The Ultimate Guide to the FAFSA

Take the guesswork out of filing the FAFSA.

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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be used to apply for state grants and loans, not just federal student aid. Each state has its own deadlines for the FAFSA.

State FAFSA deadlines may be earlier than the federal deadlines. Some states have very early deadlines. Three states have deadlines in February, twelve states have deadlines in March and ten states award state student aid on a first-come, first-served basis until the money runs out.

States may also have their own financial aid application forms to complete.

FAFSA Deadlines by State

Please note:

  • The state FAFSA deadlines may have already passed. If so, prepare for next year’s form by adding a reminder to your calendar. Most state deadlines remain similar year after year.
  • State forms do not replace filling out the FAFSA. You must fill out the FAFSA to receive federal student aid.
  • The state deadline to note is that of your state of legal residence.
  • Additional forms may be required. Contact your high school’s counselor, your college’s financial aid administrator or your state agency for more information.
  • Deadlines are typically at midnight, Central Time.
  • Applicants should keep a copy of their submission.
  • Applicants should obtain a Certificate of Mailing and/or Delivery Confirmation for forms sent by postal mail.
  • Date received means received by the U.S. Department of Education, unless otherwise indicated.

State Financial Aid Deadlines for 2017-2018

October 1, 2017 (date received)

* Awards made until funds are depleted


Other FAFSA Deadlines