Resources provided for students to tackle FAFSA early

Starting Oct. 1, students are now able to apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The intimidating tedious and stressful process is upon students once again as they begin to financially prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.

A large time window to fill out FAFSA and the copious amounts of information needed, such as tax returns and the family financial details, make it feel like FAFSA is something that can be easily pushed off until later. Despite the fact that the application will be open until June 30, 2020, students are advised to begin their applications now.

The financial aid covered by FAFSA involves several different kinds of awards that students may be eligible for. For the most part, FAFSA will award a student any or all opportunities possible from federal work study, grants or loans.

While FAFSA disburses resources to students on a need-based scale, several students have found that the earlier their application is submitted, the better their chances are at receiving more money. While students may debate the justification of a first-come-first-serve expenditure, the fact remains–even federal aid runs out.

Aside from resources granted by the federal government and school, not filling out a FAFSA application can be detrimental for other forms of aid. Choosing to wait on FAFSA can also push back scholarship opportunities as many scholarships ask for your financial aid eligibility. In cases where FAFSA has yet to be returned, the deadline for certain scholarships may run out before a student gets their chance.

Some students have already begun their FAFSA for the 2020-2021 school year.

“I slacked on doing it earlier last year because I thought it would be a harder process,” student Brenda Rodriguez said. “This year, I actually already did most of my FAFSA and I had a few questions so I went to the office of financial aid.”

In order to avoid the weight and disappointment of getting the tail-end of whatever is left behind, students can use several resources on campus to help them tackle the request early. Chico State’s Financial Aid & Scholarship Office helps students apply for financial aid, complete verification and maintain eligibility.

“The Financial Aid & Scholarship Office offers resources to students during the financial aid season,” said Carla Perez, a student working in the financial aid office. “We offer workshops that are one-to-one where we can help you fill out your FAFSA. We can also answer questions with our pamphlets, worksheets, or in-person.”

Along with the office on campus, the Hub will be hosting a financial aid workshop for students on Thursday from 5-7 p.m..

Chico State’s Financial Aid & Scholarship Office is located in the Student Services Center in room 250. More information can be found on their website.

Kimberly Morales can be reached at [email protected] or @kimberlymnews on Twitter.