State Rep. Darren Bailey is reminding high school, college, and non-traditional students planning to attend college next school year that October 1, 2019 was the first day to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal government for consideration of financial aid dollars.
“Not everyone chooses the college option after high school,” said Rep. Bailey, a member of the Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee. “Some people join the military and some go on mission trips around the world or go into the family business like farming. But for those who want to further their education and learn a trade at a college or university, this financial aid application is a must,” added Bailey.
The FAFSA evaluates finances to help determine a family or individual’s ability to pay for college. Information may be found online at: studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa. In addition to the FAFSA application, students should check into the Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant program and the AIM HIGH scholarships. AIM HIGH scholarships encourage Illinois students to attend an in-state university, improves access for low-income students, and incentivizes students to be excellent. The MAP grants information is available at isac.org.
“Knowing what you qualify for in financial assistance helps students planning to attend college get a leg up on the competition for student aid dollars. I suggest applying as soon as possible because many of the aid dollars are on a first-come basis and when they run out, that’s it for the year,” continued Bailey.
If a student isn’t quite sure if they should go on to college or not, the Illinois College 2 Career website is another tool for students to find Illinois colleges that best fit their educational priorities and career goals within the state. That information may be found online at www.ilcollege2career.com/.
“Establishing some financial certainty for yourself in regards to how you will afford school is a critical part of a successful educational plan. Whether you intend to go to Olney Community College, Lake Land Community College, or Eastern Illinois University, filling out the FAFSA is the first step to knowing what kind of assistance you may be eligible to receive,” concluded Bailey.