Big changes in financial aid deadlines


Staff report



GALION — Parents of high school seniors are facing major changes in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This year the FAFSA will be available on-line at fafsa.ed.gov on October 1, rather than the traditional January 1. The reason for this change is that families will file this year with 2015 tax returns, thus avoiding the pressure to file their 2016 taxes early or file with estimated figures. “That’s the good news,” said Margaret Thornton, director of Crawford College Connection.

“That’s the good news,” said Margaret Thornton, director of Crawford College Connection.

The bad news, according to Thornton ,is that many parents are unaware of this change and may delay filing their student’s FAFSA until after Christmas. “We have been told by college financial aid directors that late filers may lose critical need-based aid. Therefore we are holding our FAFSA completion workshop on Sunday, Nov. 6, rather than in February as we have done in the past. We are calling the workshop ‘Fall into FAFSA’ this year.”

“We have been told by college financial aid directors that late filers may lose critical need-based aid. Therefore we are holding our FAFSA completion workshop on Sunday, Nov. 6, rather than in February as we have done in the past. We are calling the workshop ‘Fall into FAFSA’ this year.”

Fall into FAFSA is a free one-on-one workshop held at the Bucyrus Public Library from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6. Parents will work individually with a college financial aid expert. “We are fortunate to have financial aid personnel from Ohio State, Marion Technical College, Ashland University, and Heidelberg,University who volunteer their time to help local families. Some of these volunteer professionals have been coming to Crawford County for 16 years to do this workshop. They are incredibly dedicated and knowledgeable, No matter how complex a family situation might be, these folks will know the answers,” said Thornton.

“We are fortunate to have financial aid personnel from Ohio State, Marion Technical College, Ashland University, and Heidelberg,University who volunteer their time to help local families. Some of these volunteer professionals have been coming to Crawford County for 16 years to do this workshop. They are incredibly dedicated and knowledgeable, No matter how complex a family situation might be, these folks will know the answers,” said Thornton.

Pre-registration is necessary, and parents can call the Bucyrus Public Library at 419-562-7327 to sign up for a 30-minute appointment.

“Most families get their questions answered and their form filed within that half hour and leave smiling,” said Thornton. “In past years, there was also an event called College Goal Sunday but that has been cancelled for this year, and families are advised to find local help. In Crawford County, that’s us.”

Families are urged to get an FSA ID for one parent and for the student so that they can electronically sign the FAFSA. The FSA id is available at https://fsaid.ed.gov. The FSA ID will be a username and password. Parents with questions about FAFSA completion workshop on Sunday, Nov. 6, should go to crawfordcollegeconnection.org or call Margaret Thornton at 419-562-9957.

Staff report

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