There are four important deadlines to keep on your radar with the start of the New Year. Meeting these deadlines for the 2016-2017 academic year will give your students the most cash possible based on their financial aid eligibility. Help your students financially plan for next year by working hard to meet these WSU Student Financial Services (SFS) deadlines.
DEADLINE #1: JANUARY 31ST
Make sure your students complete the 2016-2017 General Scholarship Application by Sunday, January 31st, 2016. This one scholarship application can qualify your students for over 700 WSU scholarships. Remember, though, pursing other scholarship opportunities through your local community and by contacting WSU Academic Departments is a smart strategy as well.
DEADLINE #2: February 15th
WSU’s priority filing date for the 2016-17 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) of February 15 in order to ensure eligibility for the most financial funding possible. A student can file the FAFSA anytime of the year for aid consideration; however, meeting this priority date increases the student’s chances of being awarded the “free” aid money, such as grants.
- The 2015-2016 FAFSA is online and free to complete.
- When filling out the FAFSA, the student and parent(s) need to work together on completing the application information.
- Taxes do not need to be completed before filling out the FAFSA. Use estimated figures to submit your FAFSA initially, meeting the February 15th priority deadline. Once your taxes have been filed, return to the FAFSA and update any numbers. Plus, FAFSA figures can be updated using the IRS Data Retrieval tool – which pulls tax information directly from the IRS website. This handy tool works best if used 2-3 weeks after the tax return has been accepted and reviewed by the IRS. For more information, this flyer from the U.S. Department of Education explains the process: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/resources/irs-drt-text
DEADLINE #3: February 15th
- The 2016-2017 WASFA* (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) is due by February 15;no extensions are allowed. Students should fill out the WASFA or the FAFSA, not both. The WASFA is for *HB-1079 and qualifying DACA students only. The 2016-2017 Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) is now available to complete and the deadline is February 15th.
- If a student does not meet this deadline, he/she cannot fill out the WASFA any other time of the year and could potentially miss out on free grant funds from the state of Washington to help pay for school.
- Please encourage “Dreamer” students to meet this deadline. The WASFA is a great opportunity for low-income, non-U.S. citizen students unable to file the federal FAFSA to be considered for state financial aid. For more information and to access the application, go to http://www.readysetgrad.org/wasfa.
DEADLINE #4: May 15th
May 15th is the deadline to send in any additional documentation requested by WSU’s Student Financial Services (SFS) office.
- After the FAFSA/WASFA is received by the SFS (financial aid) office, certain students will be selected for “file review” which is the process of verifying the accuracy of the information provided on the FAFSA/WASFA.
- File review is done by collecting documents such as tax return transcripts and other forms from parents and students. If a student is selected for file review, he/she will be sent an email requesting documents and/or forms. Encourage your students to submit requested information right away!
- The May 15th deadline serves as a date for students (and parents) to submit all requested documents. This is a critical date to be sure a student receives the most aid possible for the upcoming year.
Please encourage your students to know these four key deadlines and to meet them as they go through their senior year. College will be here before you know it and financing their college degree should be a top priority. Go Cougs!
SFS is ready to help guide parents and students!
Student Financial Services (SFS) is the WSU office on campus that handles and processes scholarships and financial aid for the university. Both WSU and Student Financial Services are committed to helping students and their families find workable and realistic solutions to the challenge of funding a college education. If you need guidance and/or have questions, please contact us!