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What to Do if You Miss the FAFSA Deadline for Monetary Assist

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The FAFSA, or Free Utility for Federal Scholar Assist, opens the door to all monetary help — federal, state, and institutional. So in case you missed one of many deadlines, you’re in all probability imagining all of the methods during which you’re doomed.

It’s true you might have a more durable time discovering sources of funding to assist pay for faculty or grad faculty. However there are methods to get faculty funding, even in case you didn’t flip your FAFSA in on time. 

What to Do if You Miss the FAFSA Deadline

Schools and universities use the FAFSA to qualify college students for federal, state, and in-house monetary help, together with grants, scholarships, work-study, and pupil loans. 

Thus, in case you miss any of the FAFSA deadlines, your choices for monetary help are extra restricted. However there are some things you possibly can attempt. 


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1. Submit Your FAFSA Anyway

In the case of getting your FAFSA in on time, there are literally three deadlines to remain on prime of: the state’s, your faculty’s, and the ultimate federal deadline.

Most monetary help is awarded on a first-come, first-served foundation. Thus, the earlier you apply, the likelier you might be to attain extra help.

That’s why schools typically name their deadlines “precedence deadlines.” These are timelines by which schools decide it’s good to submit your FAFSA to obtain essentially the most help.

However lacking your faculty’s FAFSA deadline doesn’t essentially imply you’re out of luck — simply that you simply’re at the back of the road. Sometimes, there may nonetheless be some unawarded funds after the deadline. 

Likewise, states set deadlines upfront of the federal deadline as a result of additionally they award grants and different state-based monetary help on a first-come, first-served foundation. So it’s doable you possibly can nonetheless get some state-based help, even when the deadline has handed.

However even in case you miss the faculty and state deadlines, you continue to have the possibility at federal cash. However the federal deadline is a tough one. So in case you miss that one, you possibly can not submit a FAFSA for that tutorial 12 months.  

On the federal stage, the FAFSA opens for submission on Oct. 1 the 12 months earlier than the varsity 12 months you’re making use of for and stays open till June 30 of that tutorial 12 months. (Observe that in case your FAFSA data is simply outdated, you didn’t miss the deadline. You may submit corrections and updates till Sept. 10 of that tutorial 12 months.) 

If that’s loads to wrap your head round, don’t fear. They publish the dates at StudentAid.gov. For instance, the FAFSA deadlines for these faculty years are as follows:

  • Tutorial Yr 2021-22. Opens Oct. 1, 2020, and closes June 30, 2022; you possibly can submit corrections or updates till Sept. 10, 2022
  • Tutorial Yr 2022-23. Opens Oct. 1, 2021, and closes June 30, 2023; you possibly can submit corrections or updates till Sept. 10, 2023
  • Tutorial Yr 2023-24. Opens Oct. 1, 2022, and closes June 30, 2024; you possibly can submit corrections or updates till Sept. 10, 2024

2. Contact Your Faculty’s Monetary Assist Workplace

All monetary help awards come by means of your faculty’s monetary help workplace. So if there’s something you are able to do, they may know. 

In the event you’ve missed your faculty’s deadline, there’s doubtless little institutional help to supply. However they’ll nonetheless enable you navigate the following steps in making use of for state or federal monetary help, together with federal pupil loans. They might additionally concentrate on different monetary help alternatives.

3. Contact Your State’s Training Company

Most states have their very own deadlines for submitting the FAFSA, and lots of are considerably sooner than the federal deadline. For instance, Connecticut has a deadline of Feb. 15 and Maryland of March 1. 

Some states even specify their deadlines are “ASAP,” as in apply as quickly as doable after the FAFSA opens for submission on Oct. 1. States set deadlines like these once they know they’ll rapidly run out of their restricted funds.  

Nonetheless, in case you do miss your state’s deadline, attain out to your state’s higher-education company for details about what steps you possibly can take. For instance, in Connecticut, you’d contact the Workplace of Greater Training. And in Maryland, you’d name the Maryland Greater Training Fee.

Simply remember there may not be a lot they’ll do. As with institutional help, as soon as the funds are gone, they’re gone. However they could know of different monetary help availability.

4. Apply for Scholarships & Grants

You will have missed the deadlines for state, college, or federal help, nevertheless it’s doubtless there are nonetheless loads of organizations providing scholarships and grants. It’s a standard false impression that after the varsity 12 months comes round, you’re out of luck for touchdown some. However you possibly can apply for them year-round.

