FLINT (WJRT) - (10/02/2019) - It’s now time to get the ball rolling on paying that high cost of college.
The official filing period for the FAFSA opened Tuesday for students planning to attend college in the fall of 2020.
Applications for FAFSA help determine how much financial aid you can get.
And the earlier you apply, the better your chances.
"Don't delay because some states and some colleges have very limited funds and some of it is first-come, first-serve,” said Lori Vedder, the director of Financial Aid at the University of Michigan-Flint. “So it's important to get it done early."
Last year, the applications were made available to file on a mobile app and over the years the website has been made more user-friendly as well.
"The neat thing is they can start it, they can save it, they can walk away from it, they can come back, they can take a weekend to do it,” said Vedder. “Just make sure ultimately, in the end, you hit submit."
Tamara Morris has a daughter who is a first-year college student and she herself is a returning student. Waiting to file for financial aid is not something she recommends.
"File early, I know to get that completed and done so I know if there's any additional follow up needed it gives you more time to get that follow up issues completed and turned in," said Morris.
Vedder says they see that in the financial aid office often - students finish the FAFSA and think they are done.
"That is not always the case. In fact, in most cases there's still follow up things to do,” said Vedder, who recommends following up with the institutions you are filing for.
The FAFSA is completely free to file and Morris recommends it for anyone looking to attend college.
"Everyone should at least file, even if you know you don't fit any criteria to receive any federal financial aid. There are other programs and resources that are available to you."
To find out when deadlines for the FAFSA filing period are, as well as more information needed for the application -- visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa