The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA filing season for the 2020-2021 school year, opened last October 01, 2019. Those intending to apply for financial aid to pay for college education should complete and submit their
FAFSA as early as possible.
Although the FAFSA filing cycle goes on for a period of 18 months from the October 01 starting date, completing an application sooner than the June 30, 2019 deadline is the best way to increase one’s chances of securing financial assistance.
First off, it should be clear that financial aid is college education money that does not have to be repaid. Although nearly all FAFSA applicants qualify for some form of financial help, most need-based aid and grants are awarded by states on a first-come-first-serve basis.
According to a recent report from Sallie Mae (SML Corp.), the private lending company that handles loans availed by college students, around eight (8) in every ten (10) American families seek for financial aid through scholarships and grants. Yet more than half of those families were constrained to take out student loans. This suggests that most need-based applicants had missed out on free financial aid offered by the federal government, by the state and/ or by different private sectors.
It is also important to know every state reserves the right to set a deadline that may be earlier than the federally prescribed end of the 18-month FAFSA season.
FAFSA State Deadlines for School Year 2020 – 2021
In some states like Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico,Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, seekers of college education financial aid must first check with their state’s Federal Student Aid Administrator, as the deadline may be dependent on some other documents required by the state government.
Other states give advice for applicants to submit as early as possible after October 01, because the available financial grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until depleted. The list includes Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington.
Some U.S. regions specifically set a FAFSA deadline for priority considerations. This denotes that those who submitted after the deadline and after the priority applicants have been served, can still apply until the end of the FAFSA season. States that maintain deadlines for priority listing include Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Texas
States with Specific FAFSA Deadlines:
California — March 02, 2020 for most state financial aid programs:
Delaware — April 15, 2020, by midnight CT.
Florida — May 15, 2020 (date processed).
Iowa — July 1, 2020, by midnight CT.
Louisiana — July 1, 2021 (recommended).
Maine – May 1, 2020, by midnight CT.
Maryland – March 1, 2020, by midnight CT.
Michigan – March 1, 2020, by midnight CT.
Minnesota – 30 days after term starts, by midnight CT.
Mississippi – June 1, 2020, by midnight CT.
New Jersey – April 15, 2020, by midnight CT
New York – June 30, 2021, by midnight CT. Additional forms might be required.
Ohio – Oct. 1, 2020, by midnight CT.
Pennsylvania – Aug. 1, 2020, by midnight CT
Tennessee – Feb. 1, 2020.
West Virginia – March 1, 2020.