FAFSA Due Dates to Put On Your Calendar Right Now

Libby Miller Updated on September 26, 2018

If you’re planning on attending college next fall, be on the alert: the time to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is as close to October 1, 2018 as possible.

While technically you can complete your FAFSA anytime through summer of 2020, in the financial aid world, the early bird gets the worm. There are three due dates you’ll need to keep an eye on:

  • The federal due date
  • Your school’s due date, and
  • The state’s due date.

calendar-1868106_1920-172824-edited

FAFSA deadlines to keep in mind

When you’re in college application mode, it can be easy to put financial aid at the end of the list. But don’t devote all your time to crafting essays and gathering records.

Making sure you’re registered for aid as early in the year as possible means you’ll increase the odds of getting that aid, especially scholarships.

That's because a lot of financial aid is given out on a first-come, first-served basis. 

FAFSA registration opens October 1st

For the 2019-2020 school year, students can complete their FAFSA on the federal Department of Education website as early as October 1, 2018.

But don’t wait until October 1st to gather all your materials. Make sure you have social security information and income information, bank accounts, and other investment-account info ready to go. 

The window to complete the FAFSA doesn't close until June 30, 2020. That means you can still fill it out until later in the semester or even during the school year.

Even if you aren't eligible for need and academic-based grants, you'll need to complete the FAFSA if you want to take out federal student loans or take a work-study position.

School-specific deadlines vary by college

When it comes to meeting your school's deadline, you'll need to check with your school first. If you're a high school senior, you'll want to check with all the schools you are applying to.

In general, like the federal deadline, you can usually fill the actual form out any time you are seeking financial-aid assistance.

But a lot of schools also provide a priority deadline that you'll want to be aware of. Students need to have their FAFSA completed and received by the school by this date in order to be eligible for the most amount of aid.

State-specific deadlines

Individual states also often give out grants and scholarships to any students attending state-approved schools. Sometimes there is a single priority due date; other times individual awards have their own deadlines.

For example, some states have multiple need-based scholarships that may be due at different times. Applying early helps ensure that you don't miss out on all the aid that might be available to you. 

Plan in advance

When it comes to your college picture, it's important to be organized and informed about the process. Doing a little leg work in advance, putting important dates in your calenda,r and prepping the paperwork ahead of time will go a long way to not only making sure you get help, but also increase your chances of getting certain types of aid.

Need help filling out the FAFSA? Check out our question-by-question FAFSA Guide.

Published in: Financial Aid, FAFSA

About the Author
Libby Miller

Libby Miller is a freelance copywriter. With experience working in both financial aid and the student loan industry, Libby loves helping students and their families get the best bang for their buck on a college degree. Read more by Libby Miller

Recommended Student Loan Lenders

Lender Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
3.69% - 12.07%1 Variable & Fixed 5 - 15 years

Undergrad & Graduate Student & Parent Learn More

View Disclosure

Lender Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
4.25% - 11.85%1 Variable & Fixed 5 - 15 years

Undergrad Students Learn More

View Disclosure

Lender Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
3.72% - 9.82%1 Variable & Fixed 5 - 15 years

Undergrad & Graduate Students Learn More

View Disclosure

Lender Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
3.97% - 14.75%1 Variable & Fixed 5 - 15 years

4

Undergrad & Graduate Students Learn More

View Disclosure

Lender Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
4.19% - 12.09%1 Variable & Fixed 5 - 15 years

See Examples

Undergrad & Graduate Student & Parent Learn More

View Disclosure

Lender Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
4.68% - 9.77%1 Variable & Fixed 5 - 15 years

Undergrad & Graduate Students Learn More

View Disclosure

Comments

Do you still have a gap to fund your education?

If so, check out these 6 featured lenders:

Find your best option