VSAC urges parents to fill out FAFSA for college aid

Vermont Student Assistance Corp., the state advocate for Vermont students in their pursuit of higher education, is urging parents and student to file their FAFSA forms now.

Education NewsThe FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the crucial first step to receiving financial aid, including federal Pell grants, VSAC’s Vermont State Grant, financial aid from the school that the student attends and for student loans.

“Simply put, no FAFSA, no financial aid,” said Scott Giles, VSAC president and CEO. “Vermonters know the cost of continuing their education is a big investment. Whatever you’re doing right now, stop. Take the 30 minutes to file the FAFSA and get all the financial aid that you are eligible for.”

Unfortunately, high school graduates across America miss out on as much as $2.7 billion in free federal grants each academic year because they don’t complete or submit the FAFSA. The average amount of money left on the table per eligible high school graduate who didn’t apply was $1,861.

In Vermont, high school graduates missed out on about $5.5 million in free federal Pell grants. That’s because about half the high school graduates don’t complete the FAFSA. The average federal grant for eligible students would be $3,546.

Some might think they’re not eligible for assistance, but there’s no income cutoff to apply for federal student aid, experts say. Families can use the FAFSA4caster to gauge how much federal financial aid they may receive based on an estimation of expected family contribution.

Students can learn more about the FAFSA and file online by visiting www.vsac.org/fafsafirst. VSAC also has links to the online applications for the Vermont State Grant, available to Vermont students enrolled full-time or part-time.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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