FAFSA opened for students to apply for the 2014-15 school year

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is now open for students for the 2014-15 school year. The application opened Jan. 1 and students have until June 30, 2015 to apply. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible in order to take advantage of first-come, first-served financial aid.

According to the official FAFSA site, the application provides over $150 billion each year to students to help pay for higher education. The office of Federal Student Aid is able to provide students with grants, loans and work study programs. For a lot of students, FAFSA has made college a possibility.

“I personally think FAFSA is beneficial for students. It’s one of a couple reasons I can actually go to a university of my choice,” freshman Taylor Trujillo said. “If it wasn’t for FAFSA I would either be at a small community college tying to balance school and a job or I would just not be going to school.”

FAFSA distributes all available federal student aid funds to students attending more than 6,200 colleges and career schools.

To gain more aid, students can look into the U.S. federal government, private scholarships or head to the University of Oregon Financial Aid office. Students can also receive aid from numerous programs the federal government offers, including things like aid for serving in the military or being the spouse or child of a veteran, tax benefits for education, Education Award from the AmeriCorps and educational and training vouchers for foster youth.

In addition to determining eligibility for federal grants and loans, the FAFSA is also a critical step in acquiring aid from the UO.

“In order for any students to receive federal aid or any type of scholarship that is based on financial aid they need to file a FAFSA,” Financial Director Jim Brooks said. “Filing for FAFSA is free. All you need is the time and if you’re an Oregon resident you should do that soon because there are limited funds.”

Important deadlines to keep in mind in order to be eligible for in-state funding are Feb. 1 for the Oregon Opportunity Grant and March 1 for the Oregon Student Access Commission scholarship.

Contacting the financial aid office is another resource for students who might have questions or concerns or who want to know more about financial aid options.

For those who have not yet filed for FAFSA, further information regarding eligibility and options can be found on

“I can’t stress how beneficial FAFSA can be because it lets students focus on education and attending a school of their choosing,” freshman Jose Meza said. “If FAFSA wasn’t an option for me I would be taking less courses during the year, working more hours and taking classes over summer. It does a lot.”

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