For Immediate Release: October 3, 2022
Gov. Evers Proclaims FAFSA® Filing Month in Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. – Today the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) announced Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed the month of October as FAFSA® Filing Month in Wisconsin. The proclamation encourages Wisconsinites to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) for the 2023-2024 academic year.
“Completing the FAFSA® is the first step in qualifying for financial aid to pay for college, graduate school, and career training programs,” said Gov. Evers. “I encourage all Wisconsinites to support our high school seniors and college students as they complete the FAFSA® and necessary steps to access financial aid resources that will allow them to succeed in postsecondary education.”
The FAFSA®, filed annually, is the gateway to virtually all federal, state, and institutional financial aid, including scholarships, grants, work study, and federal student loans, and many private scholarship providers require it as well. For those looking to enroll in postsecondary education during the 2023-2024 academic year, it’s important to submit the FAFSA® as soon as possible and take time to understand the various deadlines that apply. School deadlines can be as early as February or March 2023. By filing the FAFSA® in the fall, these deadlines will be met. To help students and families complete the FAFSA®, Gov. Evers, the DFI, and the HEAB offer the following tips:
- Do your homework before you file – Both students and parents should gather Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank statements, 2021 tax returns, and W-2 forms. Having this information ready before you begin the application can help expedite the process and alleviate stress.
- Create a Federal Student Aid ID – The first step, before filling out the FAFSA®, is to create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), which serves as an electronic signature. Parents and students can find a link to obtain a FSA ID through the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid at StudentAid.gov. To create a unique ID, applicants will need their Social Security number, date of birth, and their name as it appears on official documents.
- Complete the FAFSA® in October – Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, or from programs with limited funds. The earlier students and families complete the FAFSA®, the better their chances are to be in line for that aid. The FAFSA® is available at FAFSA.gov.
- Sync your tax return – The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will electronically transfer your 2021 federal tax return information onto your FAFSA®, expediting the process and simplifying the application.
- Be mindful of potential errors – Mistakes on the FAFSA® could delay an application, meaning students and families could possibly lose out on some financial aid. Entering incorrect social security or driver’s license numbers or forgetting to sign the application are some of the most common errors.
“Completing the FAFSA® is your ticket to being considered for financial aid, including aid you don’t have to repay, like scholarships and grants,” said DFI Secretary-designee Cheryll Olson-Collins. “Every year families nervously await and often postpone filling out the FAFSA®. Some even skip it entirely because they think it’s a waste of time and only a fast track to federal student loans. However, the FAFSA® package also includes college scholarships and grants. Not filling it out can result in families losing money that could have helped them pay for college. I encourage all Wisconsin students and families to submit a FAFSA® whether they think they will qualify for aid or not.”
According to the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) FAFSA® Tracker, through September 16, 2022, 50.3% of the high school class of 2022 in Wisconsin has completed the FAFSA®. There have been 36,202 completions in Wisconsin, a 1.5% increase compared to the last academic year. Nationally, the NCAN FAFSA® Tracker shows 57.2% of the high school class of 2022 has completed the FAFSA®, through September 16, 2022, a 4.5% increase compared to the last academic year. To see FAFSA® completion data by high school and public school district, visit Federal Student Aid’s application volume reports webpage.
“Many colleges and states, including Wisconsin, use the FAFSA® to determine both federal aid and eligibility for need-based state financial aid programs,” said HEAB Executive Secretary Connie Hutchison. “Wisconsin students and families should complete the FAFSA® for the 2023-2024 school year as soon as possible because many need-based financial aid programs are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis,” she added.
In Wisconsin, College Goal Wisconsin, an all-volunteer program that includes the commitment and support of many state agencies, businesses, secondary schools, colleges, and universities, helps students and families with the timely completion of the FAFSA®. College Goal Wisconsin is offering several free in-person and virtual events throughout the months of October and November. View the event dates and register to attend at CollegeGoalWI.org/Register.
For more information about Wisconsin’s student financial aid, including grant, scholarship, and loan programs, tuition reciprocity agreements, and tuition capitation contracts, visit the HEAB’s website at heab.state.wi.us. For more information about college affordability and the Wisconsin 529 College Savings Program, visit the DFI’s website at dfi.wi.gov.
Students and families with questions about the FAFSA® should contact Federal Student Aid or the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC), which provides support on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education.
For more FAFSA® tips, follow Federal Student Aid on Facebook and Twitter.