If you want to maximize the amount of financial aid you are eligible for, the 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submission process is now open.
“This is the third year that the FAFSA is available in October, and our goal is to promote early filing so that high school students can compare financial aid offers early,“ said Cathy Kay, director of the Office of Student Financial Aid. “It is important to get a picture of your finances early so that students are prepared for college. The earlier they file, the more chances they have to be eligible for scholarships and grants. We will begin sending 2019-20 award letters out in December to incoming freshmen who have filed their FAFSA and applied for admission by Dec. 1.”
In fact, Wayne State is providing some incentives to encourage students to file early. Students who have completed the admission application and filed their FAFSA by Dec. 1 will be eligible for priority consideration for merit scholarships; additionally, they will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win one of five $500 book scholarships.
Despite the push to fill out FAFSAs, Kay said it’s also important that students and their parents or guardians take their time when doing so to avoid any errors.
The Office of Student Financial Aid is hosting FAFSA Fridays, during which a financial aid officer will assist students with the filing process. FAFSA Fridays will be held on Oct. 5 and 19, and Nov. 9 and 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Oct. 12 and 26, and Nov. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. FAFSA Fridays will be held in the David Adamany Undergraduate Library, Lab A. No appointment is needed.
If you are unable to attend a FAFSA Friday session, financial aid officers are still available to help students with questions about the process. Walk-in hours at the Welcome Center are from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
For many families, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will transfer income and tax information from the 2017 tax return to the 2019-20 FAFSA and accurately fill in the required data fields. This will not only save time while completing the FAFSA, but it will also be beneficial later if the Office of Student Financial Aid needs to review your application for any corrections. "It not only simplifies the process of filing a FAFSA but can save students and families from delays later in the awarding cycle,” said Kay.
Some of the items needed to fill out a FAFSA include:
- Federal Student Aid IDs for the student and the parent or guardian
- 2017 tax return information
- Information on child support payments
- Current bank account statements
- Investment accounts (if applicable)
- Social Security numbers (please note that your name must be listed on your FAFSA as it appears on your Social Security card)
To be considered for a WSU grant or award, the FAFSA must be filed and received by the Office of Student Financial Aid by March 1, 2019. FAFSAs filed after March 1 will be only considered for the federal Pell Grant and federal direct loans.
A step-by-step FAFSA guide is available at studentaid.ed.gov.
Michigan residents should file the FAFSA by March 1, 2019, to be considered for a State of Michigan scholarship.
File the FAFSA online at fafsa.gov using the Wayne State University school code 002329.