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Monday, September 26, 2016

FAFSA opening date change can HELP your organization help students!

We talked about this major change with the FAFSA (FREE Application for Federal Student Aid)  in a  previous post. As we have reported on this blog several months ago, the FAFSA opening day has changed from January 1st of a high school student's senior year to October 1st of that same high school student's senior year. That's 3 months earlier than in years past (and actually 6 months earlier than how families 20 years ago filled out the FAFSA)

The reason for this is so that new soon-to-be college students who are applying in the fall can almost immediately compare their options, especially if the final decision comes down to finances. Check our graphic at the bottom of this post so you can visualize how, in order to receive an official financial aid award, a student needs to have both an accepted college application as well as a processed FAFSA.

While this is perhaps a little confusing for many families right now, this is also a great opportunity for churches and nonprofits to provide leadership and resources to their community. By helping families fill out the FAFSA early, you and your organization may be able to provide them with thousands of dollars and financial aid without the organization itself needing to contribute towards that purpose. You also build trust in the community, and show one reason why you are a key community resource.

We see this as a great outreach because it's a very strong need for our families. Churches and nonprofits which are located near schools have an excellent opportunity for outreach and connecting with their local community. Churches can schedule a session right after their church service, and if possible, even provide lunch. Or, if it's possible , providing an afterschool or evening program with a light dinner, such as pizza, which can also be a huge benefit two families. Nonprofits as well can help their community and also their schools as well with an activity that helps families but let's the school clothes on time we be greatly appreciated by the local school.

Do-Gooder Consulting would like encourage you to start your plan this is possible. We understand it might be too late for you to start any event in October, but we encourage you to set up a session in November, December or even the first week of January (before current college students return to school) , and then plan for a FAFSA completion session in early October of 2017.

We have also written in the past about how financial aid deadlines are shrinking, and the importance of having the FAFSA completed as soon pas possible after that opening date.   However, we believe that missing October of 2016 (despite it being the opening date) will be just fine  because for this first year, a number of students will still be getting used to this new date and you may be able to do late by a month or so. For the future, however, we strongly suggest that you schedule a fast the completion session as close to October 1st as possible.

Do-Gooder Consulting is here to help you plan, advertise, or even run a FAFSA completion session. Please contact us by phone at 872-222-8008 or by email at FAFSA(at) or call us at 872-222-8008 .

We look forward to serving you in the near future.

One final note: please encourage your current college students to renew their FAFSA as soon as possible. It's easy to forget, but with the renewal using the same information they just inputted 6 months ago, it's also easy to fill out, and could provide more money than last well. Simply text and/or e-mail them this secure website address =

In fact, we'd suggest contacting the following people to fill out the FAFSA as soon as pssible after October 1 (as it costs no money to fill out the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid):

1) Returning college students (see above)
2) High school seniors (as mentioned above)
3) Adults simply thinking about returning to college. Filling out the FAFSA does not obligate someone to go to college, but is one vital step in getting an official financial aid package.
The new deadline helps you receive the financial aid award faster than previous years.