Students can now fill out and submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Oregon undergraduates must submit their FAFSA by Feb. 1 at 10 p.m. to be considered for Oregon Opportunity Grants. All students must submit their FAFSA by March 1 to be considered for federal work study and federal Perkins loans. No one who turns in a FAFSA after Feb. 1 will be eligible for the opportunity grants, but March 1 is more of a priority deadline.

Pacific Director of Financial Aid Michael Johnson said “every effort is made to get funds awarded to students who submit their FAFSA before the March 1 deadline.”

Johnson recommended that students complete their FAFSA as soon as possible because federal and state funding is limited and awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. He also added that at least 80 percent of undergraduates end up turning in a FAFSA, so the earlier it is turned in, the better.

He said, “Few students miss the deadlines, but those who do are busy with other things and put it off have parents who are not that helpful with meeting the deadlines, or end up forgetting about it.”

It’s also common to think that federal taxes need to be completed before students submit their FAFSA, however an estimate is fine and the actual numbers can be updated once the taxes are filed.

Another commonality that might prevent some students from filling out a FAFSA is not thinking that they are eligible for anything.
Johnson said, “Everyone is eligible for something and some students end up being surprise with what they get awarded.”

He also commented that FAFSA online is getting easier to use every year.

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