 academic year (running from September 2014 through June 2015), you must wait until January 1, 2014 to submit the FAFSA. If you try submitting it early, it will not be processed and you'll have to resubmit it.

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To meet the deadlines for most states you should submit the form no later than March 1, with February 15 being ideal. (Students from Michigan should pay special attention to deadlines, since Michigan's deadline is in February.) Do not wait until you've filed your income tax returns with the IRS. You should either estimate your income - you'll have a chance to correct errors later - or complete your tax returns early. (Your December pay stub should contain information about your total income for the year. You'll find this helpful in estimating your income.)

When estimating your income, try to be as accurate as possible. Use your actual pay stubs from December. If your estimates are inaccurate, it will have a significant impact on your EFC. You will then have to correct the financial information when the Student Aid Report (SAR) arrives.

 

 
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