In an effort to assist parents in completing their FAFSA worksheet, East Peoria Community High School will host a “FAFSA Night” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, in the library.
Janet Ozuna from Midstate College in Peoria will present information regarding FAFSA, assist parents with the worksheet and answer questions. All interested parents are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity; no reservations are required. Any questions regarding “FAFSA Night” should be directed toward the Student Services office at the high school by calling 694-8320.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the first step in the financial aid process. It is used to apply for federal student financial aid, such as the Pell Grant, student loans, and college work-study. In addition, most states and schools use FAFSA information to award their financial aid.
Families can begin filling out FAFSA forms for the upcoming school year after Jan. 1. It is recommended that families complete their tax return before filling out the FAFSA as it will make completing the application much easier. If families have not filed their tax return, they can still submit their FAFSA but must provide correct income and tax data once they have filed. State and school deadlines will vary and tend to be early. It is the family’s responsibility to check with them to find out their exact deadline dates. However, the priority filing deadline is March 1.
FAFSA responses are entered into a formula, which is regulated by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The result is the Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. The EFC is a preliminary estimate that measures a family´s financial strength. It is subtracted from the cost of attendance at the school(s) a student plans to attend to determine eligibility for federal student aid.
Families will receive a Student Aid Report, (SAR), by e-mail or by postal mail depending on the addresses that are on file. The SAR lists the information the family reported on their FAFSA and will include their Expected Financial Contribution. Schools will use a family’s EFC to prepare a financial aid package (grants, loans, and/or work-study) to help meet their financial need. Financial need is the difference between your EFC and your school´s cost of attendance.