The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Completion of the FAFSA is required by the State of Illinois for graduation.
We have been told that for the 2023-2024 school year, the FAFSA will be available by December 31st.
Students and families will have three options for FAFSA completion in 2-24. (1) the FAFSA itself, which is preferred, (2) the alternative application for Illinois financial aid, which Illinois makes available for students and families who cannot complete a FAFSA, or (3) a waiver families can complete if they refuse to complete the FAFSA or alternative application. Please note one of the three MUST be completed for students to be able to graduate with the class of 2024.
Links to forms - you MUST complete one of these for graduation!
1. The FAFSA (college, or other training programs/trade schools)
2. The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid - possible through Rise Act (ideal for undocumented and transgender students) info here
We know that the FAFSA (and any financial information) can bring up lots of questions. Your SHS counselors have all received some training on the FAFSA and are happy to help.
In addition, we have a great partner in ISAC - the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, whose mission is to Provide Illinois students with information and assistance to help make education beyond high school accessible and affordable.
ISAC offers workshops on FAFSA completion and provides Streamwood High School with a dedicated representative who is available to answer questions about the FAFSA and provide expert assistance.
FAFSA PRESENTATION HERE
To work with Areli Garcia (ISAC Rep):
- Ariana Benetiz - e-mail - 847-738-8968
- Se habla espanol!
These are chances to work with our ISAC rep. Ms.Benetiz can help to better understand what the FAFSA is, what it requires, how it works, and how to complete the FAFSA or the Alternative Illinois Application for Financial Aid.
When it’s time to complete the FAFSA, you can also visit http://www.isac.org to locate a FAFSA completion workshop near your home or school. All workshops listed are open to the public at no fee.
Completing the FAFSA
Completing the FAFSA - the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - can seem intimidating, but here are some steps to start with and make it simpler!
- The student will need an FSA ID account – create it at https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch?continueTo=fafsa and use your PERSONAL E-mail (not your school one!). You will use this FSA ID account every year you complete the FAFSA
- The Parent (and ideally the parent who files the family taxes) will need a separate FSA ID. Note - they may already have one for an older sibling. Again – create (or look up) at https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch?continueTo=fafsa
- The reason both student and parent need an account is to sign the FAFSA application at the end of the process.
- Once your accounts are created, go to: http://www.fafsa.gov
The following year's FAFSA is available to complete every year after Oct 1. Remember to complete the for the year you will be starting college (not the current year). Either the parent or student can fill out the FAFSA. Completing the FAFSA means both the child and the parent's income is reported. Both parent and student must sign electronically.
To complete FAFSA or the Alternative Application, you'll need
- Family tax return
- The student info, including birthdate, social security number (or Alien Registration Number, if student is not a U.S. Citizen) , driver's license (if applicable).
- The parents' info, including birthdates, social (if applicable), marriage date. Parents who do not have a SSN must enter 000-00-0000
- The prior year's federal tax returns, W-2s, and other records of income
- Banking statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
- List of colleges student would like to attend (whether you've applied or not - you'll want to list these on the FAFSA)
Once the FAFSA is complete, it looks at YOUR (student's) and PARENTS income. Then it determines ability of student / family to pay, then generates an EFC - Estimated Family Contribution. This is how much government "thinks" your family can afford to pay every year for college. The college then creates a financial aid package and tries to make up the difference with scholarships, grants (both of which are free money), work study (which you should do) and loans - both subsidized and unsubsidized, You can reduce the loans you take out with private scholarships. Private scholarships are generally awarded on merit - either academic accomplishments, volunteering, or extra-curricular involvement.
Once you have completed the FAFSA, you may be selected for a process called verification. Do not be alarmed, this is a common process used by colleges and universities to confirm that the data on the FAFSA is correct. You may be asked to submit additional documentation. Provide only the information requested and be sure to submit it on time.