Better now than later 

Why FAFSA is so important   

Consider+the+amount+of+schools+that+have+gone+test+optional+because+of+the+disruption+COVID-19+caused+on+standardized+test+taking.+Although+seniors+still+face+many+challenges+compared+to+those+of+past+graduates%2C+they+should+still+acknowledge+the+importance+of+FAFSA.

Photo by Allyson Smith

Consider the amount of schools that have gone test optional because of the disruption COVID-19 caused on standardized test taking. Although seniors still face many challenges compared to those of past graduates, they should still acknowledge the importance of FAFSA.

Story by Logan Diggs, Managing editor

As the end of the first semester approaches, seniors face numerous different deadlines to apply to their colleges of interest. The admission process taking place this year is unprecedented. Consider the amount of schools that have gone test optional because of the disruption COVID-19 caused on standardized test taking. Although seniors still face many challenges compared to those of past graduates, they should still acknowledge the importance of FAFSA.

“FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. All students are encouraged to complete this to see if they qualify for federal grant money,” Associate Principal for College & Career Readiness Bettie Stark said. 

Students may think their families aren’t eligible to receive anything from FAFSA. However, by completing it, students who aren’t eligible to receive federal grants may reap other benefits.

“Although, one could go to college without doing FAFSA. They wouldn’t be eligible for federal student loans, applications or grants,” Stark said.”A lot of colleges won’t give out other awards like athletic scholarships and merit scholarships without receiving a student’s FAFSA.”

The process of completing FAFSA can be difficult and confusing. Thankfully, there are resources and advisors to help parents and students complete it in a timely manner. 

“It opened Oct. 1, and my personal opinion is that students should complete this as soon as possible considering the sooner the better. Most colleges require FAFSA by mid January,” Stark said.”Texas High hosted a FAFSA night back in October where we helped a lot of different families complete it, but if they missed that opportunity, I am always glad to help students in my office. Parents and students should also be aware that Texarkana College offers free FAFSA nights.”