With finals coming up, I’m sure the last thing you want to hear about is student loans or the FAFSA. BUT THE PRIORITY DATE HAS CHANGED to December 1st for the 2018-2019 FAFSA which is this Friday! It can be overwhelming to complete this application. However, in this article we’ll be answering some frequently asked questions about FAFSA and showing you why it’s not so scary after all!
What does priority date mean?
Priority date is the date that you should get your application in to be considered for limited funding; however, it is not the deadline. While the deadline isn’t until the end of the academic term in the state of Kansas, we encourage all students to apply by December 1st so they can be considered for priority funding.
Am I dependent or independent?
If you are uncertain about your dependency status, you can check www.studentaid.ed.gov to find out more. Some criteria that determines whether you are dependent or independent includes: your age, your marital status, whether you serve in the military, etc. If you’re dependent, you’ll report the information of both you and your parents, while if you’re independent, you’ll only report your own information.
What’s the difference between a grant and a loan?
A grant is financial aid given on a needs basis. Grants are going to be the financial aid that you want to accept first since you don’t have to pay these back. Some examples of grants include: Pell, KS Comprehensive, and Freshman Wildcat. Loans will come next in the hierarchy of what you want to accept since you will have to pay these back.
What’s the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized loan?
The difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans is when the loan accrues interest. Subsidized loans will be what you want to accept first. These loans are need based and will not accrue interest until after you begin your repayment. Unsubsidized loans are not given on a needs basis and will begin accruing interest once fully dispersed. It’s important that if you have unsubsidized loans that you regularly fulfill your repayment obligations so that you can avoid capitalization. Capitalization occurs when previous interest left unpaid begins to accrue interest as well. This will occur at the end of your 6 month grace period.
What’s work study?
Work study is another form of financial aid given by the government through your employer. If you check the box on your application indicating you are interested in work study and are eligible, then after finding an on-campus job, the government will pay part of your paycheck and your employer will pay the other part. This helps motivate students to work on campus and encourages employers to hire students.
Hopefully after learning these tips you’ll be better prepared to complete your FAFSA application. If you need any additional resources regarding your application feel free to make an appointment with Powercat Financial at www.ksu.edu/powercatfinancial!
Peer Financial Counselor I