Important tips from Spalding’s Financial Aid team!
If you’re applying for college, you’re likely to hear a lot about the FAFSA, but what’s it all about?
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the most important steps in your college journey. The financial information you provide about you and your family will be the basis for determining your eligibility for federal and state student aid, including federal grants, work-study and loans. Many colleges and universities, including Spalding University, also use FAFSA information to determine students’ eligibility for the aid and scholarships that they distribute.
All students and parents want to know as early as possible exactly how much college will cost, what money they’re eligible for and if they’ll need loans. Without a completed FAFSA, a college can only estimate the type of aid a student will receive but can’t provide a comprehensive package until the FAFSA has been processed. So, the FAFSA is a big deal, but it’s also completely manageable.
When you fill out the FAFSA, you can add as many schools to your account as you would like. Spalding’s school code is 001960. Adding Spalding allows us to process your information, and ensure that any government aid you receive gets dispersed properly.
Five Things to Know
Here are five things you’ll want to know to file your FAFSA:
1. It’s free
You should never be paying to file your FAFSA. Remember, the first “F” in FAFSA stands for “Free.” However, there are sites that will try to scam students into giving over their information. Make sure you are always filling out the application on the official FAFSA site (fafsa.gov).
2. It has to be filled out every year
The FAFSA is not a one-time thing. If you are planning on going to school for the following school year, you need to refile your FAFSA.
3. The application will open no later than December 31, 2023 for the 2024-2025 Academic Year
The FAFSA application is being redesigned to make it easier, so for this the 2024-2025 year, it will open no later than December 31. Because some grants and scholarships are distributed first come, first served, the sooner you file, the better. All current and incoming Spalding students will be notified as soon as it opens. To get on the notification list, request more information from our admissions counselors. The farther away from Dec 31, the less opportunities for grants and scholarship awards there are because those funds run out quickly!
4. The FAFSA uses tax info from two years prior
There is a direct data exchange with the IRS to input your income and tax information so the FAFSA is easier than ever to complete! All persons whose information goes on the FAFSA are considered contributors and will need to set-up an FSA ID at least two weeks prior to starting the FAFSA. The FSA ID can take up to two weeks to be assigned. Families can start setting up their FSA IDs now to be ready when the FAFSA opens.
5. Better FAFSA, Better Future
The FAFSA is being redesigned to expand access to federal student aid and make the process easier. The form will tell you exactly what you need to do in order to fill it out. And, if you still have questions, stop by the Spalding Financial Aid Office for their walk-in hours and they can help you through the process.
For Kentucky residents, Kentucky’s grants awarded based on FAFSA are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so filing as soon as possible is imperative. Funds for “free money” (your grants, scholarships, etc.) are the first to go and are usually depleted early in the application process. It is easier than ever to fill out the FAFSA, and it only takes about 45 minutes the first time you file and about 30 minutes in subsequent years. This December 31, 2023 while you’re ringing in the New Year, celebrate by completing the FAFSA!