Filing FAFSA early is students’ best bet

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again… FAFSA. It’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it’s time to apply again. Although there is no specific deadline for Illinois, there are advantages of filing early.

“We have a state MAP grant, or Monetary Award Program grant, that each year has gotten a shorter and shorter deadline date,” says Director of Financial Aid Bob Andersen. “Last year it was March 19th and we anticipate that it will be very early March.”

The MAP grant can be worth up to $4,700, so losing it could be hard to make up. There’s also other aid given out on a first come, first serve basis.

“We have a federal grant that we offer for students and money runs out sometime in February, and so we do that. We also have a federal work study program.”

If you’re still worried about filing your FAFSA, have no fear, the Financial Aid office can assist you with anything you need.

“We are open, our front desk will try to answer your question, if we can’t we have an advisor on call all the time,” says Andersen.

Each year, the Financial Aid office tries to send award notices out in January. But due to a new federal requirement of verification procedures there was a delay in the process.

“We have now finished that programming and we’re going to actually start the verification probably at the end of this week. We also do have, already, over 10,000 applications in which is excellent. This is almost double of what we had received last year at this time,” says Andersen.

For more information, you can visit the Financial Aid page on the WIU website.

VIDEO: Filing FAFSA Early Is Students’ Best Bet