Many students and their families believe that a student must be accepted by a particular school before they fill out their FAFSA application. However, this is a misconception. Studies have shown that students should fill out their application at the same time they apply to colleges in their senior year of high school.
There are thousands of students each year that apply for federal financial aid. Furthermore, there is only a certain amount of money that is given and it is mostly first come, first serve. If a student fills out their FAFSA late, they may miss out on available funds, regardless of their academic standings.
In many cases, FAFSA paperwork is completely transferable and once you have completed the application, there is no need to fill out a new one each year. Students’ senior year is very busy, so it would make the most sense to get this task done as early as possible.
Some schools also have additional paperwork that goes along with your FAFSA status. The quicker seniors get their FAFSA application done, the better chance they have receiving further financial aid through institutional scholarships and grants.