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Understanding the FAFSA Deadline

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Lendstart Updated: June 27, 2023 • 4 min read
financial aid deadline

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) deadline for the 2022-2023 academic year is June 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. The application is open, and getting an early start can help ensure you get the financial aid you need.

If you still haven't completed your FAFSA, now is the time to file as the deadline is quickly approaching.

FAFSA Deadline for 2022-2023

For the 2022-2023 academic year, the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form deadline is coming up next month on Friday, June 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

2022-2023 FAFSA deadline

When does the FAFSA open?

The FAFSA open date for the 2022-2023 school year was on Oct 1, 2021.

Although the deadline to submit is on June 30, 2023, many students find it helpful to submit as early as possible to ensure they receive their funds in time for the start of classes. Schools encourage students to submit their FAFSA applications at least six weeks before the deadline. In this case, that would be by May 13, 2023.

You'll check with your school or state financial aid office to find your specific deadline. They may have different deadlines as they process aid on a first-come, first-served basis.

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What Happens if You Miss the FAFSA Deadline?

Now let's say you miss the FAFSA deadline set by your state and college. What can you do? Unfortunately, in most cases, this can mean you're no longer eligible for any federal student aid or state grants for that year.

There can be exceptions, but these apply only in extreme circumstances. For example, if your area has been affected by a natural disaster. If this applies to you, contact your school's financial aid office to see if they will accept your late application.

Missed the FAFSA deadline? You still have options.

You'll still have access to private student loans, and you could also apply for private scholarships. Keep in mind, many of these will also have their own deadlines and requirements, so make sure you do your research and keep deadlines organized.

Setting up a meeting with your school guidance counselor is also worth doing—they will be well-versed in the student aid options available to you.

missed FAFSA deadline what to do

Tips for Meeting the FAFSA Deadline

Although there are alternatives that may work for you, it's always best to submit your FAFSA application on time. Here are some tips to make sure you don't miss the deadline:

1. Plan ahead

Estimate how long it will take to fill out the form and gather all the necessary documents—try to leave yourself enough time in case of any unexpected delays or complications.

2. Gather everything upfront

Collect all the required documents before filling out the FAFSA form. That way, you don't have to keep going back later if you can't find something.

These important documents, if applicable, include:

  • Social Security number (U.S. citizens)
  • USCIS number (for non-U.S. citizens)
  • Income verification documents (This includes tax filings, W-2s, and pay stubs)
  • Bank statements and investment records
  • Untaxed income records
  • Your Federal Student Aid identification (FSA ID)

3. Check with your school

One of the most important things you can do is confirm the exact deadline for FAFSA submission at your college or university—they might have earlier deadlines than what is set by the government.

4. Stay on top of it

Set reminders to complete and submit your FAFSA form well ahead of the deadline. Create a calendar entry or add it as a recurring reminder in your phone's calendar app.

Now for your next question: "How long does the FAFSA take to process?" If you submit your form online, the answer is usually three to five days. For paper forms, seven to 10 days.

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How to Apply for FAFSA

Finally, let's talk about the fundamentals of applying for FAFSA. The form helps determine how much student aid you're eligible to receive. It's based on you and your family's income, assets, and other financial information.

Based on the information you enter, an "expected family contribution" (EFC) amount is generated, which is used to determine how much financial aid you'll get in the form of federal loans, grants and work-study.

Fortunately, the application process is pretty straightforward, free to submit and can be completed online at the FAFSA government website.

  1. Collect all essential documents: This includes identification and income verification documents.
  2. Create an FSA ID: This serves as your username and password each time you log in to complete the form or make changes during the year.
  3. Complete the application: Log in with your FSA ID and follow prompts to enter various information about you, your parents, and your financial situation. The application also asks you to include the schools you plan to apply for.
  4. Submit your application: Double-check that all of the information you entered is complete and up-to-date. Accidentally entering incorrect income information could affect the amount of loans and aid you're eligible for.

Conclusion

Now is the perfect time to get started on your FAFSA application if you haven't already started. Remember: if you miss a FAFSA deadline, check with your school—they may be able to help.

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