Penny Wise: It’s never too early to apply for FAFSA

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Everyone should apply, scholarship director says.

By Katherine Garcia

Turn in your FAFSA as soon as possible because the sooner you apply, the sooner aid comes in.

The priority deadline is March 1, and the deadline for online FAFSA applications is midnight June 30.

Representatives from Café College will be here from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday in Room 707 of Moody Learning Center to help students apply. They also provide one-on-one assistance 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through March 1 at Café College, 131 El Paso St.

Members of VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, which provides free income tax filing for families earning less than $60,000 a year, will help prepare returns 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 22 at Café College.

Students should file tax returns as soon as possible so they can send a copy with the application.

Eyra Perez, director of the San Antonio Education Partnership, an organization that offers scholarships and runs Café College, however, said students can complete the FAFSA before they have filed.

She suggested using the previous year’s returns to file early and submitting updated forms later.

She said more than $800 million in financial aid was awarded to this city’s students this year. “Our advice to everybody is to fill it out,” including those who don’t think they qualify.

If filling out a FAFSA without assistance, log onto www.pin.ed.gov to apply for a PIN number to sign the document. Dependents must also ask a parent to apply for a PIN.

In addition to tax returns, applicants need W-2 forms and Social Security numbers. Those who are married must provide information for themselves and their spouse.

Dependents must also provide parents’ Social Security numbers, date of marriage and birth, savings, investments and business assets.

A Student Aid Report will be returned to the student in three days to three weeks if corrections or verifications are needed.

Those who don’t qualify can apply for the TASFA, the Texas Application for State Financial Aid.

Students must have sent in admissions applications before completing either FAFSA or TASFA.

For information, call Café College at 210-207-4528.

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