Important financial aid deadlines to know


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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a form students can fill out each school year to apply for grants, work-study, or federal student loans from the government for higher education pursuits.


By not filling it out, or missing the FAFSA deadline, students may not receive financial aid that could help them pay for college. Many states and individual schools also use the FAFSA to help determine if a student qualifies for aid. Therefore, it’s helpful to fill out your FAFSA as early as possible and not miss the important application deadlines, as there is a limited amount of aid available.

What Is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is the application for federal student aid from the US government. The type of federal student aid awarded is determined based on income, usually the income of the student’s parents, if they are considered a dependent student.

If a student is considered independent, then they are not required to submit their parent’s financial information. Federal financial aid includes student loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study jobs. It’s important when applying to schools to consider all of the costs involved.


Students can estimate their financial aid online ahead of time, which can help inform decisions about where to attend school. If you are already in school, remember that the FAFSA must be filled out every year, since income and tax information might have changed.


In general, the eligibility requirements for federal aid state that for most programs, students:

  • Must demonstrate financial need (though there is some non-need based aid, such as unsubsidized student loans) and,
  • Must be a US citizen or an eligible noncitizen, and
  • Be enrolled in an qualifying degree or certificate program at your college or career school
  • For further detail, take a look at the basic eligibility requirements on the Student Aid website.

The FAFSA form will need information about the student, their family, and their financial situation. This includes things like Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and federal tax information or tax returns for either the student or their parents (depending on whether or not they are a dependent student). Plus, this includes information on bank account balances such as savings, investments, and other financial information.

FAFSA Open Date and Deadline

File Your FAFSA for Next Year Close to October 1

Generally, it makes sense to submit the FAFSA promptly after the October 1st application release. Some aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so submitting it early could potentially help students improve their chance of receiving some federal aid.


Recommended: Grants for College—Find Free Money for Students


In addition, since some schools determine funding on a first-come-first-serve basis, filling it out early will help ensure you get the funding you need.


It will also help you get what you need well in advance, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.

File Your FAFSA for Last Year by June 30

Students must file the FAFSA no later than June 30th for the previous school year. So, for the academic year 2022-23, you must file by June 30th, 2023. While the federal deadline for submitting the FAFSA is after the end of the school year, it may be possible for some aid to be applied retroactively or be applied to summer courses.


While this is the federal government’s deadline, it’s essential to submit the application well before then since students generally need funding to pay for the school year.


Again, individual states and institutions have different deadlines for awarding financial aid to students. Waiting too long may put you in a sticky financial situation if you don’t receive the funding you need to start school.

State and institutional FAFSA deadlines

So, when is FAFSA due? Below you will find the federal, state, and institutional FAFSA deadlines.

Institutional FAFSA Deadlines

Students typically have around 21 months to file the FAFSA, but individual schools may have their own earlier deadlines. So if you are applying to many different colleges, check each school’s FAFSA deadline and apply by the earliest one.


Recommended: Types of Federal Student Loans


These priority deadlines mean you need to get your FAFSA application in by the school’s date to be considered for the possible aid. While filling out your FAFSA, you can include every school you consider, even if you haven’t been accepted to college yet.

State FAFSA Deadlines

Individual state deadlines can be found from the US Department of Education. Some states have strict cutoffs, while others are just best-practice suggestions—so check carefully. States may have limited funds to offer as well.

Federal FAFSA Deadline

So, when is FAFSA due?


Again, the FAFSA becomes available almost a full year in advance of the year that aid is awarded. When is the deadline for FAFSA? While the final deadline for FAFSA submission is June 30, the FAFSA becomes available on October 1. That’s earlier than most individual college deadlines for application.


It’s generally recommended that students fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1 for next school year’s aid, to avoid missing out on available funds. For instance, for the 2021-2022 school year, the FAFSA became available October 1, 2020, though the final deadline to submit was June 30, 2022, at the end of the academic year it applies to.


But because some federal student aid programs have limited funds, the US Department of Education recommends applying as soon as you can. Plus, there are often earlier school and state deadlines to worry about first.

Taking the Next Steps After Submitting the FAFSA

So what happens after you hit “submit” on your FAFSA?

  • First, students receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) which summarizes the data and information submitted. This generally arrives anytime from three days to three weeks after the FAFSA is completed.
  • Check if the information is correct (and if not, make corrections online if needed). The SAR will not state how much financial aid students will receive, nor will it detail the income or tax information submitted. Instead, if a school was listed on the FAFSA form and the student has been accepted, or you are currently enrolled in school, the school will calculate your aid and send you an electronic or paper aid offer (sometimes called an award letter) telling you the amount of aid you’re eligible for at that school.
  • Wait for aid acceptance. Timing of the financial aid offer depends on the school and can be as soon as the winter before the next academic year, or as late as the summer before the fall semester starts. It all depends on when the application was submitted and how the school schedules it out.

Understanding Your Financial Aid Award

Receiving financial aid can be a great relief when it comes to paying for higher education. But keep in mind that federal aid can come in the form of grants, work-study, and student loans.


Direct Loans are the most common federal student loans available for students looking for financial aid. Students who don’t qualify for enough financial aid via FAFSA and are still looking for ways to finance their education could look into scholarships, grants, or even private student loans.


For example, SoFi makes the process simple—to help make paying for school stress-free. Plus, SoFi has flexible repayment options to help you find the loan that fits your budget.


Keep in mind private student loans lack the same borrower protections as federal loans, so this method of financial aid should be considered as an option only after other sources of funding have been evaluated.

The Takeaway

Completing the FAFSA application is the first step in a student’s journey to apply for federal aid (including federal student loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study). The FAFSA form is generally released on October 1st of the year before the aid year and closes on July 30th of the school year. For the 2022-2023 school year, the FAFSA application opened on October 1, 2021 and will close on June 30, 2023.


