Laura Berlinsky-Schine 6 min read 12th Grade, Financial Aid

Guide to the FAFSA Deadlines for 2021-2022

How will you pay for college? That’s a question on a lot of high school students’ minds.

 

A majority of college students qualify for financial aid. The first step in securing it is completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This important, legal document will be used by federal and state governments and colleges to determine your eligibility for different types of aid. It’s imperative that you don’t miss key dates, so we’ve listed all the federal and state deadlines, as well as information about next steps.

 

What is the FAFSA Used for?

 

The FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for federal aid, as well as your state and college aid in most cases. It’s essentially a legal contract between you and the government saying you’ll apply the award toward your education. 

 

After you submit it, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) detailing aspects of your award like your Expected Family Contribution, or the amount your family will be expected to pay toward your education. Most students’ financial aid awards are a combination of federal grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study.

 

National FAFSA Deadlines 2021-2022

 

For the students planning to start college in the 2021-2022 academic year, the federal deadline for submitting the FAFSA is June 30, 2021 (June 30, 2021 for the following academic year). Corrections or updates must be submitted by September 11, 2021 (September 10, 2022 for the 2021-22 academic year). All deadlines are at 11:59 pm CT.

 

Bear in mind, however, that most colleges have individual deadlines for completing the FAFSA. In many cases, they will advise you to do so as soon as possible. Check with any college to which you’re applying for deadlines.

 

State FAFSA Deadlines 2021-2022

 

State 2021–2022 Academic Year Deadlines
Alabama Check with your financial aid administrator.
Alaska Alaska Education Grant: As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are distributed until funds are depleted.)

Alaska Performance Scholarship: June 30, 2021 for priority consideration (Awards will be made until funds are depleted.)

Alberta
American Samoa Check with your financial aid administrator. You may need to submit additional forms.
Arizona Check with your financial aid administrator.
Arkansas Academic Challenge: July 1, 2021 (midnight CT)

ArFuture Grant (fall term): July 1, 2021 (midnight CT)

ArFuture Grant (spring term): January 10, 2022 (midnight CT)

California Many state financial aid programs: March 2, 2021 (postmarked)

Cal Grant: must also submit school-certified GPA by March 2, 2021

Additional community college Cal Grants: September 2, 2021 (postmarked)

Noncitizens who don’t have a Social Security card or have an SS card issued through the DACA program are advised to fill out the California Dream Act Application (click the link to complete and contact the California Student Aid Commission or your financial aid administrator for more information.

Colorado Check with your financial aid administrator.
Connecticut Priority consideration: February 15, 2021 (midnight CT)

Contact your financial aid administrator or state agency for more information. Additional fors may be required.

Delaware April 15, 2021 (midnight CT)
District of Columbia Priority consideration: May 1, 2021

DC Tuition Assistance Grant: must submit the DC OneApp and supporting documents May 31, 2021 (priority consideration)

Federated States of Micronesia Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms might be required.
Florida Processed May 15, 2021
Georgia Check with your financial aid administrator.
Guam Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms may be required.
Hawaii Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms may be required.
Idaho Opportunity Grant: March 1, 2021 (midnight CT; for priority consideration)

Contact your financial aid administrator or your state agency. Additional forms may be required.

Illinois As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are made until funds are depleted.)

Monetary Award Program renewal deadline: Visit isac.org

Indiana Adult Student Grant: As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are made until funds are depleted; additional forms necessary for new applicants.)

Workforce Ready Grant: As soon as possible after October 1, 2020.

Frank O’Bannon Grant: April 15, 2021 (midnight CT)

21st Century Scholarship: April 15, 2021 (midnight CT)

Iowa July 1, 2021 (midnight CT)

Earlier priority deadlines for some programs. Additional forms may be required.

Kansas April 1, 2021 (midnight CT; priority consideration)

Additional forms might be required. Contact your financial aid administrator or your state agency.

Kentucky As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards made until funds are depleted.)
Louisiana July 1, 2022 (July 1, 2021 recommended)
Maine May 1, 2021 (midnight CT)
Marshall Islands Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms might be required.
Maryland March 1, 2021 (midnight CT)
Massachusetts May 1, 2021 (midnight CT; priority consideration)
Michigan March 1, 2021 (midnight CT)
Minnesota 30 days after the start of the term (midnight CT)
Mississippi MTAG and MESG Grants: September 15, 2021 (midnight CT)

HELP Scholarship: April 30, 2021 (midnight CT)

Missouri February 1, 2021 (midnight CT; priority consideration)

April 1, 2021 (midnight CT; general)

Montana December 1, 2020 (priority consideration)

Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms might be required.

