Every year, each student who hopes to receive federal financial aid for college must apply for it by filling out a FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This year, the timing is a little more difficult than usual.
“Because the IRS had to delay processing of individual returns this year due to last-minute legislation, it’s a little harder for students to complete their FAFSAs,” said Mary Roller, Site Manager for the Ivy Tech College Cooperative in Rushville. “There’s a really nifty link between the FAFSA and the IRS that can auto-fill almost all the financial information from the IRS into the FAFSA form, making it so much easier to complete. However, folks need to wait two to three weeks after filing their taxes to try to make that link. This gives the IRS time to process tax returns so the link to the FAFSA will work.”
The FAFSA application is how students apply for federal grants (like the Pell Grant) and student loans.
The state of Indiana also uses the FAFSA as an application for state financial aid like the O’Bannon grants.
Individual states set their own deadlines for the application, and Indiana has set March 10, 2013, as its deadline this year. Applications received after that time will still be eligible for federal aid, just not Indiana funds.
“A lot of people worry about filling out the FAFSA, although each year it seems like they’ve made changes that make it easier and easier,” said Roller. “But anyone who is still unsure can attend any of the College Goal Sunday sites on Sunday, February 24, for free help. There will be experienced financial aid volunteers on hand at each site to help families file their FAFSAs, and there are sites at the Richmond, Muncie and multiple Indianapolis locations, beginning at 2 p.m. that day.”
Check the College Goal Sunday website for more information at www.collegegoalsunday.org, or call Roller in Rushville at 765-932-7191.
Roller also reminds current and future students that local scholarships are available at the Rush County Community Foundation, and that the deadline for filing applications for these scholarships is March 8.
- Rushville Republican