Correction: A previous version of this story had the incorrect school priority deadline. This issue has been corrected. The Barometer regrets this error.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid application for the school year 2020-21 opens Tuesday, Oct. 1.
FAFSA is a free application for federal student aid, such as grants, work-study and loans. This application is also used by many states and colleges to determine the student's eligibility for state and school aid. Some private financial aid providers might also use FAFSA to determine if a student qualifies for aid, according to the FAFSA website.
The FAFSA application can be filled out online or with the mobile app myStudentAid. The financial aid office at OSU recommends to file the application as soon as possible due to the fact that other financial aids that use FAFSA, such as scholarships and grants, may have a different deadline. According to the Federal Student Aid website, students that apply early for their FAFSA have a better chance to be awarded Federal Work-Study because funds are limited.
Students looking to file their FAFSA are required to submit their federal income tax returns, W-2s and other records of income. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool can be used to transfer income and tax information to the FAFSA application, rather than entering it by hand. Students will also need their Social Security number, and alien registration number (if they are not U.S. citizens). FAFSA now requires an FSA ID and password, that can be created on the FAFSA website. If a student is a dependent, the parent or legal guardian must also have an FSA ID and password.
“Know that you can always come into the Financial Aid office and get help filling out your FAFSA if you need it,” said Keith Raab, director of financial aid.
Students who need help filling out their FAFSA can also email the OSU financial aid office for assistance, and include a student ID number in the email.
The school priority deadline at OSU is Feb. 28, 2020, Raab said.