More people may be applying for financial aid this year because of the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The FAFSA just opened up on October 1st for the Fall 2021 semester and experts say you should apply now.
"We understand that families are facing a lot of challenges right now," said Stefan Hyman, SDSU's Associate VP of Enrollment Management. "There's a lot of different forms of aid that students may be entitled to that would make a college education very affordable."
Hyman says the FAFSA is based off the previous year's tax information, but that you can then modify it based off your current income.
"A student filling out their FAFSA for Fall 2021 would report their and their family's tax information from the 2019 year," said Hyman. "File it earlier and sooner so that the financial aid offices can start working with you if they need to make adjustments this year."
Hyman says that's why you should file your application as soon as possible.
"It usually happens after the applications is in and most financial aid offices have requests for adjustments or appeal forms on their website," said Hyman. "They receive a lot of these in normal years but they are expecting to receive more this year given the circumstances."
Hyman says there is still plenty of time to make the adjustments depending on what happens with you and your family financially during 2020. Just make sure you've filed your initial application first.
"There isn't pressure on students to run and take care of this right away, but soon after the new year, by early 2021, I think that's the time you're going to want to start to file that," said Hyman.
SDSU says 50 percent of its students receive some form of financial aid and it is expecting more people to apply, even people who haven't in the past.
"Historically they would not have needed any sort of financial aid," said Hyman. "Then came February and march, a parent may have been laid off from work or they themselves lost their job and circumstances have changed."
To find out more about the FAFSA, or to begin filling it out, visit StudentAid.gov