F is for February, FAFSA and financial aid
Time for students to file for next year’s financial aid – including VSAC state grant
WINOOSKI (February 2, 2017) – Vermont Student Assistance Corp is reminding students to file their annual FAFSA application – the crucial first step to receiving financial aid.
And VSAC has an additional incentive: Every high school in Vermont with 70 percent or more of their seniors finishing the FAFSA will be entered into a drawing to win $1,000 for a school-approved senior activity.
The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the basis for determining eligibility for federal Pell grants, VSAC’s Vermont State Grant, financial aid from the school that the student attends and for student loans.
In Vermont, only about half the students file a Fafsa. This means Vermonters lose out on an estimated $5.5 million in federal Pell grants every year, or about $3,546 per eligible student, according to Nerdwallet.com. Students who don’t file a Fafsa also may be missing out on the Vermont state grant, which on average, offers an additional $1,800 to cover college costs for eligible students. And this does not include any aid from the school they are planning to attend.
“Simply put, no FAFSA, no financial aid,” said Scott Giles, VSAC president and CEO. “Vermonters know the cost of continuing their education is a big investment. Every student should file the FAFSA and a Vermont Grant application to get all the financial aid that they are eligible for.”
Students can learn more about the FAFSA and file online by visiting www.vsac.org. VSAC also has links to the online applications for the Vermont State Grant, available to Vermont students enrolled full-time or part-time.
The earlier students apply, the better, Giles said, because many schools and colleges have deadlines for submitting financial aid applications – some as early as February or March. And, some student aid is only available on a first-come, first-served basis until the money runs out.
For those students interested in applying for a scholarship, VSAC has an online link to the available programs and an online application. Deadline for scholarship applications is March 3.
About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965
Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to myVSACstory@vsac.org or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at www.vsac.org or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives