Completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and TASFA (Texas Application for State Financial Aid) is the first step toward receiving the various types of financial aid for school, and finishing your FAFSA/TASFA early is the best way to maximize college-award packages.
But how much do you know about these financial aid applications? Here are 10 reasons why students should submit their FAFSA ASAP! For info on TASFA, see below.
- Why wait? The FAFSA opened on October 1, 2020. You no longer have to wait until the spring to submit your FAFSA! With the application opening in October, why not check this off your college “to do” list now?
- ‘F’ is for FREE. The FAFSA is free, and it doesn’t cost you ANYTHING to submit it. Visit www.fafsa.ed.gov to access the 2021–2022 FAFSA.
- How do I sign my FAFSA? Prior to starting a FAFSA, you and your parent must create an FSA ID, which serves as your e-signature. Store your FSA ID in a safe place! You’ll use the same FSA ID each year you are enrolled in school to update your FAFSA. You’ll need one for a parent, too. Tip: If your older sibling applied for a FAFSA last year, guess what? One of your parents already has an FSA ID.
- What do I need? Students enrolling in the fall of 2021 will use the 2019 tax information. In addition to the tax information, you’ll need the following to complete the FAFSA: parent(s)/student’s social security number, permanent resident card (if applicable), parent(s)/student’s date of birth Tip: If your parent has an FSA ID, then they can use Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA to transfer their tax information over from the IRS.
- The earlier, the better! Some types of financial aid are limited, like the Texas Grant Awards. Make sure to submit your FAFSA before January 15, 2021, to better your chances of receiving maximum financial aid package. For the Pell Grant, you can apply the day before you start college, but you won’t receive your financial aid until October. That means you pay out of pocket until you get a refund check. APPLY NOW.
- It’s the law. All male students applying for financial aid must register with Selective Service in order to be eligible for federal student aid. Male students can register with Selective Service by checking the ‘Register Me’ question on the FAFSA.
- What is the FAFSA for? The FAFSA determines a student’s eligibility for state and federal aid. A FAFSA must be on file for you to be considered for all types of federal aid, including loans, grants, and work-study. For more information and resources, visit www.FAFSAHouston.org.
- “My parents make too much money.” We encourage all families, regardless of income level, to submit a FAFSA. Colleges and universities use the FAFSA to determine institutional aid such as scholarships and/or grants.
- Free money! The maximum Pell Grant award is $6,195. Remember a grant is FREE money–no strings attached. Six grand will cover classes, books, and some spending money at Houston Community College.
- Submit your FAFSA every year! You need to complete the FAFSA each year you are enrolled in order to keep receiving your financial aid award package.
Not eligible for the FAFSA? No worries! Immigrant students can complete the TASFA (Texas Application for State Financial Aid) and are eligible for state and institutional financial aid like the Texas Grant and HCC’s Eagle Promise Scholarship. Visit the Colleges for All Texans website at www.collegeforalltexans.com to download your copy of the 2021–2022 TASFA. Make sure to work with your campus’s college and career readiness advisor. Students can find out who supports their campus by clicking on “Who is my college and career advisor” on the HISD College Readiness website at www.HoustonISD.org/page/93355.