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FAFSA 101: Preparing yourself for the new year


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. These programs provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school.

FAFSA is the first step in receiving Pell Grant and Student loans. The application opens every year January 1st for the following fall, spring, and summer. The earlier in the year that the application is filled out the more money that may be able to be received.

Online applications must be submitted by midnight Central Time, June 30, 2014.

Any corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time, September 24, 2014.

Grad students should also fill out applications in order to receive student loans.

According to, “A FAFSA is used to determine a student’s need/eligibility for financial aid. Since JSU will prepare a financial aid package only after receipt of the results of the FAFSA and any additional paperwork that may be required, it is recommended that each applicant to the university complete their financial aid file before the March 15 priority deadline.
Students may continue to complete their financial aid files after this date, but may not be awarded prior to the tuition due date if completed after July.”

After the FASFA is completed online there are more forms that need to be completed and turned into the financial aid office.

It is extremely important that parents use the IRS data retrieval tool to cut down the amount of paperwork that the student may need.

According to, "Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation.

At the office of Federal Student Aid, our 1,200 employees help make college education possible for every dedicated mind by providing more than $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 15 million students paying for college or career school."

Pell grants and student loans have a limit for the time they are in school. Students should watch and check for their loan amounts.

Federal Student Aid has many programs that students and families can benefit from by:

-Informing students and families of the availability of the federal student aid programs and on the process for applying and recovering aid from those programs;

-Developing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM) and processing more than 21 million FAFSA submissions each year;

-Accurately disbursing, reconciling, and accounting for a federal student aid funds that are delivered to students each year through more than 6,000 colleges and career schools;

-Managing the outstanding federal student loan portfolio and securing the repayment from federal student loan borrowers;

-Offering free assistance to students, parents, and borrowers throughout the entire financial aid process, and

-Providing oversight and monitoring of all program participants-schools, financial entities, and students-to ensure compliance with the laws, regulations, and policies governing the federal student aid programs.

The Student Financial Services will be helping students and parents fill out FAFSA forms on February 24 in Merrill Hall at 2:00 p.m. or 3:15.

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