Whether you’re a high school senior, or an adult who made a New Year’s Resolution to get a college degree, you need to set aside some time this month – this week or next if possible – to fill out the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid,” also known as “FAFSA.”
In Kentucky, it’s especially important to act quickly, because it’s one of a handful of states where FAFSA dollars are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to complete the FAFSA. You can do it online and it’s completely free. Go to Fafsa.gov.
Everyone wanting to attend school in 2016 should be applying for financial aid now – even if you think you won’t qualify for financial aid because of your family income. Among other things, most colleges offer significant financial aid packages – based both on financial need and scholastic ability. Most of those schools require that you have filled out the FAFSA before you are considered for their assistance packages.
“Don’t leave money on the table!” said Emma Brown, Director of Community Engagement for 55,000 Degrees, Louisville’s education movement. “You want to get all the financial assistance you qualify for. Applying for financial aid online is the first step toward doing that. College may be more affordable than you think. ”
Most people can walk through the form fairly easily, but if you have questions or want some help, there is help available. College Goal Kentucky will be offering assistance at U of L at 5 p.m. on Jan. 19th, at the Ekstrom Library and at 6 p.m. at Jan. 21st, at Jeffersontown High School. (More details about these events are on the 55,000 Degrees monthly calendar here.)
Everyone knows that going to college can be expensive, but it’s also worth the investment. With a college degree you can expect to earn about $1 million more over a lifetime.
55,000 Degrees is Greater Louisville’s education commitment to increase the percentage of working age Louisvillians with college degrees to 50 percent by 2020. An annual progress report released last month in conjunction with KentuckianaWorks showed that we are at a record high for degree attainment – 41.7 percent in 2015.
- FAFSA Changes for 2017–18
- FACT SHEET: The President’s Plan for Early Financial Aid: Improving College Choice and Helping More Americans Pay for College (The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 9/13/2015)
- The US government just made 2 big changes to the FAFSA — and it could help millions of students get help paying for college (Business Insider, Libby Kane, September 17, 2015)
- Obama Announces FAFSA Change To Make College Aid Decision Earlier And Easier (Forbes, Troy Onink, 9/14/15)
- Obama Makes College Aid Application Earlier And Easier (nprEd, Cory Turner, 9/14/15)
- President Obama Announces Changes to 2017-18 FAFSA (Fastweb, Elizabeth Hoit, 9/17/15)
- White House: Changes will make FAFSA easier (The Tennessean, Adam Tamburin, 9/14/15)
- Get started by checking out the many different colleges & universities across the nation by using the new official College Scorecard website
- Read President Obama’s press release about the new College Scorecard
- What You Should Know About the White House College Scorecard (ABCnews, Susanna Kim, 9/14/15)
- How Much Will I Make After Graduating?’ College Scorecard Offers Only Clues (Chronicle, Kelly Fields, 9/15/15)
- The College Scorecard: Painting by the Numbers (Huffington Post, Dr. Brian C. Mitchell, 9/14/2015)
- College scorecard: The White House likes these colleges best (CNNMoney, Katie Lobosco, 9/13/15)
- Obama Rolls Out College Scorecard on New Federal Website (Bloomberg Business, Michael Riley, 9/12/15)
- President Obama’s New ‘College Scorecard’ Is A Torrent Of Data (nprEd, Cory Turner, 9/12/15)