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This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by


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What we know about Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt


Whether President Biden can unilaterally cancel student debt remains cloaked in secrecy for now. According to the Wall Street Journal, the reveal will likely happen in July or August.


This announcement will happen before September 1, when student loan payments are set to resume after the extended pause. Biden’s actions (and talk of his possible actions) have long since stirred a fierce debate on whether the president can actually cancel student loan debt. The following article breaks down the latest information. Keep reading to get all the details and context.


Related: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Student Loan Refinancing



Gage Skidmore


On the 2020 presidential campaign trail, Biden ran in part on a student loan reform platform. On top of suggesting potential changes to existing federal student loan forgiveness programs, he floated the possibility — both in Tweets and in campaign speeches — that he supported a proposal to forgive $10,000 in federal student loan debt.


And in April of last year, Biden asked the Department of Education if he had the authority to cancel student debt. He received a memo in response, but no public eyes have seen it so far. Thus, the cloak of secrecy.


For now.


Biden recently erased $5.8 billion worth of educational debt for all former students of Corinthian College, the now-closed, for-profit school. This is the largest single student-debt cancellation ever by the United States government.


Another $6.8 billion in student loans were obliterated for 113,000 borrowers through amendments to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This allows non-profit and government employees to have their remaining debt forgiven after 10 years or 120 payments.


And more than $8.5 billion in student loans have been forgiven for 400,000 borrowers who have a total and permanent disability.


Additionally, let’s not forget the $2.1 billion for 132,000 borrowers through borrower defense to repayment. People can apply for borrower defense if their education provider deceived them “or engaged in other misconduct in violation of certain state laws,” according to the ED’s Federal Student Aid office.


fizkes / istockphoto


As many borrowers keep their eyes peeled for Biden’s summer announcement, speculation is growing about what is happening behind the scenes.


Many believe a debate continues in the Biden administration over the political and financial ramifications of wiping out billions in student loans. On one hand, the November midterm elections would be a good reason to come through on a campaign promise. On the other hand, inflation, which the Federal Reserve is fighting by raising its interest rates, could be exacerbated by the sudden cancellation of billions of debt.


While the political environment is evolving quickly, here’s an overview of some ways Biden might tackle the issue…


So, can the president unilaterally forgive student debt? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren, among others, are pressuring Biden to take this controversial step, with the former repeatedly saying, “You just need the flick of a pen.”


Now that Biden has frozen repayments until Aug. 31, 2022, people are waiting for what happens next. Will it include a student loan forgiveness executive order? If not Biden, which president will forgive student loans in the future?

The coming announcement could impact how things unfold in the years to come.


The president reportedly plans to cancel $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower. According to the Washington Post, the latest plan is for limiting debt forgiveness to Americans who earned less than $150,000 (or possibly $125,000) in the previous year or less than $300,000 (or possibly $250,000) for married couples filing jointly.


But Biden is hesitant to cancel the debt with the stroke of a pen. So despite the mystery surrounding the memo from the Department of Education to Biden, he continues to act through them to avoid Congressional challenges to an executive order.




Youngoldman / istockphoto


Some want to see all student loan debt canceled. But reports about forgiving $10,000 are saying it would be for federal loans only. If you’re looking for private student loan relief, namely to lower your payments, you may want to consider refinancing.


Borrowers have been in limbo, waiting to know if and how much student loan debt the Biden administration will cancel. But with interest rates climbing, it could be a good idea to focus on the aspects of your educational debt that you can control.


One place federal borrowers can start is to determine if they qualify for existing federal student loan repayment programs — including income-driven repayment, deferment, and public service student loan forgiveness.


Another place, as mentioned earlier, is to look into student loan refinancing, it’s important to understand the refinancing process. When federal student loans are refinanced through a private lender, the borrower forfeits eligibility for federal repayment programs as well as federal protections like forbearance and deferment. (With private loan refinancing, a new private loan replaces the borrower’s existing educational debt — generally including new loan terms and rates).


Certain private lenders offer hardship programs to provide a cushion for the unexpected — like being laid off for no fault of your own. (Not all lenders offer these programs, so it’s key to read the lender’s terms and fine print).


When weighing whether to pursue student loan refinancing, some borrowers find it useful to research the rates and terms offered by lenders, including any fees or penalties.


Michael Krinke


When will student loans be forgiven?

There is no single answer to this. It depends on the type of loan you take out and your specific circumstances. The Student Loan Forgiveness page from the Department of Education  has all the current details to help you understand more.

Do student loans go away after seven years?

Sorry, there is no program currently in place for that. This belief stems from the fact people see student loans disappear from their credit report after this amount of time. Seven years after the first missed payment that led to a loan either defaulting or being charged off, the main three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) erase the default status and late payments from reports.

Are student loans forgiven after 25 years?

The answer to this is a “yes but.” Yesyou can have your student loans forgiven after 25 yearsbut only if you pay them under an income-driven repayment plan, and this only applies to federal loans. The U.S. government offers four income-driven repayment plans.


Deposit Photos


Major news outlets reported in late May that the president plans on forgiving $10,000 of federal student loans for each person who makes less than $150,000 (or $125,000) annually. He’s expected to make an announcement this summer, no later than when the Cares Act payment freeze is scheduled to end (August 31).


But if you are thinking of refinancing, it may not pay to wait for an official word. After all, interest rates are on the rise from their historic lows. Instead, you could refinance all but $10,000 (or whatever amount you think will be forgiven) and lock in today’s low rate.


Learn More:

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by


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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891  Opens A New Window.(Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636  Opens A New Window., a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see
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Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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