Raise your hand if you ever forgot or came close to forgetting something ------------ me too! For the most part, being semi-forgetful is okay but there are some things you just cannot forget, like important dates and deadlines. In the realm of financial aid, dates and deadlines are vital, especially if you want to receive your funds on time – or at all!
A lot of gift- id (e.g. grants or scholarships) require students to apply months in advance. For example, in order to be eligible for the Alaska Education Grant (AEG) and/or the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS), students have to fill out the application by June 30th (the application being the FAFSA) – but the sooner after October 1st, the better, especially when it comes to the AEG. The two sections below cover important deadlines in Fall and Spring:
August – September
For some, Fall is when they hit the ground running in regard to securing financial aid for the next academic year – which is great because some financial aid programs operate on a first-come-first-served basis. If you are in college, the most important date to remember is the add/drop deadline – if you drop a class after the deadline, you’re still responsible for paying for the class (see Where’s My Financial Aid). If you are approaching senior year in high school, see I am a Senior in High School, what should I be doing?
One word -- FAFSA! The application for the upcoming academic year is released October 1st of every year. Check out our FAFSA folders for a general overview of the FAFSA and financial aid process. If you would like a hard copy, contact the ACPE Success Center at 907-269-7980. Every state has their own priority deadline to submit the FAFSA by for consideration for state financial aid. If you are not sure of yours, click here (FYI – Alaska’s priority deadline is June 30th).
November – December
The holidays can be a joyous occasion and normally come with a break, but don’t forget about following up with your financial aid. If you completed the FAFSA already, check out the info here: FAFSA is completed, now what? This would also be the most opportune time to research scholarship opportunities! Check out the Financial Aid Sort in AKCIS – free to all Alaskans!
January – March
Game on! Remember the research you did in the Fall regarding scholarships? If you haven’t already, now is the time to submit last minute scholarship applications. Aside from the Alaska Performance Scholarship, here is a list of 15 “best” scholarships in Alaska. Also, if you’re already in college, remember the add/drop deadline I mentioned under the Fall section? There will also be one for Spring semester classes! Make sure you remember the deadline just in case you need to drop or switch a course.
April – May
Spring is almost over and you can see Summer at the end of the tunnel! Woohoo! However, before you make summer plans, remember to follow up on your financial aid for the upcoming school year. After you file the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office at your institution might need additional information and/or documentation to finalize your financial aid award package for the Fall.
For example, one out of three students are selected for verification , which means the Financial Aid Office needs additional information and financial documentation. If selected for verification, make sure to complete the verification process in a timely manner because processing can take 4-6 weeks!
June – July
Summer is here and now it’s time to explore nature and make fishing plans. But wait! Make sure the following have been completed:
- FAFSA – Remember the FAFSA is the application for the APS & AEG and June 30th is the deadline
- If selected for verification, make sure you complete the process in a timely matter
For the APS scholars and AEG recipients please make note that the APS and AEG funds are normally disbursed after the add/drop deadline. To check the status of your APS and/or AEG funds, click here.
The financial aid process can sometimes feel like you’re eating an elephant whole, but don’t fret! If you need any [free] assistance with completing the FAFSA or need guidance with formulating a plan for your postsecondary journey, please come see us at the ACPE Success Center!