Figuring out how to pay for college can be a little overwhelming. But there’s one surefire way to make sure you don’t miss out on billions of dollars in available federal aid: File the FAFSA.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the gateway to all sorts of funding — so, before you tune out because you think you’re not eligible for aid, think again.
October is College Awareness Month when Canyons District’s high schools sponsor activities to help students apply to college (cover applications fees) and complete the FAFSA, which is the gateway to more than just needs-based scholarships. It’s the pathway to obtaining work-study opportunities in college, low-interest loans that are much cheaper than private loans, and many college- and state-based merit scholarships.
This is worth stressing: If you don’t complete the FAFSA, you’re leaving free money on the table. An analysis, in fact, found that $2.6 billion in financial aid went unclaimed in 2018-2019, because many students don’t apply.
Filing the FAFSA does take some time, about an hour, CSD’s guidance counselors estimate. And it’s something students will need to do with their parents, because it involves accounting for year-end financial information. So, to assist families — and make the FAFSA a little more fun — CSD’s high schools are hosting FAFSA completion nights throughout October (see schedule below).
Nearly all students who apply qualify for some form of federal aid. The U.S. Department of Education awarded about $112 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds in 2021.
So, don’t miss out! Families are welcome to choose whichever FAFSA completion night fits their schedules.
In preparation for these events, here’s a list of information the students will need:
- The student’s social security number
- The parents’ social security numbers
- The student’s driver’s license (or other form of government-issued ID)
- The parents’ most recent tax returns
- Bank account statements and other asset records
- Records of untaxed income (child support, disability benefits, health savings accounts)
FAFSA Completion Nights
Alta High: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 6–8 p.m.
Brighton High: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 5-7 p.m.
Corner Canyon High: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Hillcrest High: Thursday, Oct. 27 (English and Spanish), 6–8 p.m.
Jordan High: Monday, Oct. 24 (English and Spanish), 6–8 p.m.
Diamond Ridge High: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 6–8 p.m.