Fill Out Your FAFSA Now

You can pick up FAFSA now and get started with your financial aid for next year. It’s always good to plan ahead so you can qualify to receive more grants and rely on less on student loans.

Many students finance their education with mainly student loans, believing that’s the only way to make it through college, but there are grants and scholarships out there. The main key is start early. While there are opportunities throughout the year, focusing on applying and submitting your FAFSA application in January and February can really pay off.

Check Your State’s Deadline to Get the Most Financial Aid

Don’t just wait to turn in your FAFSA application. Each state has a different deadline on getting grants and college funds from them. As you can see below, spring is a common deadline, so please try to send in your FAFSA early and you’ll see that you can get more grants there.

For me personally, it was hundreds to an extra thousand or so a semester.

State Deadlines
Alabama Check with your financial aid administrator
Alaska April 15, 2010 @
American Samoa Check with your financial aid administrator*
Arizona Check with your financial aid administrator
Arkansas For Academic Challenge – June 1, 2010 @
For Workforce Grant – check with your financial aid administrator
For Higher Education Opportunity Grant – June 1, 2010 (fall term) @; November 1, 2010 (spring term) @
California For initial awards – March 2, 2010 +*
For additional community college awards – September 2, 2010 – date postmarked +*
Colorado Check with your financial aid administrator
Connecticut February 15, 2010 #*
Delaware April 15, 2010 @
District of Columbia June 30, 2010 @#*
Federated States of Micronesia Check with your financial aid administrator*
Florida May 15, 2010 – date processed
Georgia Check with your financial aid administrator
Guam Check with your financial aid administrator*
Hawaii Check with you financial aid administrator*
Idaho Opportunity Grant – March 1, 2010 @#*
Illinois As soon as possible after January 1, 2010. Awards made until funds are depleted.
Indiana March 10, 2010 &
Iowa July 1, 2010 @
Kansas April 1, 2010 @#*
Kentucky March 15, 2010 &#
Louisiana July 1, 2010 @
Maine May 1, 2010 @
Marshall Islands Check with your financial aid administrator*
Maryland March 1, 2010 &
Massachusetts May 1, 2010 @#
Michigan March 1, 2010 &
Minnesota 30 days after term starts @
Mississippi MTAG and MESG Grants – September 15, 2010 @#
HELP Scholarship – March 31, 2010 @#
Missouri April 1, 2010 @#
Montana March 1, 2010 #&
Nebraska Check with your financial aid administrator*
Nevada Check with your financial aid administrator*
New Hampshire May 1, 2010 @
New Jersey 2009-2010 Tuition Aid Grant recipients – June 1, 2010 @
All other applications – October 1, 2010, for fall and spring terms @;
March 1, 2011, for spring term only @
New Mexico Check with your financial aid administrator*
New York May 1, 2011 @+*
North Carolina Check with your finanacial aid administrator
North Dakota March 15, 2010 &
Northern Mariana Islands Check with your financial aid administrator*
Ohio October 1, 2010 @
Oklahoma April 15, 2010 @#
Oregon OSAC scholarship – March 1, 2010
Oregon Opportunity Grant – check with your financial aid adminstrator
Palau Check with your financial aid administrator*
Pennsylvania All 2009-2010 State Grant recipients and all non-2009-2010 State Grant recipients in degree programs – May 1, 2010 @*
All other applicants – August 1, 2010 @*
Puerto Rico Check with your financial aid administrator
Rhode Island March 1, 2010 &#
South Carolina Tuition Grants – June 30, 2010 @
SC Commission on Higher Education – no deadline
South Dakota Check with your financial aid administrator*
Tennessee For State Grant – February 15, 2010 @#
For State Lottery – September 1, 2010 @#
Texas Check with your financial aid administrator*
U.S. Virgin Islands Check with your financial aid administrator*
Utah Check with your financial aid administrator
Vermont Check with your financial aid administrator*
Virginia Check with your financial aid administrator*
Washington Check with your financial aid administrator
West Virginia April 15, 2010 @#*
Wisconsin Check with your financial aid administrator
Wyoming Check with your financial aid administrator*

Source: FAFSA

Tips to Reduce Student Loans

If you can get your college education without student loans, you’re relieving yourself of a burden that has stressed many. If you do have to take some student loans, please avoid private loans which tend to be much more expensive. Instead look for subsidized or unsubsidized

  • Attend an in-state college. If all else is equal, staying in-state can save you 2/3 of tuition over going out of state for college.
  • Attend a community college and  transfer to a 4 year UniversityCommunity colleges offer similar quality of education; sometimes even sharing the same professors as the near by universities.
  • Consider work study as an option to gain experience and/or pay bills. You can gain some income with a job on campus and not spend much on transportation.
  • If you want to keep expenses low while in school, don’t get credit cards. They may appear to be a quick fix, but the interest rates are much higher than student loans from the government.

Share your Tips for Maximizing Financial Aid

What did you do when you attended college? How do you plan on saving money?