Figuring out FAFSA

Informational session set to help seniors complete application


Allie Tribe

FAFSA, a confusing part of the senior year checklist, is a federal aid application. To help answer questions regarding the form, Weatherford College – Wise County is hosting a FAFSA Night at DHS.

Allie Tribe, Editor

As one of the graduation requirements, FAFSA is high on the list of priorities for high school seniors. While the application process can seem daunting, the benefits of filing for FAFSA go far beyond checking off a requirement to get a diploma.

FAFSA, otherwise known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an important step for students considering college as their path after high school. The FAFSA gives students the chance to request federal grants, work-study and loans.

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is important for anyone even thinking about college because it is your only way to access over $150 BILLION in grants (free money), work-study programs, federal student loans, and certain state-based aid,” counselor Sean Stanton said. “It is also what colleges use to determine some scholarship awards.”

The application requires information about the applicant as well as their parent’s financial situation. Any information given on the application is used by the federal government to best match students with loans and grants they qualify for.

Since the form requires official documentation, tax returns and other information on a student’s financial status, the process is often viewed as overwhelming. Despite its reputation for being confusing, Stanton does not want students to feel discouraged by the application process.

“​​The most important thing for seniors to know about FAFSA is that it is not a difficult application, and there is a TON of help available,” Stanton said. “You can save as you go on the application, so the best idea is to get started as soon as possible.”

FAFSA tips can be found on a number of websites, but Weatherford College – Wise County will be hosting a FAFSA information session tonight, Nov. 1, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the DHS auditorium.

“There will be a brief presentation regarding the FAFSA, and then the rest of the time will be an opportunity to actually complete the application, and/or ask questions,” Stanton said. “In addition to the November 1st FAFSA Night, we will have UNT G-Force students on campus throughout the year to help guide students through both FAFSA and college applications.”

For those attending FAFSA Night, remember to create a FAFSA ID/account prior to the presentation. By doing so, it will allow students to jump right into the application process.

While FAFSA is now a graduation requirement per the state of Texas, students who do not wish to fill out the application can obtain an opt-out form from their counselor that can be submitted in place of the financial aid application.