The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will come out on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
The United State Department of Education gives away more than $120 billion a year in grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans to cover expenses such as tuition, books, and room and board, according to studentaid.gov.
Jacob Biener, counselor, encourages students to fill out the FAFSA, even those who think they won’t qualify for any financial aid.
“The FAFSA can be intimidating because it will because it will be asking financial information and you need a guardian’s help, but the average time it takes to complete the FAFSA is under half an hour,” Biener said. “Even if you don’t qualify for a Pell grant, there could be other financial aid options from the state, work study, and loans.”
Biener also mentioned that many programs require students to complete it.
Studies show that cost is a top reason many students don’t pursue or complete postsecondary education. According to Jennifer Winge, president of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, 661,000 people who were eligible for financial aid lost out on $2.6 billion because they did not complete the FAFSA. That comes while admission costs are on the rise. In a study by the College Board, admission prices for out-of-state schools have risen on average $14,000 since 2002. In 2002, the average cost for admission was $11,633, while the average cost for admission in 2017 was $26,010.
Because of the increase, senior Carrie Johnson plans on filling out the FAFSA.
“I’m filling it out because I need as much financial help as possible to pay for college,” Johnson said.
Johnson will be the first person in her family to attend college, which is why she plans to attend the FAFSA Frenzy that will be held on Oct. 14. At the event, representatives from the local college financial aid officers will be at Battle High School to assist families.
Daniella Calle, senior, also plans to attend the FAFSA Frenzy.
“I plan on attending the FAFSA Frenzy because my mom attended a college in another country so we are slightly confused on how to fill the FAFSA out,” Calle said. “This will help my mom be more prepared for my brother when the time comes for him.”
The FAFSA Frenzy will be held at 6 p.m. in the Media Center on Oct. 14.