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Financial Aid: FAFSA & CSS Profile

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. a free, online application for financial aid for college. FAFSA opens each year on October 1 and requires the previous year's taxes; for example, a student entering college in Fall of 2021 would start the FAFSA Oct. 1, 2020 using their parent(s)/guardian(s)' 2019 taxes (this is not a typo; the FAFSA requires "prior prior year" taxes).

To start the FAFSA application: apply for an FSA ID here (one for student and separate one for parent/guardian); keep track of this ID & password for future years!

Colleges often have priority deadlines for FAFSA submission. Check with the college of your choice!

Students & parents need to submit the FAFSA every year that the student is in college.

FAFSA PRIORITY DEADLINES

Colleges typically set Priority Deadlines for students to complete the FAFSA. These are NOT drop-dead deadlines after which the college will not accept your FAFSA; rather, they are dates by which the college would prefer to have your FAFSA on file, so that they can allocate their limited financial aid award money in a timely manner. You have the best chance of receiving college financial aid if you submit the FAFSA by their Priority Deadline, and the best chance of receiving Grant $ from the federal government if you complete your FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1 each year.

FAFSA Priority Deadlines at popular colleges:

UNM: Jan. 5, 2021

Arizona State University: Jan. 15, 2021

Northern Arizona University: Feb. 1, 2021

Eastern NM University: Feb. 14, 2021

CNM: March 1, 2021

Colorado State University: March 1, 2021

NM State: March 1, 2021

NM Tech: March 1, 2021

Texas Tech University: March 1, 2021