The Early Bird Get’s the Grant!

It’s the season to apply for student federal financial aid. With important deadlines fast approaching, we’d like to walk you through some of the most common questions students have when applying for financial aid.

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that is prepared annually by current or prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate), in the U.S., to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.

When are the deadlines to apply?

Federal deadline:

The 2016-2017 FAFSA opened for submissions on January 1st and the deadline to apply is June 30, 2017.

State deadline:

Here, in California, the FAFSA cut off for most state aid is March 2, 2016.

College deadlines:

Be sure to check with each of the colleges that you’re interested in attending to ask about their specific college financial aid deadlines.

Where can I apply?

When should I apply?

Since the FAFSA will determine what type of funding you will be eligible for, the sooner you apply after the January 1st opening, the better.

Need based financial aid, including grants, loans and work-study programs, are limited and are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Maximize the amount you can receive by applying now and always consider scholarships and grants first, as you won’t have to pay them back.

What information do I need to apply?

The FAFSA asks for similar information of that required when you file your taxes.

You and your parents/guardians will need to gather the following information:

– Your social security number

– Your alien registration number (if not a U.S. citizen)

– Your most recent federal income tax returns, W-2’s, & other records of money earned

– Bank statements and records of investment (if applicable)

– Records of untaxed income (if applicable)

– An FSA ID to sign your application electronically. You can sign up for an FSA ID at:

– If you currently don’t have your tax information, you can give estimates and then make corrections once you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR).

Where can I get help filling out my application?

You can find free tools when you visit the “Getting Help” section on the following page:

Also, don’t hesitate to visit the College and Career Center on the ERHS campus with any financial aid questions.

Good luck and happy applying!