UNDATED – The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has extended the filing deadline for the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beyond the state’s original April 15 deadline.
Students who did not file the FAFSA before the April 15 deadline should submit the form at FAFSA.gov as soon as possible.
Filing the FAFSA is one of the most important steps in the college-going process and can help students and families better afford college and other higher education opportunities. Students must have a current FAFSA on file to qualify for state and federal financial aid and many merit-based scholarships also require a completed FAFSA.
“With over $350 million available in state financial aid each year, Indiana is committed to making post-secondary education affordable for all Hoosiers,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “But students and families must file the FAFSA for consideration and by extending the deadline, we can make sure more Hoosiers can access financial aid.”
There is no set date for the deadline extension and limited funding will be released on a first-come, first-served basis. It is critical for students or families who were not able to file by the original deadline to file quickly. The extension applies to Indiana’s financial aid programs, including the 21st Century Scholarship and the Frank O’Bannon Grant. (There is no FAFSA deadline for Hoosiers applying for the Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant.)
Current filing gap
The number of Hoosiers filing a FAFSA has decreased this year as in-person learning and filing events to assist students and families have been scaled back due to the pandemic. The overall FAFSA filing rate as of April 12 showed the rate of all FAFSAs down 1.3 percent compared to the same date last year.
For the class of 2021 in Indiana, the number of FAFSA filings were down more than 6 percent. For low-income students who qualify for federal Pell grants in the class of 2021, FAFSA completions were down nearly 14 percent.
“It is especially important for students from low-income households to file the FAFSA, so the drop for these students is concerning. The barriers are often greater for these students, who may not have access to high-speed internet, for example, or who may be first generation college students and feel daunted about the process,” Lubbers said. “The Commission’s staff, our trusted partners at INvestEd and many other organizations across the state are ready to help students and families take advantage of the financial aid that is available to them.”
File the FAFSA at FAFSA.gov. Learn how to create a Federal Student Aid ID here and visit LearnMoreIndiana.org for more resources, including the information needed to file. Students and families can always get FAFSA help by calling INvestEd at 317-715-9007.
New grant opportunity for Indiana to focus on FAFSA completion
The Commission was recently notified it was selected as one of 23 grant recipients through the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) and with the support of the Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. A $50,000 grant will support the Commission’s continued focus on FAFSA completion through new initiatives in urban areas for students of color and students from low-income households.
For more information about the FAFSA, answers to frequently asked questions and contact information for the Commission’s regional outreach staff, visit www.learnmoreindiana.org.