File a FAFSA now? You can!
Nadja Corcoran, Director of Student Care and Outreach for Student Financial Services at the University of New England has the following wisdom for online graduate students planning on securing financial aid.
When should you file your FAFSA for graduate school?
It’s not too early to start thinking about paying for next year – even if you’re still working on your program. Next year may seem like a long way off, but you know how that corny saying goes: “Time flies…” Each year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens on October 1st. So, why wait?
Funding your online education
The key to getting funding for your online program is the FAFSA. It’s not too early to get this off your to-do list, whether this is your first, second, or third rodeo with financial aid.
Completing a FAFSA will allow you to access the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, which offers a low interest rate and flexible repayment options. And, if you qualify for and need additional funding, the FAFSA is required to apply for the Graduate PLUS Loan.
When does UNE award financial aid?
UNE does not have an official filing deadline for the FAFSA, but you are urged to complete the application as soon as possible to get it out of the way. Student Financial Services will begin awarding online students for the 2019-2020 school year in the spring of 2019, in time for your Summer 2019 Term (which is the start of the new school year). You’ll receive an email when your award package is ready.
Four keys to a speedy FAFSA filing
- Know your FSA ID. Be sure you have your FSA ID on hand, which is how you electronically sign your FAFSA and make future corrections. If you’ve forgotten, use the “Forgot Username” and/or “Forgot Password” options. Don’t try too many times or you’ll get locked out!
- Have financials in hand before you start. Although your program’s Cost of Attendance (not your financials) will be what impacts what you can borrow, you will file the 2019-2020 FAFSA using financial information from tax year 2017. If you’re eligible, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your Federal tax return into your FAFSA form to save time.
- Review your Student Aid Report (SAR). Once you complete your FAFSA, it is very important that you review the electronic Student Aid Report you will have received via email. The report will alert you if any information is incorrect or incomplete.
- Though not required, it is helpful for UNE to have your social security number on file. This is helpful not only for us to link your FAFSA to your account, but to report the payments you’ve made on the new tax year’s 1098-T. Again, not required, but helpful to you.
- Federal Student Aid – informational website: www.studentaid.ed.gov
- File the FAFSA for graduate school: studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa
So, file away – even if you’re not sure of your plans next year. Complete and submit your FAFSA so you can focus on your studies! Please contact Student Financial Services at UNE if you need any assistance at all with your financial aid. They can be reached via phone at (207) 602-2342 Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm EST, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re not a UNE Online student yet and you’d like to know more about our online graduate program offerings before you complete your FAFSA, we welcome you to:Financial Aid