FAFSA Assistance Expanded for Financial Aid Season

FAFSA Assistance Expanded for Financial Aid Season

01/23/2014

FAFSA Assistance Expanded for Financial Aid Season 
Iowa College Access Network Offers Extended Office Hours for FAFSA Filing

DAVENPORT, IOWA – (Jan. 23, 2014) – The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN), a nonprofit organization that provides college planning and financial aid assistance to Iowa families, will expand its office hours in February to accommodate high school and college students who need assistance completing financial aid paperwork. 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the federal form used to calculate a student’s financial aid eligibility. The form is available each year on January 1st, for the following academic year, and can be completed online at www.fafsa.gov or through a paper application. 

ICAN’s Davenport Student Success Center in the North Davenport Education Center offers assistance in the completion of the FAFSA form without charge. In February, ICAN will extend its office hours to include evening appointments, as well as Saturday hours. (see sidebar) 

Extended Hours – Davenport

Saturday, January 25, 2014 – 9 a.m. - Noon 

February 3-6, 10-13, 17 and 20 – Open until 6 p.m. 

Saturday, February 8 & 22 – 9 a.m. – Noon

February 24 – February 26 – 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. 

FAFSA assistance after 4:30 p.m. is by appointment only. Please call (877) 272-4692.

“To maximize the amount of financial aid a student is eligible for, we recommend that every student completes the FAFSA, no matter the family’s financial situation,” said Lupe Hernandez, ICAN student success advisor and financial aid expert. “Every student and every school is different. Even if a family doesn’t qualify for need-based assistance, the FAFSA is also the application for the best student loan rates.” 

The 2014-2015 FAFSA application covers classes beginning after July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 and requires information from the student’s 2013 taxes, as well as current asset values, to complete the form. Typically, if a student is under 24 years-of-age, the student’s parental tax information is also required. 

Though the application is available on January 1, the deadline for the application varies from college to college. “Each school sets their own deadline for completing the FAFSA,” explains Hernandez, who has seven years of experience in financial aid. “It’s easier to complete the form once your 2013 taxes are completed, but it’s more important to complete the form before the school’s deadline. Some deadlines are very early, requiring families to complete the form with 2012 tax information, instead of waiting for the 2013 taxes to be completed.”

Hernandez recommends looking up the deadline, or Financial Aid Priority Date, for each school a student is interested in attending, and then filing by the earliest deadline. A list of priority deadlines for Iowa colleges is available at www.ICANsucceed.org/financialdeadlines

ICAN currently has eight Student Success Centers throughout the state. “Last year our offices completed nearly 5,000 FAFSA forms, enabling more students to qualify for financial aid and attend college,” said Hernandez. “We hope extending our hours and opening on Saturdays will help families who wouldn’t normally be able to visit our office.” 

To complete the FAFSA, families should bring, for both the student and parent, the following: 

  • Social Security number, driver’s license number and date of birth 
  • Most recent federal and state tax returns 
  • W-2 forms or other records of income earned last year 
  • Current bank statements and investment records 
  • Records of untaxed income received last year 
  • 2013 business and farm records 
  • Alien registration numbers if not a U.S. citizen 

Students and parents may also register in advance for federal personal identification numbers (PINs) to electronically sign the forms and make future changes. To request a PIN, visit www.pin.ed.gov.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (877) 272-4692 or visit www.ICANsucceed.org
 

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About ICAN

The Iowa College Access Network is a nonprofit, educational organization. ICAN is the College Access Network for Iowa, and a member of the National College Access Network (NCAN). ICAN has eight locations in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Orange City, Ottumwa, Sioux City and Waterloo, which provide information and support to students and their families as they plan their postsecondary education and apply for financial aid. All ICAN programs and services are provided without charge. For more information about ICAN, call (877) 272-4692 or visit www.ICANsucceed.org.

 



 

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