Local high school seniors can file for financial aid

FROM STAFF REPORTS

High school seniors and their families can now submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2018 – 2019 academic year. Alabama Possible, a statewide nonprofit that removes barriers to prosperity, manages the Cash for College Alabama campaign, which teams up with school counselors, career coaches and other educators at high schools across the state to promote FAFSA completion.

“The FAFSA filing season has begun, which means students and their families need to submit the form as soon as possible. Students who file now won’t have to worry about missed deadlines and will maximize grant and scholarship aid.” said Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible. “Throughout the rest of the school year, high schools and colleges are offering free FAFSA workshops to high school seniors and their parents and guardians. We encourage all families, regardless of their income level, to file a FAFSA. There’s plenty of money available for college; you just have to complete the form.”

Any student seeking federal or state financial aid – including grants, loans and work-study programs – must complete the FAFSA. Many students will qualify for Pell Grants of up to $5,920 per year. Students can use Pell Grants for two-year and four-year technical and academic programs.

As students and their families get ready to submit the form, they should create their FSA IDs and leverage the IRS data retrieval tool to connect their 2016 tax returns to the FAFSA. Although the tool experienced a security threat last year, it is now secure. According to the U.S. Department of Education, new functions have been added to the tool to better protect sensitive information.

Students and their families can learn more about free Cash for College FAFSA workshops by visiting Cashforcollegealabama.org.

Cash for College Alabama is a partnership of Alabama Possible, the Alabama State Department of Education, Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama, and the Alabama Media Group.