The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has extended the filing deadline for the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beyond the state’s original April 15 deadline. The extension is intended to ensure as many Hoosiers as possible can access financial aid in the coming academic year in the midst of challenges presented by the coronavirus.
Students who did not file the FAFSA before the April 15 deadline are encouraged to submit the form at FAFSA.gov as soon as possible. The Commission will consider students who file past the original deadline, however, limited funding is available on a first-come basis.
The extension applies to the 21st Century Scholarship and the Frank O’Bannon Grant. There is no FAFSA deadline for Hoosiers applying for the Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant.
“The FAFSA filing period opened in October 2019 and we always recommend students file the FAFSA as early as possible. We know there are unusual pressures on students and families right now,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “For years, Indiana has focused on making college more affordable for Hoosiers and we have been successful in that pursuit. Extending the FAFSA deadline during these extenuating circumstances is one more way we are committed to helping Hoosiers continue to prepare for their futures.”
The number of Hoosiers filing a FAFSA has decreased this year, which is likely because in-person, in-school learning has been canceled for the year, as have many FAFSA filing support events. As of April 13, Indiana residents filed over 215,000 FAFSAs in the 2020-21 application year, a decrease of 2.5 percent from the 2019-20 application year.
The Commission mailed out paper FAFSA forms to high school seniors enrolled in the 21st Century Scholars program and hosted two virtual FAFSA filing events, offering live help on social media and by phone for students and families. Efforts supported a 4 percent increase in the amount of completed FAFSAs in the weeks leading up to the April 15 deadline.