October 1, 2019

The time is now to apply for financial aid

If you want to maximize the amount of financial aid you are eligible for, the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submission process is now open. 

“This is the third year that the FAFSA is available in October and our goal is to promote early filing so that high school students can compare financial aid offers early, “ said Cathy Kay, director of the Office of Student Financial Aid. “It is important for students to get a picture of their finances early so that they are prepared for college. The earlier they file, the more chances they have to be eligible for scholarships and grants. We will begin sending 2020-21 award letters out in December to incoming freshmen who have filed their FAFSA and applied for admission by Dec. 1.”

Wayne State is providing some incentives to encourage students to file.

Students who have completed the admission application and filed their FAFSA by Dec. 1 will be eligible for priority consideration for merit scholarships and be entered into a drawing to win one of five $500 book scholarships. Despite the push to fill out FAFSAs, Kay said it’s also important that students and their parents take their time when doing so to avoid any errors.

To help students, the Office of Student Financial Aid is offering FAFSA Fridays, during which a financial aid officer will assist students with the filing process. FAFSA Fridays will be held on Oct. 4 and 18, and Nov. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Oct. 11 and 25, and Nov. 8 (Lab C) and 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the David Adamany Undergraduate Library, Lab A. No appointment is needed.

If you cannot make any of these dates or times, financial aid officers are available to help students with questions about the process. Walk-in hours at the Welcome Center are from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. 

For many families, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will transfer income and tax information from the 2018 tax return to the 2020-21 FAFSA and accurately fill in the data fields for them. This will save time in completing the FAFSA as well as later, should the Financial Aid Office need to review your application for any corrections. "This is a good idea because it not only simplifies the process of filing a FAFSA, but can save students and families from delays later in the awarding cycle,” said Kay.

Some of the items needed to fill out a FAFSA:

  • Federal Student Aid IDs for the student and the parent
  • 2018 tax return information
  • Information on child support payments
  • Current bank account statements
  • Investment accounts (if applicable)
  • Social Security numbers
  • Your name must be listed on your FAFSA as it appears on your Social Security card

To be considered for a WSU Grant award, the FAFSA must be filed and received by the financial aid office by March 1, 2020. FAFSAs filed after March 1 will be only considered for the Federal Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loans.

A step-by-step FAFSA help-guide is available at studentaid.ed.gov.  

Michigan residents should file the FAFSA by March 1, 2020, to be considered for a State of Michigan scholarship.

Detailed information about federal financial aid is available at studentaid.ed.gov. Additional information about WSU financial aid is available at wayne.edu/financial-aid.

File the FAFSA online at fafsa.gov using the Wayne State University school code 002329.

If you have questions about the financial aid process, contact the Student Service Center at studentservice@wayne.edu.

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