Saturday, January 16, 2010

FAFSA: Priority Deadlines ... File Just in Case

By: Lauren Kahn, M.A. from Lone Star Ed Consulting, LLC 512-294-6608 
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Don't jeopardize your son or daughter's opportunity to attend their dream college by not applying for financial aid. You may have heard stories from friends where families did not apply to the FAFSA, because they assumed they did not qualify, only to find out later that they lost out on some serious grant money or loans to finance their children's education. According to the Department of Education, the U.S. government will provide more than $116 billion this year to help millions of students and families pay for post-secondary education. All federal aid applicants, regardless of family income, are eligible to participate in the unsubsidized Stafford loan program. 

Schools have a limited amount of financial based aid to offer students from the U.S. Government, therefore it is imperative that you apply for financial aid in a timely fashion and abide by both admissions and financial aid deadlines. For example, Texas Tech may have a June 1st admissions deadline, but their financial aid deadline is April 15th. Therefore, if you need financial aid, you must apply for admission and financial aid to the university by April 15th. (You will only get a financial aid package offered to you if you are actually accepted to the university.)

"College News from Texas" 
FAFSA Financial Aid Priority Deadlines for Popular Texas Universities

SMU: February 15, 2010 (new freshman) for fall 2010
TCU: March 15, 2009. You also must be admitted by this date for our office to receive your FAFSA information. Students that are either granted late admission to TCU, or file the FAFSA past the priority date will be awarded based on available funds at the time the results are received. We can only guarantee late students will receive loans and a Pell Grant (if you are eligible).
Texas A&M: March 31, 2010 (new freshman and transfers) for fall 2010
Texas Tech: April 15th (new freshman and transfers) for fall 2010
Texas State University: March 31, 2010 (new freshman and transfers) for fall or spring 2010
University of Texas – Austin: March 31, 2010 (new freshman and transfers) for fall 2010
University of Texas – Dallas: February 15, 2010 (new freshman and transfers) for fall 2010
University of Texas – San Antonio (UTSA): March 31, 2010 (new freshman and transfers) for fall 2010

So, what if your parents all of a sudden won the lottery and no longer need financial aid?
Guess what, you're not locked in to your chosen college's financial aid offer. You are not required to accept the entire aid package as offered. For example, some students decline a student loan or work-study award, or accept a loan for a lesser amount.

Once you have chosen a college and have accepted their financial aid package, notify the other colleges that you are declining their offers of aid so the awards can go to other students. For past information on financial aid from Lone Star Ed Consulting, click here.

FREE Tip of the Week from Lauren Kann, M.A. of Lone Star Ed Consulting, LLC

If a school really wants a candidate and knows that there is a gap between their estimated family contribution and the cost of tuition, they will somehow work out a "special" financial package for them if warranted. They will offer grant money, work student options, give merit based aid, etc. Despite what the admissions office might tell you, sometimes the lines between need and merit can be blurred.


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Thank you for your comment. Your input is greatly appreciated. - College News from Texas - Lauren Kahn, M.A.

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