LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2021) — The time is here once again to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. All students, first-year and beyond, should fill out the FAFSA each year — and apply early.
Michael Birchett, director of counseling and outreach in the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships in the Office for Student Success, explains why submitting your FASFA form is so important.
What is FAFSA and why is it important?
The FAFSA is our abbreviation for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The information that students and families provide on the application helps our Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships identify the types of federal, state and institutional aid assistance we can offer. For most students who cannot pay for their educational expenses out-of-pocket, it the most important step in connecting them with financial assistance.
Do current students need to fill out FAFSA?
Absolutely they do! We frequently see students who understandably associate the FAFSA with their high school counselors or applying for admission. Due to this, they mistakenly assume the FAFSA is a one-time process before starting college. The reality is that the FAFSA needs to be completed every year by all students — new and continuing.
Is there a deadline for FAFSA?
There is a strict deadline for the FAFSA. For example, the 2021-2022 FAFSA, that our current students are using to fund this current academic year, closes on June 30, 2022. Even more important than the deadline is the importance of filing early. The 2022-2023 FAFSA just opened on Oct. 1. Some of our state aid programs provide additional grants to eligible students based on the order they file the FAFSA. Many of our students miss out on thousands of dollars in additional state grants simply from waiting too long to file.
Does UK have any resources to help students with their FAFSA?
Our Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships has a team of counselors who are ready to assist any student or family with completing the FAFSA. They can easily book appointments online to speak with counselors either in person or through a video platform. We also welcome walk-in appointments during regular business hours. In fact, if our door is not wide-open during business hours, I want students to let me know. Students are the reason we are here.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.