INDIANAPOLIS — Thursday is the deadline for students to file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2021-22 school year in Indiana.
According to the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Office, applications are down about 6.4% this year in the state.
The FAFSA is needed to determine student's eligibility for not only federal funds, but some states, colleges and organizations use the application to determine financial aid.
“We think a lot of the reason is high school seniors haven’t been in school, Ed Pacchetti, director of customer analytics for the Federal Student Aid Office, said. "So all those cues that a high school senior gets in school either through posters or through interacting with a teacher or guidance counselor or a coach, anybody to encourage them to file a FAFSA, those cues haven’t been there.”
You will need income information and general information about your family to fill out the FAFSA, which can be done online or by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.
The FAFSA uses tax data from the last two years.
"So if for some reason your financial situation has changed from when you filled out your taxes a couple years ago, you can approach your school and ask them to look at your current financial situation, and they’ll look at your current situation and make sure you get all the aid you’re qualified for," Pacchetti said.
The application will only take about 20 minutes to complete, Pacchetti said.
“It’ll just pay off. It will just give you options come this fall," Pacchetti said. "Even if you’re not sure if you’re going to go to college or not this fall, fill out the FAFSA, get as much money as you can to help you pay for school and give yourself options in the fall.”