Even higher, in case you can rating one, it’s cash you don’t need to pay again, in contrast to federal or non-public pupil loans.

Use on-line scholarship search instruments like Fastweb to seek out scholarships and grants that match your pursuits, expertise, and background. Or look into any potential alternatives with native organizations you or your dad and mom are linked with, similar to your home of worship or a social or service membership like Kiwanis.

See our article on discovering grants and scholarships for extra search suggestions. 

5. Search for Different Methods to Pay for Faculty

Scholar loans, grants, and scholarships aren’t the one methods to pay for faculty. Working a part-time job may assist get you thru, and there are even in-school and post-graduation advantages to working a job whereas in faculty

Granted, it’s robust to cowl the price of tuition with a part-time job alone. However in case you’re in a pinch, you possibly can at all times go for a compromise. 

For instance, attempt taking up a part-time job and a part-time course schedule to maintain prices down. Or go for a full-time job and a part-time course schedule so you possibly can keep in class till the FAFSA opens up once more.

In the event you determine to work your method by means of faculty, search for an employer that gives tuition reimbursement. For instance, firms like Goal, Starbucks, and FedEx provide part-time and full-time workers reimbursement for the price of some or all of their tuition.   

For job concepts that work properly round a school schedule, see our article on greatest faculty jobs.

5. Apply for Personal Scholar Loans

You may’t get federal pupil loans with out the FAFSA, however there are not any deadlines on non-public pupil mortgage functions. You may apply for one at any time through the faculty 12 months. 

Nonetheless, non-public pupil loans are more durable to get. In the event you’re an undergraduate with no credit score historical past, it’s doubtless you’ll want to use with a creditworthy co-signer with a demonstrated historical past of constructing on-time funds with bank cards and loans. 

Meaning asking a dad or mum or relative with a excessive credit score rating and a secure earnings for assist. However co-signing means they turn into equally chargeable for the mortgage. So in case you miss a fee or default on the mortgage, the creditor goes after the co-signer for the steadiness due. That might make your dad and mom or relations reluctant to assist.

There are additionally variations between non-public and federal pupil loans that make non-public loans much less fascinating. They’ve fewer reimbursement choices and will have the next rate of interest, relying in your or your co-signer’s credit score rating. And there’s no possibility for pupil mortgage forgiveness.

The choice is there as a fallback in case you’ve missed all of your monetary help deadlines. However solely borrow sufficient to cowl your wants till you possibly can submit subsequent 12 months’s FAFSA and perceive that you simply could be higher off with actually some other possibility on this listing.  

6. Take a Hole Yr

In the event you haven’t been in a position to give you sufficient monetary help, it could be extra financially accountable to take a spot 12 months. 

Whereas there are some drawbacks to beginning faculty later than you’d deliberate or skipping a 12 months, there are additionally quite a few advantages.

For instance:

  • In the event you’re undecided about what discipline you need to pursue, a spot 12 months can provide you time to be taught what you’re captivated with. 
  • You may work throughout your hole 12 months, providing you with the possibility to save lots of much more cash to pay for faculty.
  • If faculty simply isn’t your factor, you possibly can take time to relaxation and recharge earlier than diving again into research.
  • You may journey and see the world and even volunteer in a program overseas just like the Peace Corps, which appears to be like nice on faculty functions and your resume.

7. Submit Your FAFSA as Early as Potential Subsequent Yr

The early chicken catches the worm, as they are saying. Generally, there’s solely a lot funding to go round. So the earlier you apply, the larger your probabilities of catching a few of these funds.

So attempt to submit your FAFSA as near Oct. 1 as doable and make word of the deadlines on your faculty and state. Examine your faculty web site’s monetary help web page for that deadline. And discover your state’s deadline at StudentAid.gov

Additionally remember that some schools additionally use the CSS Profile (the Faculty Scholarship Service Profile by Faculty Board), which is a supplemental monetary help kind for non-federal grants and loans. And it comes with its personal deadline.


Last Phrase

FAFSA deadlines are essential, however the day they begin taking functions could also be an much more essential date to recollect. The sooner you submit your software, the extra monetary help you’re prone to obtain. 

So mark Oct. 1 and your state and faculty opening software dates in your calendar. Then prep forward of time by gathering all of your monetary data. 

You’ll want information of your and your dad and mom’ (in case you’re a dependent undergraduate) monetary data, together with financial institution statements, funding information, and tax returns. 

Put it collectively in a folder and retailer it someplace protected so that you’ll be able to go when functions open. That method, you’ll be first in line for all of the obtainable monetary help. 

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