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FAFSA application process opens for prospective and current students

The federal government is urging students to submit their Free Application for Federal Student...
The federal government is urging students to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid sooner rather than later. The competition for next year’s pool of money is higher because of the added financial strain of the pandemic.(WJRT)
Published: Oct. 2, 2020 at 6:10 PM EDT
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(WJRT) -The federal government is urging students to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid sooner rather than later. The competition for next year’s pool of money is higher because of the added financial strain of the pandemic.

$150 billion is how much is up for grabs for current and prospective students at American colleges and universities.

“I mean there’s always concerns because you do have a lot more people in the pool. You’re going to definitely have a lot more people trying to get at the same funds you were trying to receive prior,” said University of Michigan-Flint student Austin Zudell.

“It is a little bit potentially concerning with how much money is going to be available between the different scholarships and financial aid,” said University of Michigan-Flint student Evan Flanagin.

October 1, the Free Application for Federal Student aid began.

“The biggest advantage to filling them out early is you find out what you’re eligible for earlier, that’s really huge,” said Jamie Borrello, Saginaw Valley State University Associate Director financial aid.

Funding in the form of grants, loans and work study is usually available on a first come, first serve basis – depending on the type of aid. Borello said it’s important prospective students first apply to the schools they want to attend, and once admitted file the FAFSA. And pay attention to your email.

“30% of the FAFSA applicants are selected for verification which means that each school they’ve applied to has to verify certain information, usually its tax information,” Borrello said.

As for help filling out the forms, some schools financial aid offices are closed for in person transactions.

The best bet is to call the office first and find out what options are available.

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