Q16. When is the best time to fill out my FAFSA?
The best time to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is as early as possible after the first of the calendar year for the upcoming academic year (ex. complete your FAFSA for the 2012/2013 school year after January 1, 2012).
The FAFSA is designed to assess federal student aid eligibility but the information from your FAFSA is used to award various types of nonfederal aid as well, for example:
1. The State of Alaska uses your FAFSA to determine eligibility for the AlaskaAdvantage Education Grant if you submit your FAFSA before April 15th
2. The State of Alaska requires recipients of the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) to submit their FASA by June 30th.
3. The University of Alaska uses the FAFSA to determine eligibility for some institutional scholarships. To be eligible for these you must complete the FASFA and the UA scholarship application by the February 15th.
Submitting your FAFSA early could earn you additional non-federal financial aid.
Completing your taxes early will help you get a jump on the FAFSA because you'll need that information to complete the FAFSA accurately. You can estimate your tax information for the FAFSA using data from previous tax years, but you'll need to correct the amounts after your tax filing is complete. When possible, use the IRS data retrieval tool to complete your FAFSA as it can help prevent processing delays.