The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an application that determines your eligibility for federal and local financial aid, providing access to the largest pool of available funds for students.
Originating from the Higher Education Act of 1965, FAFSA has evolved into a complex array of programs that have been significantly changed over the years to broaden eligibility and resources for receiving aid at the federal and state level.
There are two ways to apply for FAFSA: online at studentaid.gov or by printing out the form and mailing it. It is recommended to complete the application online, as changes can be made and saved at any point. To create a Federal student ID, social security number or alien registration number, full name and date of birth. Tax information is needed, including federal income tax returns, W-2s, bank statements and records of untaxed income from the parents and students.
The federal deadline for the academic year of 2023-2024 is June 30th, 2023 at 11:59 p.m., while state deadlines vary. In California, this year's FAFSA deadline is March 2nd, and the Cal Grant and other community colleges' Cal Grants deadline is September 2nd. Deadlines also vary from school to school, so it is essential to check with the home college of the applicant. Monarchs can use Valley College’s school code, 001228, to find specific deadlines.
Submitting the FAFSA application as soon as possible is essential, as aid is given out on a first-come basis. By applying early, students have the best chance of receiving assistance for their current school or the one they hope to attend.
Monarchs looking for assistance can visit the Financial Aid office located on the first floor of the Student Services Center in person or over Zoom.
— By Milan Alex Rafaelov, Staff Writer