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FAFSA Assistance Expanded for Financial Aid Season

January 11, 2011

 FAFSA Assistance Expanded for Financial Aid Season 

Iowa College Access Network Offers Extended Office Hours for FAFSA Filing
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Jan.12, 2011 – 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 January and 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 offers assistance in the completion of the FAFSA form without charge, at all three of 
its locations. In January and February, ICAN will extend its office hours to include evening 
appointments, as well as Saturday hours. (see sidebar) 
“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 Steve Loven, 
ICAN site coordinator 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 2011-2012 FAFSA application covers classes beginning after July 1, 2011 through June 
30, 2012 and requires information from the student’s 2010 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 
Loven, who has 31 years of experience in financial aid. “It’s easier to complete the form 
once your 2010 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 2009 tax information, instead of waiting for the 2010 taxes to be completed.” 
Loven 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 offices in Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, and West Des Moines. “Last year 
our offices completed 5,526 FAFSA forms, enabling more students to qualify for financial aid 
and attend college,” said Loven. “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 
• 2010 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. 
[Sidebar] 
January and February Extended Hours 
Cedar Rapids & West Des Moines 
January 31 – February 24, 2011 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. 
Monday, February 28, 2011 – 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. 
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 – 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. 
West Des Moines 
Saturday, January 22, 2011 – 9 a.m. - Noon 
Saturday, February 5, 2011 – 9 a.m. – Noon 
Cedar Rapids 
Saturday, February 5, 2011 – 9 a.m. – Noon 
Saturday, February 12, 2011 – 9 a.m. – Noon

 

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