General Question

Feta's avatar

Confused about applying for FAFSA?

Asked by Feta (905 points ) March 7th, 2014

I always thought you were supposed to apply for FAFSA after sending your college application.
But apparently FAFSA is supposed to be filled out at the latest March 1st of every year.

I’ll be applying for college in the Fall of this year.

So…is it too late to apply for financial aid now?
And what does that mean? I’ll be paying full tuition my freshman year?

I didn’t even know! No one at school (teachers) have said anything about FAFSA deadlines and my parents don’t know anything about college because they’re 60 and still think tuition is $6,000 a year.

Should I still try to apply? I don’t even know if I should be worrying about it right now?!

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13 Answers

pleiades's avatar

It’s not too late. What happens is when checks are dispersed you most likely won’t be part of the first group that receives their checks. Instead you will receive it toward the middle of the semester.

You’re learning on the fly. You’re being thrown into the real world please be advised college professors will not go out of their way to help you get financial aid neither are your high school teachers responsible for you to sign up for financial aid. This is all stuff you should be looking for on your own.

Feta's avatar

I know they’re not responsible. I’ve been researching college on my own and I keep reading conflicting information about applying.

The school I’m applying to is NYU and I wanted to apply for the first Early Decision deadline (November 1) and I noticed that it said the financial aid deadline is November 16th and I was confused because I was told that you are supposed to apply for FAFSA the year you graduate.

muppetish's avatar

Based on the details you provided, it sounds as though you are currently preparing to apply in Fall 2014 to begin your degree in Fall 2015. Is this accurate? (The time frame is important to the advice we give you!)

If you are planning ahead for admissions in Fall 2015, then you do not need to worry about submitting a FAFSA yet. The current FAFSA deadlines apply to students who intend to attend college for the Fall 2014-Spring 2015 year. If you do not plan on enrolling in college for that time frame, then you do not need to submit a FAFSA yet.

However @pleiades information is also correct and important: even if you miss the initial deadline, you will still be considered for tuition. It is just possible that the school will have fewer funds to offer you the later you submit your information.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Who says the due date was March 1? According to the FAFSA website, it’s June 30, with any corrections being due by the end of September. Different states can override the official deadline, but I can’t see why a state would require the application to be turned in before tax season is even over. New York’s deadline is the same as the federal deadline.

Now, you may be late for early decision, but it’s certainly not too late to apply for aid. You will receive your aid at the same time as everyone else. There will be no delay because you waited until after the early decision deadline.

Feta's avatar

Yes, I’m preparing to apply in Fall 2014 to begin school the next year.

Do you mean I’ll probably be too late to apply for the early decision to NYU or for FAFSA?

I’ve realized I can’t apply anyway because my parents haven’t filed their taxes yet.

I’m not worried about getting a lot of aid because my parents make too much anyway.

Could I apply as an independent? They’re not going to help me with college so their incomes are basically irrelevant.

muppetish's avatar

Are you a junior in high school? This is what the transition to college typically looks like.

Junior year: start getting your exams out of the way, whether it’s SAT or ACT.

Fall senior year: begin applications as soon as possible. Gather your letters of recommendation, write your statement of purpose, keep track of any deadlines, etc. Each school has different deadlines, but most fall between October and early December. Some schools will have later deadlines in January.

Winter senior year: file your FAFSA. Optimally, you should submit it by mid-march, but the deadlines, as @livelaughlove21 pointed out, typically extend far later into the year. It just bares the risk of receiving less funding, fewer guarantees.

Spring senior year: choose your school.

So if you intend to apply for NYU in Fall 2014, then you should not submit a FAFSA this year. Your FAFSA deadline will be in 2015 for admission in Fall 2015.

EDIT: to address your last questions—you cannot file as an independent as a minor or if you do not live on your own. When you do file your FAFSA information, your parents can provide an estimate of their tax returns and make a correction later on after they have filed.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Feta Do you mean I’ll probably be too late to apply for the early decision to NYU or for FAFSA?

Depends on where you saw that it was due March 1. If you saw that on the NYU website then, yes, you’re too late to apply for early decision. Check their site. I can’t find anything about early decision deadlines on the FAFSA webpage itself, but I could be missing it. But you’re not too late to apply for aid. You should still submit your application because it’s not even close to being late at this point.

“Is there anyway that I could apply as an independent?”

No, you can’t apply as independent if you’re under 24 unless you’re married, have dependents, or are emancipated from your parents. There’s more information about that here. If you live with them, you’re not independent in any way that’s relevant to FAFSA.

Wait a minute – you’re applying FOR Fall 2014, as in you’re graduating from high school in May or June and your first semester at NYU would be in the Fall of this year, or you’re applying in the Fall to attend in 2015? If you’re not planning on attending college until Fall of 2015, then you can’t apply for financial aid until next year.

Cupcake's avatar

If you still have another year of high school, it is too early to apply for FAFSA. You can talk to your school counselor about the process. It is almost completely dependent on your parents filing their taxes.

No, you will not be independent. That status is irrelevant to whether your parents will be helping you financially.

Feta's avatar

Thanks for you answers. I misunderstood when I should apply for FAFSA because of the deadline for financial aid associated with NYU’s early decision deadlines.
For any student attending college in Fall of 2015–16, they should apply for FAFSA in January of 2015 according to FAFSAs website.
So I’m assuming I can still apply for early decision at NYU in November and apply for FAFSA next year in January.

janbb's avatar

That sounds right.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The preferred date for filing the FAFSA is March 1st, but you can apply after that. Also, if you provide most of your own support financially, you can file your taxes claiming your own exemption and just use your information on the FASFA. If your parents don’t want to support you that is your option. You’d have to be able to demonstrate you provided your own support and you would have to prove they weren’t supporting you. I’m sure it will go over like a lead balloon but it is an option. Just make sure you want to take that step. you can also do an estimated FASFA and amend anything that changes.

pleiades's avatar

@livelaughlove21 This is from the official FAFSA website itself. It has been March 2nd for a while

“Federal Deadline
Online applications must be submitted by midnight Central Time, June 30, 2015.
Any corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time, September 19, 2015.

State Deadline
California – For initial awards – March 2, 2014. Applicants encouraged to keep a record of their submission by printing out their online FAFSA confirmation page or obtaining proof of mailing the FAFSA. Additional form may be required. Contact your financial aid administrator or your state agency.
For additional community college awards – September 2, 2014 – date postmarked. Applicants encouraged to keep a record of their submission by printing out their online FAFSA confirmation page or obtaining proof of mailing the FAFSA. Additional form may be required. Contact your financial aid administrator or your state agency.
College Deadline
Check with the college(s) you are interested in attending. You may also want to ask your college about its definition of an application deadline – whether it is the date the college receives your FAFSA, or the date your FAFSA is processed.”

livelaughlove21's avatar

@pleiades Okaaay…?

That’s California, first of all, not New York. Second, it says “for initial awards.” It certainly doesn’t say you’ll get your award later than everyone else if you apply after March 2.

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