The Community Foundation of Switzerland County Inc., along with Switzerland County High School, is offering a FAFSA Filing Day on Wednesday, November 9th.
Parents of high school seniors, along with adults wanting to go back to school, will have the opportunity to stop in at Switzerland County High School between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and get free assistance in completing the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
There are two substantial changes to the FAFSA this year.
Beginning with the 2017-2018 student aid application cycle, the FAFSA will be available to applicants three months earlier than in previous years. This means that students applying for admission for the 2017-2018 school year can begin applying for financial aid right now. The U.S. Department of Education made this date change to better align the financial aid application process with the actual college admissions timeline.
The U.S. Department of Education also modified its rules to allow applicants to complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA using more readily available financial information from the 2015 tax year. A key benefit to being able to use 2015 tax return data when completing the FAFSA is that more applicants will be able to use the Internal Revenue Service’s Data Retrieval Tool, which automatically fills in the online FAFSA form with the necessary tax information. This streamlines the process significantly and increases accuracy.
Because completing a FAFSA can be an intimidating process, the Community Foundation is again bringing in Dave Murray from the National Center for College Costs to assistant individuals and families in Switzerland County with the process. In addition to helping complete the form, Murray will also be able to immediately interpret the results. Prospective students will be able to know instantly which colleges are going to work best financially and which ones will not. For prospective students that have already filed a FAFSA, they can bring their results to the high school on November 9th and Murray will help them interpret the results to be sure that they are pursuing options that will, in the end, turn out to be feasible financially.
Orange folders will be provided to every senior at Switzerland County High School in advance of the FAFSA Filing Day. Seniors are encouraged to take these folders home to share with their parents. Inside the folders, parents will find information on what they need to do to prepare for the FAFSA Filing Day. Orange folders can also be provided in advance to adults wanting to go back to college if they contact the Community Foundation’s office at (812) 427-9160.
The deadline to complete a FAFSA in Indiana is still March 10th, 2017. However, prospective students are strongly encouraged to apply for the FAFSA as early as possible. Some colleges are moving up their preferred filing dates for financial aid due to the recent changes with the FAFSA. This means that the earlier a FAFSA is filed, the better chance a prospective student may have in receiving financial aid from the college or university of his/her choice.
For more information on the FAFSA Filing Day, contact the National Center for College Costs toll free at (877) 687-7291.