By Jorge Campos |Staff Writer|
The U.S. Department of Education awards an average of $150 billion a year in grants, work study funds, and low interest loans to more than 15 million students, according to studentaid.ed.gov.
However, in 2011-2012 an average of two million high school graduates did not file their FAFSA and in California, about 100,000 students who did not file their FAFSA left over $396,000 on the table, according to nerdwallet.com.
More than 1.1 million students could have received as much as $3.8 billion in state and institutional grants (averaging to about $3,400 per student) if they would have filed their FAFSA within the first three months of the application cycle nerdwallet.com.
“FAFSA is very helpful because I am able to purchase all of my required books, pay for gas, and pay for food. Without FAFSA, I would definitely have to take out a lot of loans and struggle throughout college,” said student Luis Solis.
There are two types of Cal Grants: Cal Grant A, which provides need-based grant funds to low and middle-class income students to offset tuition costs and Cal Grant B, which provides funds to high-potential students from low-income, disadvantaged families to help ease tuition fees.
The Coyote Chronicle’s attempt to contact CSUSB’s financial aid office failed.
Federal Pell Grants are limited to students who have not earned their first bachelor’s degree.
A Pell Grant is money the U.S. Federal Government provides for students who need it to pay for college.
In order to maximize college student’s financial aid money, students must file the FAFSA application as soon as possible and should not be afraid of the fact that many may not qualify for financial aid, according to College Financing Group.
Because financial aid is on a first-come, first-serve basis, parents and students are encouraged to start the first step in receiving federal Pell Grants by filing the FAFSA application as soon as possible.
On Jan. 1 of each year, students may begin submitting their FAFSA applications.
Students who file the FAFSA application in January, February, and March usually receive twice as much grant money, on average, than the students who file the application later.
“Our goal is to make college more affordable by helping as many students and families as possible to apply for student financial aid for college,” stated Kantrowitz.
The FAFSA can be submitted at www.fafsa.ed.gov and is a necessary part of the financial aid process that makes students eligible for federal financial aid, including grants, loans, and work study, according to collegefinancinggroup.com.
As for all grants, there is a maximum amount that the government will fund for each applicant.
The maximum amount of grant money for the 2014-2015 has increased to $5,645, and for 2015-2016 it has increased to $5,830, College Financing Group.
To help students and parents complete FAFSA, Edvisors is making the 2015-2016 edition of their best selling book, “Filing the FAFSA; The Edvisors Guide to Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid”.
The book is available for free download at www.edvisors.com/fafsa-book.