This year, thanks to changes in federal legislation, there’s no need to wait until January to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a college student’s first step in receiving financial assistance.
As of Oct. 1, students attending or planning to attend Southwestern Illinois College can file their 2017-2018 academic year application. This is a full three months sooner than individuals could previously complete their application for the next school year. To file early, students and/or their parents will be using 2015 income tax data to complete the application. The changes are designed to make the application process easier, according to Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education. To file online, visit fafsa.gov.
“This federal-level change in FAFSA completion coincides with students’ college application and registration periods,” Southwestern Illinois College Financial Aid Director Bob Tebbe said. “Early FAFSA allows students and families to have a better understanding of the aid they’ll have available to go to school. That enables them to make a more informed decision about their school choices and plan for a student’s or family’s contribution to the educational costs.”
Students who might need help can participate in one of the FAFSA Completion Workshops offered by the college’s Personal Advocate Linking Services at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, 4950 Maryville Road. Sessions are scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24 and 31.
PALS representatives at the Belleville or Red Bud campuses or at the East St. Louis Community College Center can also assist. Visit swic.edu/PALS for office hours.
For more information or questions about early filing, call PALS at 866-942-SWIC (7942): Belleville, ext. 5558; ESLCCC, ext. 6583; Red Bud, ext. 8126; Sam Wolf Granite City, ext. 7347; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.