Home Guides & Resources chevron_right Paying for College chevron_right College Savings Financial-Aid Deadlines Approach Published February 28, 2020 One of the best long-term investments you can make is in higher education. If you’ve got a prospective college student in your household, you’ve either heard, or know first-hand, how daunting the process of finding and applying for financial aid can be. One crucial step that all prospective students should take is filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. A FAFSA qualifies students for financial aid from Uncle Sam. And though the FAFSA is a federal form, most state governments and colleges use it to calculate how much financial aid to award prospective students as well. Completing this one form will give you a much better picture of the kinds of grants, loans and work-study programs that may be open to your higher-ed-bound child. Naturally, there’s always a rub: You need to be aware of three important deadlines related to college, state and federal aid. Deadlines vary among institutions and they may be approaching sooner than you think. For students enrolling in fall 2020, you’ll likely need to send a FAFSA… … to your college by spring 2020. Most colleges require financial aid applications to be made well in advance of the next academic year, often by March for September enrollment. To find the deadline for your school, call the financial aid office or check the school’s website. … to your state aid office by spring/summer 2020. “State” here means the state you live in rather than the one where the school is located. You can find the deadline for your home state on the front page of the FAFSA website. … to the federal government by June 30, 2021. This is standard for everyone, and it’s the latest of the three. (If you’re planning to begin classes in the spring or summer of this year, you can apply for federal aid as late as June 30, 2020.) Our advice is to use the earliest of the three deadlines as your cutoff for completion. Many colleges and states offer aid on a first-come, first-served basis. The window to file the FAFSA always opens on October 1, and we’ve found that best practice is to file your form as soon as you can after that for every year you anticipate having a student in college. Remember, you need to apply for financial aid every year, not just in the year prior to entering college. If you have any questions about the FAFSA form and how to fill it out, please contact your wealth management team. We’re happy to help. Further Reading The Benefits of 529 Plans This material is distributed for informational purposes only. The investment ideas and opinions contained herein should not be viewed as recommendations or personal investment advice or considered an offer to buy or sell specific securities. Data and statistics contained in this report are obtained from what we believe to be reliable sources; however, their accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Our statements and opinions are subject to change without notice and should be considered only as part of a diversified portfolio. You may request a free copy of the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which describes, among other items, risk factors, strategies, affiliations, services offered and fees charged. Past performance is not an indication of future returns. Tax, legal and insurance information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice, or as advice on whether to buy or surrender any insurance products. Personalized tax advice and tax return preparation is available through a separate, written engagement agreement with Adviser Investments Tax Solutions. We do not provide legal advice, nor sell insurance products. Always consult a licensed attorney, tax professional, or licensed insurance professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation, or insurance needs. Companies mentioned in this article are not necessarily held in client portfolios and our references to them should not be viewed as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any of them. © 2020 Adviser Investments, LLC. All Rights Reserved.