Dates, Tips, & Reminders
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA, is “the largest source of financial aid to pay for college”. The FAFSA allows you to apply for federal student aid, grants, work-study, and loans for funding college.
You must complete the FAFSA every year you plan to attend college in the following year. For example, if you are planning to attend college during the 2020/2021 school year that starts next fall, you need to complete the FAFSA before your school's preferential or priority filing date.
Important Dates for FAFSA
- October 1st, 2019. The FAFSA for the 2020-2021 year has opened.
- January 5th, 2020. UIUC highly encourages students to complete before this date.
- February 15th, 2020. Priority filing deadline for UIC.
- March 15th, 2020. Preferential filing deadline for UIUC.
- UIS has a rolling submission, so there is no priority or preferential filing deadline.
If you don't file by the priority filing date, you could lose access to financial aid that you would otherwise be eligible for. Certain types of aid, like Pell grants and MAP grants (offered by the state of Illinois), run out of funds every year, so the sooner you complete the FAFSA, the more likely you are to get those grants if you qualify for them.
Tips & Reminders
- It is the student's responsibility to complete the FAFSA.
- The FAFSA requires prior-prior year tax information from the student and their parent(s).
- There is a mobile app, myStudentAid, that can speed up the process.
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import tax information into the FAFSA.
- If you're selected for verification, don't delay in completing the required forms.
Contact Info for each university in the University of Illinois System
The Federal School Code for each respective university will be used in question 103a in the application.
Resources for Students
Resources for Parents
If you have further questions, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center via phone, chat or email, or contact the Financial Aid Office at the university you or your student are planning to attend.