UF’s ‘on-time’ application deadline for 2014-15 financial aid is March 15
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida students who complete their FAFSA and whose UF financial aid files are complete before March 15 have a better chance of receiving limited federal aid programs.
Such programs include Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Work Study and institutional need-based grant and scholarship funds. Federal aid is generally the most desirable aid. Federal loans, for example, are more advantageous for the student, both in terms of interest rates and repayment terms.
Students whose financial aid files are not complete by the March 15 deadline are eligible only for whatever aid remains after all on-time students have been awarded their packages. This typically means that the best aid is gone.
What can students do to prepare for 2014-15?
Most aid applicants nationally now apply online. UF recommends filing online using the FAFSA website. Filing an online FAFSA can save you weeks of processing time. The online application also has edit checks to catch errors. The online application is at www.fafsa.ed.gov
For your application to be considered “on-time,” the Office for Student Financial Affairs must receive your FAFSA results, with a calculated Expected Family Contribution (or EFC), by March 15. Submit your FAFSA weeks before the March 15 deadline so that there is enough time for your FAFSA data to reach the UF office before the deadline.
Don’t hesitate, estimate
Many students make the mistake of waiting to file their FAFSA until their income taxes for the previous year are complete. If you or your parents haven’t filed your federal income tax returns for the previous year when it’s time to apply for aid, report “estimated” income information on your FAFSA. The FAFSA site offers a handy income estimator for students as they file. You must correct your FAFSA if the estimate differs from the actual income.