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FAFSA deadline approaches for students seeking federal aid for college

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA (FAF-suh), is critically important for students seeking state and federal funds for college.

The form’s June 30 deadline is quickly approaching, but there are many places for students and their families to go for help.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education said Indiana high school graduates missed out on 65 million dollars in federal need-based scholarships in 2021 because they did not complete the FAFSA.

Rachel Santos is director of education policy at the Indiana Latino Institute. She says the FAFSA’s complexity makes it difficult to finish, which can delay students from starting college classes.

"The FAFSA form is overwhelming and asks for a lot of information. You need your parents to be a part of the process. It's not something that a student can necessarily complete on their own, so ask for help," Santos said.

Santos says the FAFSA can be particularly intimidating for students from households with mixed immigration or citizenship status or families where money is not often discussed. Regardless, she says it is very important.

"I can't stress enough that Indiana really does have great state aid, and in order to be a part of that, you have to do the FAFSA application," Santos said.

To receive help with the FAFSA, students and their families can reach out to school counselors, the Indiana Latino Institute, Indiana’s INvest-ED and other nonprofits across the state.

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Kristin Adair