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College & Career Training in Alaska

20Nov

Why is the FAFSA Important?

Fact: Each year billions of dollars in student financial aid go unclaimed because students who are eligible for aid do not fill out one form (the FAFSA) and inadvertently leave all this money “on the table”.

There are many myths surrounding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (the FAFSA), which may effectively discourage individuals from applying. One of the most common myths is that “My parents make too much money, so I won’t qualify for aid.” Wrong!

The reality is that there is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. While determining your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and, as a result, your eligibility for federal student aid, the U.S Department of Education takes into account several factors, not only your family’s income. What’s more, when you fill out the FAFSA, you’re also applying for state financial aid (Alaska Performance Scholarship and Alaska Education Grant), AND even institutional financial aid! In fact, nine times out of ten, in order to be considered for the scholarships (including academic scholarships) offered by your postsecondary school, you have to submit the FAFSA.

If you make assumptions about what you may qualify for instead of finding out for sure by filling out the FAFSA, you’re hurting yourself in the long run. Don’t fall for the myths about federal student aid and the FAFSA. Instead, do your research, be vigilant, and be proactive! With endless resources available to you and your family, you can do this! Remember, the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) is here for you. Our purpose is to serve Alaskans and we take that very seriously. ACPE’s Outreach Team offers support, guidance, and assistance with your postsecondary education and career training planning.

We can debunk the myths about the FAFSA and help students access the funding they need in order to continue their postsecondary education. Our education planning tools and resources include free FAFSA completion assistance through initiatives such as FAFSA Time Alaska and FAFSA Wednesdays.

These initiatives, jointly coordinated by ACPE and our partners in education across the state, are designed to provide individuals with expert guidance through the FAFSA process. The ultimate goal of FAFSA Time Alaska and FAFSA Wednesdays is to ensure individuals submit their FAFSAs successfully and stress-free. Alaska families can expect nothing short of that.

Check with your school’s Counselor, Career Guide, or Teacher about FAFSA Time Alaska event availability in your area OR join us for virtual FAFSA Wednesdays to get more personalized FAFSA completion assistance.

Fact: A better-educated workforce will provide a stronger Alaska economy in Alaska, which benefits all Alaskans. Filling out the FAFSA is the very first step in that direction! Don’t delay any further, take action! Reach out to Dominika Szpotanska, ACAC Coordinator, or visit https://acpe.alaska.gov/FAFSA for more information.

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