N. Mariana Islands April 30, 2021 (midnight CT; priority consideration)

Additional forms may be required.

Nebraska Check with your financial aid administrator.
Nevada Silver State Opportunity Grant: As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are made until funds are depleted.)

Nevada Promise Scholarship: March 1, 2021 (Awards are made until funds are depleted. Additional forms might be required.)

All other aid: Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms may be required.

New Hampshire Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms may be required.
New Jersey 2021–22 Tuition Aid Grant recipients: April 15, 2021 (midnight CT)

All other applicants:

Fall and spring terms: September 15, 2021 (midnight CT)

Spring term only: February 15, 2022 (midnight CT)

New Mexico Check with your financial aid administrator.
New York June 30, 2022 (midnight CT) Additional forms might be required.
North Carolina As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are made until funds are depleted.)
North Dakota As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are made until funds are depleted.)
Ohio October 1, 2021 (midnight CT)
Oklahoma As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are made until funds are depleted.)
Oregon Oregon Opportunity Grant: As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are made until funds are depleted.)

OSAC Private Scholarships: March 1, 2021 (Additional forms might be required.)

Oregon Promise Grant: Contact your state agency. Additional forms might be required.

Palau Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms might be required.
Pennsylvania August 1, 2021 (midnight CT): All first-time applicants enrolled in a community college; business, trade, or technical school; hospital school of nursing; designated Pennsylvania Open-Admission institution; or nontransferable two-year program

May 1, 2021 (midnight CT): All other applicants Additional forms might be required.

Puerto Rico Check with your financial aid administrator.
Rhode Island Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms might be required.
South Carolina SC Commission on Higher Education Need-based Grants: As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are made until funds are depleted.)

Tuition Grants: June 30, 2021 (midnight CT)

South Dakota Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms might be required.
Tennessee State Grant: February 1, 2021 (prior-year recipients)

All other awards are made to neediest applicants. Awards are made until funds are depleted.

Tennessee Promise: February 1, 2021 (midnight CT)

State Lottery for fall term: September 1, 2021 (midnight CT)

State Lottery for spring and summer terms: February 1, 2022 (midnight CT)

Texas January 15, 2021 (priority consideration)

Additional forms might be required. Private and two-year institutions may have different deadlines. Check with your financial aid administrator.

U.S. Virgin Islands Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms might be required.
Utah Regents’ Scholarship: February 1, 2021; December 4, 2020 (priority)

Other programs: Check with your financial aid administrator. Awards are made until funds are depleted. Additional forms might be required.

Vermont As soon as possible after October 1, 2020 (Awards are made until funds are depleted.) Additional forms might be required.
Virginia Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms might be required.
Washington As soon as possible after October 1, 2020

If you are ineligible for federal aid but who meet state financial aid program and residency requirements, complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid instead of the FAFSA form. Contact the Washington Student Achievement Council or your financial aid administrator for more information.

West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship: March 1, 2021 (New applicants must submit additional forms. Contact your financial aid administrator or your state agency.)

WV Higher Education Grant Program: April 15, 2021

WV Invests Grant: April 15, 2021 (priority)

Wisconsin Check with your financial aid administrator.
Wyoming Check with your financial aid administrator. Additional forms might be required.

 

Learn more about financial aid programs offered in your state.

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What To Do After You Submit Your FAFSA

 

You can check the status of your FAFSA online at fafsa.gov or on the myStudentAid app. Generally speaking, it takes 3-5 days to process your application, although it could take a bit longer, especially if you submitted your forms by mail. If you see that your application is marked “Processed Successfully,” you don’t need to do anything else. You may also find that further action is required, in which case you’ll need to contact your school.

 

Review your SAR, which you should receive three days to three weeks after submitting your FAFSA. If you notice any errors, be sure to correct them as soon as possible (online or by mail). This report contains your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and other information, but it won’t tell you about the specific awards you’ll receive from individual colleges.

 

The schools you list on your FAFSA to which you’re accepted will send you an award letter informing you of your aid eligibility. The timing of these letters depends on the individual college. Ultimately, you’ll compare offers while making the decision about which college to attend. In some cases, you may even be able to leverage and negotiate offers.

 

For more information, read 5 Things To Do After You Fill Out the FAFSA.

 

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.