The Ultimate Guide to FAFSA Deadlines

Filing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) promptly is a crucial step in securing the largest financial aid package possible. The earlier you submit your FAFSA, the better your chances of receiving substantial aid. By getting ahead of the January 1 opening date, you increase your eligibility for first-come, first-served funds. So, push pause on Netflix and let’s jumpstart your college financial journey!

Pay Attention to Institutional Deadlines

While application deadlines may vary from one school to another, they typically fall in March, two months after the FAFSA application opens. However, some schools establish their FAFSA deadlines as early as January.

If you’ve already chosen a school, visit its website or contact the financial aid office to determine the specific FAFSA deadline. For those still deciding among multiple schools, check with each institution and submit your FAFSA before the earliest deadline. By doing so, you’ll maximize your financial aid potential, regardless of which school you ultimately attend.

Tip: Keep track of all the necessary deadlines for your calendar reminders. Set alerts a week or two in advance to ensure timely submission of your materials.

State Deadlines

State deadlines play a crucial role in determining your eligibility for financial aid. Although these deadlines can vary widely, most states require FAFSA applications to be completed and postmarked by the end of June.

However, it’s important to note that many families opt to complete the FAFSA much earlier due to limited funding programs with priority dates set by schools.

To find the deadline specific to your state, refer to the sidebar on the FAFSA application or visit

Federal Deadlines

Federal deadlines mark the last date to submit your FAFSA. For instance, to be considered for federal student aid for the 2024-25 award year, you must complete the FAFSA by June 30, 2025.

While waiting until the last minute is not advisable, some families do end up submitting the FAFSA after the school year starts, or even as late as the spring semester. However, financial aid experts strongly discourage this practice.

Ideally, you should submit your application well in advance to ensure timely consideration for enrollment. Any necessary corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time on September 17, 2025. This will cover your financial aid for the period from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025.

Summer session deadlines

Be aware that not all colleges treat the summer session the same way. It is crucial to check with your college to determine which year’s FAFSA application you need to complete to receive aid for the summer term.

Some institutions consider summer as a trailing session or the last term of the academic year. In this case, if you are seeking financial aid for the summer of ’25, you would need to submit the 2024-25 FAFSA by June 30, 2025. However, other schools may consider summer as the beginning of a new year, requiring you to complete the 2025-26 FAFSA for the summer of ’25.

FAFSA Renewal

Remember, submitting the FAFSA is an annual requirement for receiving financial aid. Whether you are renewing your FAFSA or starting from scratch, the same deadlines apply.

After submitting the form, you can opt for a FAFSA Renewal in subsequent years. The FAFSA Renewal pre-fills your information from previous years, but be sure to review the form and ensure all details are up to date.

Also read: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Aid and FAFSA

The Ultimate Guide to Financial Aid and FAFSA

The Takeaway: File Your FAFSA ASAP!

Don’t procrastinate when it comes to filing your FAFSA. Complete your application as soon as possible, even if you or your family haven’t filed your taxes yet. You can always submit a correction later if necessary.

By prioritizing the submission of your FAFSA, you’ll increase your chances of securing the maximum amount of financial aid available before funds run out. So, set Netflix aside, grab your documents, and get ready to make the most of your college journey with substantial financial support!

Share the knowledge