Need some help completing financial aid forms? NIU offers free FAFSA Friday events all spring

FAFSA-Student-LoansTo assist students in applying for state and federal student aid, Northern Illinois University’s Student Financial Aid Office is offering “FAFSA Fridays” each week during the spring semester from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Swen Parson Hall 245.

The free events are open to current and prospective students and are designed to help students and parents complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All participants should bring 2012 W-2 forms and/or federal income taxes for student and parent, along with PINs and passwords for the FAFSA website. NIU’s school code is 001737.

By completing a FAFSA, students could be eligible for more than $10,000 in federal and state financial aid, depending on the financial circumstances of the applicant. Federal aid can come in the form of Pell grants and federal student loans, which also require FAFSA submission, while state aid includes Illinois’ Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Additionally, students can be eligible for additional institutional aid from NIU in the form of grants and merit scholarships.

Federal Student AidFilling out the FAFSA is the essential first step in receiving college financial aid, and it determines eligibility for grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs,” says Rebecca Babel, director of Student Financial Aid. “So take the time to complete your FAFSA early; it could pay huge dividends.”

Last year, 17,281 NIU undergraduate students received financial aid. Some need-based programs such as MAP have limited funding and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to qualifying applicants.

Jane Jordan, associate director of the Student Financial Aid Office, suggests estimating tax information if 2012 tax returns have not been completed. “Don’t let that stop you from filing your FAFSA early,” Jordan says. “We don’t know when the state will cut off MAP grant processing for the upcoming year, so we encourage all current and prospective NIU students to file their 2013-2014 FAFSA as soon as possible.”

NIU advisers are also available throughout the week to assist students with the online FAFSA submission.

For more information, visit the NIU Student Financial Aid website or chat online, call (815) 753-1395 (1-800-892-3050 toll-free) or email finaid@niu.edu.

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