Financial Aid & FAFSA
FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION
Financial Aid Timeline – Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors – What is Happening and What You Should Be Doing
GenTX Way to Pay: Financial Aid Guide – This helpful website and guide provide a wealth of information and videos for students and parents beginning the financial aid process. From an explanation of the challenges surrounding FAFSA to an in-depth look at the many types of financial aid, this is a great reference that you can download and print as you find your way to pay for college.
College Planning and Financial Aid Guide in English / GenTX – Spanish
Make It Happen – Don’t let the cost of college get in your way of your education. No matter who you are, you can find your way to pay. This website has some of the best resources sortable by grade level (Middle School, Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, and Adult) in one handy checklist to help you navigate the financial aid process. Print a pdf version of the checklist and mark the boxes off as you go to stay organized and make sure that you are takes the steps necessary to help you pay for college.
FinAid – The SmartStudent's Guide to Financial Aid is one of the most comprehensive annotated collection of information about student financial aid on the web.
Online resources (links to documents, videos) – English, Spanish
This resource has LOTS of information – well organized and can answer A LOT of your questions.
TEXAS Grant (Toward EXcellence, Access and Success Grant Program) – The Texas Legislature established the TEXAS Grant to make sure that well-prepared high school graduates with financial need can go to college.
TEACH for Texas Grant (Loan Forgiveness) – Every year the Texas Education Agency (TEA) submits list of teacher shortage areas by subject matter and a list of designated low-income schools to the U.S. Department of Education. Teachers with certain types of student loans may qualify for partial loan forgiveness, deferment, or cancellation benefits.
The Hazelwood Act – This State of Texas benefit provides qualified veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemptions at Texas public colleges or universities (not private or out of state). This exemption does not include living expenses, books, or supply fees. Eligibility and application information available on website.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application submitted to determine if a student is eligible to receive federal and state grant money for college. The FAFSA for Fall 2020 will be available for completion on October 1, 2019. To qualify for need based aid, all applicants must file the FAFSA.
On September 14, 2015, President Obama announced significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process that will impact millions of students. Starting 2017-2018, students were able to:
- Submit a FAFSA Earlier: Students will be able to file a FAFSA as early as October 1 rather than beginning on January 1. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
- Use Earlier Income Information: Students will report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2020–21 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2018 income information (already filed).
SCAM ALERT - The FAFSA is absolutely free. If you are on a website that is requiring a fee for processing the FAFSA, you are not on the correct website.
Steps to Complete the FAFSA:
- Prior to completing the FAFSA, the parent/guardian and student must apply for a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID so that they may sign the application electronically. (The FSA ID replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN on May 10, 2015.)
- Complete the FAFSA at https://fafsa.ed.gov/
When applying for financial aid, you'll need your FSA ID, income tax returns, W-2 forms and other records of income. A complete list of what is needed is on the FAFSA site.
FAFSA Submission Deadlines:
There are three FAFSA deadlines you need to know: federal, college, and state.
Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central time (CT) on June 30, 2021. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 11, 2021.
Each college or career school might have its own deadline. Check with the schools you’re interested in attending. You might also want to ask your school about its definition of an application deadline, whether it is the date the school receives your FAFSA form or the date your FAFSA form is processed.
Each state has its own deadline (TEXAS).
For priority consideration, submit your application by Jan. 15, 2020. Additional forms might be required. Private and two-year institutions might have different deadlines. Check with your financial aid administrator.
Best Resources for Getting Help with FAFSA 2020–21 – Not a government site, but has good information for students and parents
How to Complete the FAFSA (from College Board)
FAFSA – The How-To Guide for High School Students (and the Adults Who Help Them)
Parent’s Guide to Filling Out the FAFSA Form (from Dept. of Education)
Ultimate FAFSA Resource Guide (Smart Scholar)
FAFSA Resources (Edvisor)
Who is My Parent on FAFSA? - Especially important for students who have divorced parents or if they are living away from their parents at this time.
26 Places to Get Help with the FAFSA – Includes links to FREE FAFSA web resources, to in-person FAFSA help, to toll-free help, and to financial aid/FAFSA Webinars
Your FAFSA Connection: Info, Answers, Tools – An extensive set of FAFSA tips and information.
Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Student Loans 101- Includes 12 videos and 22 lectures to help understand these topics