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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MAP Grants deadlines are shrinking

Why fill out the FAFSA on (or around) January 1, New Year's day?? Look at our infographic, followed by our explanation.

We have 4 dates listed, with 3 being approximately the same time every year:

  1. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)  is open on this date. This is always January 1.
  2. The Federal Tax deadline is almost always April 15 (with a couple of exceptions, usually April 16 or 17 at the latest)
  3. The first day of college (for many colleges on the semester system), approximate the 2nd Monday in August or so.
  4. The cut-off of the MAP grant. We will explain this below

In the"old days" of the FAFSA (back when the FAFSA was exclusive filled out on paper), we were told to fill out the FAFSA after taxes were done. This was because recalculating financial aid was done by hand, and so by giving estimated information created a lot of lot of work and time delay for the financial aid officers.

With the wonders of the internet and computer automation,  this process is much easier. Results can be done within days, if not hours (as opposed to several weeks "back in the day"). Verification can be done with a click of a button (where the FAFSA can verify info in the IRS database).

So now, you are not making it hard for financial aid officer to give you an award.

Because of the early submission of financial aid information, many grants and scholarships are running out of money much earlier in years past. Illinois, for example, offers the MAP (Monetary Assistance Program) grant, worth up to $4,800. For many years (even up to 2007),  this grant was available to some students even up to very close to start of school in August.  But over the years, that deadline has been pulled back. In just a few short years, that deadline was just before taxes were due on April 15.  This calendar year (2014), the deadline was February 28. For 2015 (a few months from now), that deadline could be even earlier.

Next time we'll talk about setting up a FAFSA completion event, with thoughts on how to best schedule it and who to partner with.

Please contact us at Do-Gooder Consulting at 872-222-8008 or to see how we might be able to help.

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