File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) before Indiana’s April 15, 2021 deadline or risk losing out on millions of dollars in state and federal financial aid. That’s the message the Indiana Commission for Higher Education is sending students and families across the state with one month left to file the 2021-22 FAFSA.
Filing the FAFSA is an important step in the postsecondary enrollment process for all Hoosier students and families—despite socioeconomic status. Having a current FAFSA on file ensures college is as affordable as possible and opens opportunities for federal, state and institutional financial aid.
It is free to file the FAFSA online at www.FAFSA.gov or even via mobile phone. Today, the form can be pre-populated with 2019 tax information, making it even easier for families to navigate the process.
Unfortunately, FAFSA filing rates are lagging nationally compared to last year; the story is no different in Indiana. About 10 percent fewer FAFSAs have been filed by Indiana’s 2021 high school graduating class so far this year. More troubling, the filing rate is down about 20 percent for low-income students—those who stand to benefit the most from financial aid—in the same cohort.
“Fewer students filing the FAFSA is a serious concern for Indiana. We have been working for decades to make college as affordable as possible for Hoosier students and families. We have made great strides in this area, but we need Hoosiers to take action and not leave money for financial aid on the table,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers.
Indiana has been working in partnership with organizations around the state to emphasize the message of filing the FAFSA before the April 15 deadline and has a staff of dedicated outreach members working with students and families in virtual and safe in-person settings where possible.