Complete the FAFSA by Feb.1 for maximum consideration
Financial aid is based on the idea that all students, regardless of their financial situations, should have equal access to a college education. At The Ohio State University at Mansfield, it is important for students to have easy access to that aid. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 72 percent of undergraduate students received some form of financial aid. In order to apply for federal aid, such as federal grants, work study, and loans, students, need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Whether you’re a current Ohio State student or planning to enroll in autumn semester 2020, the FAFSA form must be filed by February 1, 2020, for maximum aid considerations. The form must be completed every year by current students seeking financial aid, including scholarships.
MacKenzie Weaver, an early childhood major, and Braxton Daniels, a communication major, have several tips on how to make the most of your FAFSA filing. They both suggest to file as early as possible.
“I would suggest that you have a friend or a family member help you, even if they are only a second set of eyes on your information,” Weaver suggested. “I filed my FAFSA over the winter break and had my mom help me.”
For those who are living on their own like Daniels, he suggests making sure you have all of your information, especially your tax information, easily accessible at the time of filing.
“Have a folder that has all of that information in it, ready to go,” he said. “It doesn’t take long, especially if you have filled one out before. I no longer live at home and it just makes it easier to have all the information in a folder, so I don’t have to hunt down my tax forms while I’m filing my FAFSA.”
Daniels also suggested that students use an easily accessible email address, as most communication relative to FAFSA is received this way.
“Make sure you are checking your emails, because the information for your FAFSA will be sent to you via email,” he added.
For students who have not filed their FAFSA yet, here are five easy steps on how to apply for aid:
STEP 1: FILE THE FAFSA
• Priority date for Ohio State is February 1. You can submit your FAFSA after that date, but filing before will provide you maximum aid consideration. The FAFSA can be completed either at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa or by using the new free myStudentAid mobile application. Download the myStudentAid app in the Apple App Store (iOS) or the Google Play store (Android)
STEP 2: REVIEW YOUR STUDENT AID REPORT (SAR)
• After you submit your FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted and includes your Expected Family Contribution.
STEP 3: SUBMIT THE SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION
• Ohio State offers hundreds of scholarships with a wide variety of eligibility criteria.
STEP 4: WATCH FOR YOUR FINANCIAL AID OFFER
• Financial aid awards for newly admitted students are available to view online in late March.
STEP 5: HAVE YOU BEEN SELECTED FOR VERIFICATION?
• Verification is the process in which Ohio State confirms the accuracy of information provided on the FAFSA.
But the most important advice both students want others to know is about the financial aid office located in Reidl Hall. “Go to Deb Tabor, the financial aid specialist on campus,” Weaver suggested. “She’s incredibly knowledgeable about the entire process and will help you with anything you need. You can just email her with your question and set up an appointment.”