The state office of Student Financial Assistance is asking the class of 2020 to complete their FAFSA application.
Brittani Williams, LOSFA’s Financial Aid and Career Development Specialist, said FAFSA is a one-stop form, and students who do not complete a FAFSA could be missing out on free money.
Free money is another name for gift aid, or financial aid that does not have to be paid back. LOSFA is encouraging students and parents to complete the application to find out how much gift aid they qualify for.
Filling out the FAFSA can reduce a student’s out-of-pocket payments for post-secondary studies.
The FAFSA is the application for federal aid such as the Pell Grant, Work Study and Federal Student Loans. The FAFSA is also the application for state aid such as the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), and the Louisiana GO Grant. In addition, many institutions also use information from the FAFSA when deciding which students receive scholarships, also known as institutional aid. Some national scholarships, like the Bill Gates Scholarship, also require completion of the FAFSA.
“Even though we are socially distant from one another, our team is dedicated to providing ongoing virtual assistance to students and families to ensure that they receive the maximum amount of aid they qualify for,” said LOSFA’s Executive Director Sujuan Boutte. “This is the basis of our FAFSA Now initiative: Aid is available; You have to apply in order to receive it, and the LOSFA team is here to help.”
LOSFA will also be available online to help students and their parents complete the FAFSA or make any corrections.
The National College Attainment Network (NCAN) recently announced the FAFSA is a common measure to gauge whether a student will persist or enroll in college; 72 percent of seniors who complete the FAFSA are more likely to continue in post-secondary education.
According to NCAN’s FAFSA Tracker, 63.2 percent of Louisiana seniors have completed the FAFSA as of March 27th, placing Louisiana at number two in the nation for FAFSA completion. Louisiana has ranked number one in the nation the last two years in a row.
“It’s more critical now than ever that students file the FAFSA. In time of uncertainty, it is critical to focus on that which we can control. Filing the FAFSA in order to maximize the amount of aid received for college is within the control and reach of students and families,” said Boutte.
To receive virtual assistance with the FAFSA: text the word ‘LOSFA’ to 50065, use #GeauxFAFSA on social media, and/or email GeauxFAFSA@la.gov.