FAFSA Assistance Expanded for Financial Aid Season
Iowa College Access Network Offers Extended Office Hours for FAFSA Filing
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Jan.16, 2012 – 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
ICAN offers assistance in the completion of the FAFSA form without charge, at locations in
Cedar Rapids and West Des Moines. In 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 Steven 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 2012-2013 FAFSA application covers classes beginning after July 1, 2012 through June
30, 2013 and requires information from the student’s 2011 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 2011 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 2010 tax information, instead of waiting for the 2011 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 and West Des Moines. “Last year our offices
completed 5,237 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
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
2011 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
January and February Extended Hours
Cedar Rapids & West Des Moines
Saturday, January 28, 2012 – 9 a.m. - Noon
February 6 – February 24, 2012 –
Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Fridays 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 4, 2012 – 9 a.m. – Noon
February 27 – March 1, 2012 – 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.